20080929

A SEVEN COURSE MEAL OF TINY FOODS? The Finger Food Dinner!

Last week I posted a recipe for Salad Caprese Skewers and realized they were salad on a stick - a course that many people would never think could be made into an appetizer. This made me realize that I have, over the life of this blog, created an appetizer for every course of a meal.

I promised you I would post links to my appetizers that would create an entire seven course meal of Tiny Foods for your guests! According to Wikipedia, a traditional seven course meal consists of these courses:

First Course: Appetizer
Second Course: Soup
Third Course: Salad or Vegetables
Fourth Course: Fish
Fifth Course: A meat: beef, pork or chicken
Sixth Course: Dessert
Seventh Course: Cheese

Some sources say that a palate cleanser such as a sorbet is the fourth course and they either leave off the salad or consider salad the appetizer or they leave off cheese course or put cheese in the place of the dessert. Other sources will include a starch course - traditionally served with the meat course and leave off either the salad or the cheese. I'm confused now, aren't you?

Since our whole meal will consist of appetizers or finger foods, many of which have cheese in them, I have chosen to leave off the cheese course and include a starch course between the meat and fish.

THE TINY FOOD DIVA'S SEVEN COURSE FINGER FOOD MEAL:
Each link will open in a new window for your menu planning convenience!

1st Course, Appetizer: STUFFED OLIVES TO DIE FOR

2nd Course, Soup: VICHYSSOISE SHOOTERS

3rd Course, Salad: SALAD CAPRESE SKEWERS

4th Course, Fish: CRAB ANGELS

5th Course, Starch: POTATO LATKES

6th Course, Meat: TENDERLOIN TIDBITS

7th Course, Dessert: GRILLED CHOCOLATE SANDWICHES

Enjoy and let me know how your guests liked their Tiny Food Meal!

Here's an interesting little quote about starters, appetizers and entrees from Wikipedia:
"In French, entrée means entry, admission. L'entrée (singular) or les entrées (plural) are the appetizers. In Great Britain, entrée may be used for the same thing but the term starters is more commonly used. In Australia, entrée is commonly used instead of appetizers or starters. Although it was originally one of the earlier courses in North America also, it is now used for the main course. OED lists it as the main course, but gives an additional British English meaning: a ready-made dish served between the fish course and the main course."

20080926

The 3-MINUTE CHOCOLATE "CUP" CAKE - A Microwave Miracle Food!

OKAY, I'M SHOUTING because this is just the GREATEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD!

My single, chocoholic, cupcake loving friends this is my gift to you! Yes, this is a real piece of cake, just one piece of cake, made in 3 minutes in your microwave and it's chocolate!

If you're single you will have experienced the same thing as I have - you're craving a piece of chocolate cake, you only want one piece of cake and you don't want to make a trip to the store or a restaurant because you're all tucked up in your jammies already. You graze the fridge looking to satisfy that craving but only a piece of cake will do. It's an age old dilemma and we now have the perfect solution!

I tried it and it's great! It's moist, it's warm from the "oven" and it's a little slice of heaven in a cup! I poured some hot fudge sauce on it and added a dollop of ice cream - next time I'm going to sauce it with some raspberry coulis or fresh fruit. (here's a great recipe for Raspberry Coulis)

Want another tip to make this even faster next time? Grab some baggies and measure out the dry ingredients for one cup cake into each bag then all you have to do the next few times is grab the bag, empty it into a coffee mug and add your liquids and egg!

Share this with your friends! Just click the little white envelope below this post and you can e-mail this post to your friends!

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20080924

SALAD CAPRESE SKEWERS - Put a Caprese Salad on a stick for your next finger food!

I love a Caprese Salad because it's so fresh and pure in taste. It's a salad I enjoy often and one day when I was munching away I was wondering how I could turn it into a tiny food. You know me, I'd rather eat my food one bite at a time with my fingers!

So, with just a few twists to the ingredients and a few cocktail picks I turned my Caprese Salad into a Tiny Food - an appetizer-appetizer, lol!

These are wonderful and would serve as the first course in a whole dinner of Tiny Foods. In fact, I think I'll post a menu for a fun Tiny Food Dinner party that includes all the courses of a regular fancy-schmancy dinner but all bite size! Keep an eye open next week and I'll post it up with links to all the recipes for the party and a few theme tips!

I just posted a great martini that would go very well with this appetizer - The B.L.T. Martini, trust me, it's a winner!



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20080922

BAKED FETA CHEESE AND TOMATO SPREAD APPETIZER

This Baked Feta Tomato Spread recipe is just plain good. It's really easy to make and a beautiful dish visually. If you want you can also make individual finger foods - bruschetta - by spreading the feta on each piece of toasted bread and topping with the tomato mixture then toasting the individual appetizers, but why go to the extra work?

I usually rub a little garlic on the bread before I toast it too, but I'm a lover of extra garlic!

This Feta Tomato spread is one of those dishes that has the advantage of being made from foods that are often staples in the kitchen, we usually have a can of diced tomatoes on hand, some kind of bread or cracker and the seasonings are common. Even Feta cheese is becoming a staple in a lot of homes these days because of it's popularity.

Be sure to grab my newest martini recipe for today, The Monday Blues Martini while you're surfing for recipes!

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20080919

SHALOM and OLA! An appetizer roll up that combines Mexican Flavor with a Schmear!


Craving some South of the Border flavor and a little nosh are you? Then you'll love this Appetizer Roll Up recipe that brings a bit of spice from Mexico to the traditional elements of a bagel with lox and cream cheese!

You can have the best of both worlds if you use a little imagination and some fun ingredients! Mazeltov, mi amigos!

20080917

STUFFED OLIVES TO DIE FOR - Bacon Makes Everything Taste Better!

I watch Dinner Impossible on the Food Network every week. I love the new host, Michael Symon (also the newest Iron Chef) because he's funny and hip as well as a chef! You can't beat those qualities in a man!

He also loves bacon - well, he loves anything pork - which is also one of my favorite flavors. I don't think he's ever done a show where he hasn't used bacon or pork (except for the Kosher challenge).

When I was getting ready to do stuffed olives the other day for an appetizer Michael Symon's love of bacon popped into my head and I decided to add bacon to my normal cream cheese stuffed olives! Great idea! The smoky flavor of the bacon complements the olives and the cream cheese to perfection! This will be a regular appetizer and Tiny Food around Martini Time at my house and I plan on popping a few in my Classic and Dirty Martini Recipes from The Martini Diva too!

20080915

ITALIAN SAUSAGE VEGGIE BAKE - Miniaturize Your Meals into Appetizers!



No, this is not an appetizer recipe! But it's really good and I made appetizers from the leftovers!

I baked this up for dinner on Friday and had enough left for several more meals. Now, I can handle the same dish two days in a row, three if I love it, but after that it's time to send it to the big trash can in the sky (or freeze it for another day.)

But Saturday a friend stopped by to horn in on one of my weekly martini experiments for The Martini Diva - she's well aware I do a lot of my "mixology" on Saturday afternoons and likes free booze! I don't mind because I use her as my experimental lab rat for testing my latest cocktail concoctions! A fair trade!

I always like to serve up a little "Tiny Food Diva" nosh to complement my newest martini but I was not up to a lot of cooking, I just wanted to get to the martini. So I did my fridge grazing, spied the sausage-veggie bake and thought - hmmmm!

I grabbed some cocktail toothpicks, cut my bake elements into bite sized pieces and speared a bite of each ingredient with a toothpick, adding a few grape tomatoes to the mix, popped them in a baking dish, dusted the whole shebang with some Parmesan cheese and heated them up at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes.

Not only were they a hit, they were easy and I used leftovers! So, think about some of your entrees as Tiny Foods and get a little creative with what's sitting in your fridge tonight!

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20080912

CHICKEN CHEESE DIP - One More Chicken Dip, Just in Case!



Okay, this is the LAST chicken dip recipe I'm going to post for a while! Nobody needs more than three chicken dip recipes! But these will give you a nice alternative for using left over chicken and they got me through my chicken doldrums!

Enjoy and if you have a killer chicken appetizer recipe, or even a regular chicken recipe, feel free to send it to me!!!

Don't forget to stop by The Martini Diva for this weeks latest martinis! It was a tequila theme this week!

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20080909

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP - Buffalo Wings that keep your fingers clean!


As I mentioned earlier this week, I have been hunting for new and interesting chicken recipes and it seems to be Chicken Dip week!

Here's another good recipe for using either fresh cooked or leftover chicken that is a great appetizer and Tiny Food! This one is based on the flavor of Buffalo Wings and you'll find it's really tasty and a lot less messy to eat than the actual wings! Delish!

Enjoy and be sure to stop by The Martini Diva for some great martini recipes to go with!

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20080908

CHICKEN ENCHILADA DIP - A Fiesta For Your Mouth!


Lately I am hunting for a lot of new ways to use chicken! It seems to be the only protein that you can get for under $2.00 a pound (on sale). But I have been looking in my freezer and saying, "oh, crap - chicken again?"
So I've tried a few new recipes, adjusted them to my tastes and here is the first one for this week - Chicken Enchilada Dip. Remember, I love eating "tiny foods" so I always try to make an appetizer out of an entree if I can figure out how!

This week seems to be chicken dip week and boy am I glad to have a few new chicken recipes!

Try this out with my latest Siesta Tequila Martini from The Martini Diva and have yourself a Fiesta!





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20080905

CHEX MIX? YES! NOT JUST FOR KIDS!

I was really desperate for something crunchy and salty the other day and I didn't want chips or crackers. I opened up my cupboard - doing the grazing thing - and lo' and behold there before me was a box of Corn Chex!

I do not eat cereal for breakfast. I occasionally like to have cereal for dinner - very occasionally. So cereal can go stale on me and at almost $5 a box that's just not kosher! I always have the other ingredients on hand for this timeless snack so I went and grabbed my goodies and baked up a nice large batch of Chex Mix!

Mine did not have all 3 grains but I'm not fond of wheat Chex anyway so not a great loss to me! A little over an hour later and I had a big baggie full of a snack that I've loved for decades! Have a little retro comfort snack with your martinis tonight!

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20080902

Shoot Your Tiny Food? Sure, Serve Soup Appetizers in Shooters!



The next time you're having a cocktail party or just a little get together try thinking of serving up some soups as finger food! Yes, finger food.

How? Just pour a few sips into a shooter instead of a bowl or cup. A couple of sips of a hot soup like a chowder or lobster bisque, a cold and refreshing soup like a gazpacho or a vichyssoise can be a fun and unique way to serve your guests a signature Tiny Food!

Julia Child's Vichyssoise (Chilled Potato Leek Soup) adaped by me for my shooters:

4 cups sliced leeks, white part only
4 cups diced potatoes, old or baking potatoes recommended
6 to 7 cups water
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
1/2 cup or more sour cream, heavy cream, or crème fraîche, optional
1 Tablespoon fresh chives or parsley, minced
A couple of fresh carrots sliced julienne thin but longer than the shooter glass, or a celery leaf topfor garnish

Bring the leeks, potatoes and water to boil in the saucepan, add your salt to taste, cover with a vented lid partially open to allow some steam to escape.

Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the leeks and potatoes are tender.

The recipe allows for you to puree or not to puree but.....For the shooters I suggest you do puree the soup as large chunks cause issues in narrow shot glasses!

Then add your cream slowly as you finish blending.

Chill the soup for a couple of hours or until nice and cold. Julia suggests that you can, if you wish, stir in a bit more cream at this point. Check your seasonings and adjust if necessary.

Pour or ladle carefully into your shoorter glasses (chill these too if you'd like), top off with a few chopped chives or parley - toss in a nice long julienne of fresh carrot for some color or celery tops for a little leafy garnish.

Serve up with some of my Parmesan Bites and some of my Spicey Bacon Rumaki appetizers and a Dirty Vodka Martini and you've got a feast fit for a Russian Czar!

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