Tasty Holiday Appetizers

Who doesn’t love a GREAT and tasty appetizer to kick-off any holiday party?

Perfectly Savory, Subtly Sweet Pumpkin Ricotta Tart


We all know this time of year is prime time for pumpkin-spiced…well…everything…but this pumpkin ricotta tart recipe is anything but basic (and much better for you than that overplayed latte). The sweetness of the pumpkin and the bold assertiveness of the blue cheese are a match made in Heaven. If only the same could be said for your sister and her new boyfriend, the passive-aggressive yoga instructor who believes deodorant is an option.


  • 1 defrosted piece of puff pastry

  • 1 ½ cups full-fat ricotta cheese

  • ½ cup pureed pumpkin

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper

  • 1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola

  • 1 medium egg

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1/3 cup baby arugula


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  • Roll puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface so that it’s approximately 9 ½ x 10 ½ inch long. Transfer to a baking sheet.

  • In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, pumpkin, lemon juice, salt, pepper flakes, and lemon pepper.

  • Using an offset spatula, spread the mixture over the puff pastry leaving a 1-inch border. Lightly crimp all four sides of the tart and press over the filling. Top the tart with the blue cheese.

  • In a small bowl whisk together the egg and water, then brush over the top and sides of the tart.

  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Let the tart stand for 5 minutes to let the filling cool slightly.

  • Slice, top with arugula, and serve!

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms


Have you ever eaten so much during the holidays that, come the first of the year, you have to stuff yourself into your pants? Then you’ll know exactly how these sausage stuffed mushrooms feel. But in our opinion, anytime you combine cream cheese, parmesan cheese and pork sausage, it’s kind of hard not to eat “too many”. So feel free to stuff your face guilt-free.


  • 24 oz White Button Mushrooms

  • 1/2 lb Ground Hot Pork Sausage

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

  • 1/4 cup White Onion

  • 4 Garlic Cloves

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese

  • 1 Egg Yolk

  • 1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

  • 2 tbsp Parsley

  • Salt & Pepper


  • Clean and dry mushrooms. “Pop” the stems off the mushrooms and set aside to use for the stuffing.

  • Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat, drain skillet and set sausage aside to use for stuffing.

  • Finely chop white onion, garlic, and leftover mushroom stems.

  • Add olive oil to skillet and sauté onion, garlic, and mushroom stems for 3-5 minutes, until tender. Set aside to cool.

  • In a medium sized bowl, combine cream cheese and egg yolk with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Add cooled sausage and onion/garlic/mushroom mixture until fully mixed.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing mixture and place on a baking sheet.

  • Bake mushrooms for 25 minutes, until the stuffing begins to slightly brown on the top.

Whipped Goat Cheese, Pomegranate and Honey Tartlets


You know that awkward moment when your son, home from college, introduces his new girlfriend to the family and your mother, with the dysfunctional hearing aid, loudly asks, “Why does she dress like a tartlet?” Now, instead of hemming and hawing with an answer, you can simply exclaim, “Did someone say tartlet?” then grab a tray of these whipped goat cheese tartlets to pass around.


  • 1 thawed puff pastry sheet

  • ¾ cup whipped goat cheese

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme + more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

  • 2 teaspoons organic honey

  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

  • Using a 1-inch cookie cutter, cut out shapes of puff pastry. Place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Pierce them several times with the tines of a fork.

  • Bake for 5 minutes.

  • If the pastry has puffed too much to hold the toppings, use an offset spatula to gently deflate them.

  • In a medium bowl combine the goat cheese with the fresh thyme. Divide cheese mixture between puff pastry tartlets.

  • Drizzle with pomegranate molasses and honey.

  • Top with pomegranate seeds, and garnish with thyme.

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