This is the time of year thoughts of delicious appetizers float thru my mind daily. So here are two of my favorites to add to your repertoire. Easy, quick and impressive, they can be made ahead of time, and just put together right before your gathering – whether it is dinner tonight, or a weekend party!

Wild Mushroom Tartines*

The Mushrooms
½ LB Wild Mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 TB Unsalted Butter
2 TB Parsley, Thyme, Tarragon or Chives, finely chopped
Kosher Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Sauté the wild mushrooms until softened and the liquid has evaporated about 5 – 7 minutes. Add the herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside

The Goat Cheese
1 Log Goat Cheese, Softened
2 TB Parsley, Thyme, Tarragon or Chives
Kosher Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Mash the Goat Cheese with the herbs, salt and pepper

The Tartine Shells
1 Loaf Pepperidge Farm Very Thin Sliced Whole Wheat Bread
Non-Stick Spray
3 Small Muffin Tins
2 ¼” Cookie Cutter

Step One
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray the muffin tins with Non Stick Spray.

Step Two
Cut each piece of bread with the cookie cutter, and carefully put it into the muffin tin. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes or until the bread begins to brown.

4 TB Parsley, Thyme, Tarragon or Chives, finely chopped for garnish

In each tartine shell, place a tiny dollop of goat cheese. Top with mushrooms, garnish with fresh herbs.

* Tartine is an open faced sandwich

Sesame Soy Pork Tenderloin Tastes

1 to 1 1/2 LBs Pork Tenderloin
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
2 TB Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
Zest of an Orange
2 Large Garlic Cloves, Grated
2 Tsp Ground Ginger
1 TB Sesame Oil
1/4 Cup Honey
2 TB Dark Brown Sugar
1/8 Cup Sesame Seeds, Toasted

1/8 Cup Black Sesame Seeds

2 Oranges, Sliced Thinly – Spread out on a Large Platter

Step One
Cut the pork into 1” cubes.

Step Two
Combine soy sauce, orange juice, zest, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil; place in zippy bag with the pork. Turn bag to coat pork; refrigerate and let marinate for 3 hours, or up to overnight, turning occasionally.

Step Three
Combine honey and brown sugar in a bowl. Add the marinated pork and stir around to coat.

Step Four
Place the Pork on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast at 375° 25 to 30, minutes or until done* 145F – 155F Remove from the oven. Place on serving tray and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Step Five
Serve the pork with toothpicks – Warm or room temperature

*The pork’s temperature will rise with carryover cooking – the USDA recommends 160F for pork.

FAST FOOD FACT Toasting Nuts (Seeds)
Place the nuts on a sheet tray and slide into a 350F oven. Set your timer for 7 minutes, check the nuts (seeds). If not done – set your timer for another 3 minutes – after this remove the nuts. They will continue cooking with carry over heat. Remember soft nuts and seeds like pine nuts and sesame seeds will take less time

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