Small Bites…

Seems the trend in food today is offering “small bites”.   It’s all the rage and I just love it.  The opportunity to “graze” over food offerings is what I so enjoy about an afternoon tea menu…several bits and bites of savory to sweet that won’t get you too stuffed, while taking your taste buds on an adventure in flavor and texture.   It’s struck me that tapas, antipasti, hors d’oeuvres, canapes, dim sum, charcuterie platters, and finger sandwiches all hit the same need to satisfy that little hunger pang that comes on about 3 p.m. — and into happy hour.

My recent seasonal favorites to serve during these warm summer early evenings are a bit of savory and sweet – and happen to be vegetarian (although not vegan).

Bite sized appetizer... grapes encrusted with toasted pecans and bleu cheese...cheese plate in a bite and Wild mushroom pate on a pita cracker...

Bite sized appetizer… grapes encrusted with toasted pecans and bleu cheese…cheese plate in a bite and Wild mushroom pate on a pita cracker…

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These luscious and versatile little crackers are found at Trader Joe’s Markets.  Panini Girl’s blog offers many many outstanding recipes.

Whether serving these bites for afternoon tea or with a glass of the bubbly…grazing and sipping is an optimum way to socialize and relax into the rest of your day or night.

Here’s a pretty plate of small bites I recently had at Chef Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern Restaurant located in The St. Regis Hotel in Dana Point, Ca.  – Beautiful and whetted your appetite before dinner…now these bites took some time…but were worth it, particularly the crispy risotto cake.

Stunning "amuse bouche" plate...each bite packed with flavor

Stunning “amuse bouche” plate…each bite packed with flavor

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Try putting together a perfect little bite that encompasses savory, sweet, crispy, and softness all at once… if nothing more, a bit of cheese on a cracker almost gets you there 🙂

Enjoy…

8 Comments

  1. I must say how lucky I am to have you as a partner,
    With as much interest in food & wine as I have. Sure makes the trip more interesting.

  2. I think I am tearing up… you two!! 😉
    Your mushroom pate is beautiful!! Great post, Linda!!

    • Ha Ha…I tear up often 🙂 thank you.. and yes, the mushroom pate is a wonderfully healthy addiction. I love to use wild mushrooms such as chanterelles, oyster, and shitake…yummy Simple to make and lasts for days.

  3. What a marvellous selection of dainty delights! These small treats are often such works of art, and so irresistably mouth-watering. Your grapes are superb and that mushroom loaf also looks amazing. I’m with you on the grazing of small items, it is an utter delight and you’ve posted some truly excellent examples. Yum!

    • Thank you Lorna so much for our comments. and yes, these days, small bites, small plates are what i prefer. One gets to try more things that way. If you enjoy mushrooms, this loaf is a keeper in your recipe repertoire.

  4. I want that risotto cake! I already know how delicious the grape balls and the pate are. Thank for the shout out-glad you enjoyed the chutney-it was “plum” made from the fruit of a friend’s tree.

    • It was a crispy, creamy, cheesy delicious bite…the kind of bite worth paying someone with great skill to prepare for you as it obviously took meticulous detail in the preparation. You could do it… 🙂 Thanks for the correction on the chutney…it was so flavorful and paired with the goat cheese so well. Will be using it again today…we are thankful for you and your friend’s prolific plum tree.