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Category Archives: Appetizers

Red Wine Poached Figs

Red Wine Poached Figs

I’m always looking for quick and easy holiday appetizers. This one is an oldie but a goodie that I like to pull out from time to time. Not only does it taste amazing and keep in the refrigerator for a few days but it makes your kitchen smell like Christmas!

You can really use any good red wine (remember to always cook with a wine you would drink and not the cheap stuff–I promise you’ll thank me for it!). I’ve made this with Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Blends–like our Drop Dead Red and my favorite Port.


1 10 oz container of dried Black Mission Figs

1 bottle of Red Wine–not too spicy

2 T honey

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp Allspice

1 tsp Black Peppercorns

1 tsp Whole Cloves




Cut your Figs in half lengthwise and place them in a skillet.

Add Wine, honey and cinnamon sticks

Place your loose spices in a bit of cheese cloth so that you don’t have to fish them out later and tie up the end to make a small spice bundle.


Heat your fig and spice mixture on medium low until you get a nice simmer. Depending on your stove top you want to keep the heat between low and medium low. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by at least half to form a nice syrup.


Remove from heat and let cool. Discard the cinnamon sticks and the spice bundle. The figs are yummy by themselves or on a nice cheese plate. I also like to do a rough chop to them and serve them on top of fresh goat cheese on a crostini. You can even use them to top some delicious ice cream.

Refrigerated the figs will be good for about one week.



Cheddar Parmesan Wafers

It’s cold and snowy outside and these cheesy spicy wafers are just the thing to munch on while I watch the snow fall.  They also make a great pairing with wine–I recommend a fruit forward Pinot Noir.


Cheddar Parmesan Wafers

1/2 C unsalted butter well-chilled

1 3/4 C shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

3/4 C grated parmesan

1 C all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Generous pinch of kosher salt

16 walnut halves toasted and cut in half lengthwise

Place butter, cheeses, flour, cayenne pepper and salt in the food processor. Pulse several times over 30 seconds. Then run machine continuously until the mixture forms a ball.

Shape dough into a log 2 inches in diameter and 8 inches long. Wrap log tightly in plastic wrap and roll it on your work surface several times to make it compact. Chill at least 30-45 minutes. Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or up to 1 month in the freezer.

To bake preheat oven to 400 degrees. With a sharp knife cut 1/4 inch thick slices from log and place 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Top each wafer with a walnut half and back until light golden brown 10-12 minutes. Rotate cookie sheet hallway through.

Pop open a bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir and enjoy!