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No. It seems like such a simple word, but sometimes so very hard to say.

I’ve had a problem with over commitment my entire life. I love to help others and I have a hard time telling someone no if I am in any position to help.

“Can you make 100 goodies bags in the next four hours?” Sure I can!

“Can you watch our 12 cats and seven dogs this weekend?” Of course!

“Can you work 12 days straight, 132 hours, teach three culinary classes, prepare for and work a two-day tradeshow with no rest?” Been there, done that, have the blisters, extra wrinkles and promotional t-shirt giveaway to show for it.

Maybe one day I’ll learn that I do not have to be a Super Hero all of the time. Maybe one day I will not feel the immense need to swoop in and save the day, every day. And just maybe the next time someone asks “Can you…”, I might be able to stand boldly, hands firmly planted on hips, look them directly in the eye and with a resounding, firm voice say… “Well, maybe.”

Nah. I like being a superhero. 🙂 It’s all in the canapes.


With the holidays approaching, we all find ourselves with gifts to wrap, shopping to do, too much to clean, parties and always, unexpected guests.

I have always had an open door policy and sometimes that can keep the house pretty busy. Especially during the holidays where friends and family love to pop in to just say hi. I love having guests and I love feeding people.

I’ve found the easiest way to create impressive impromptu appetizers or snacks for guests, is with Tapas or Meze trays. By just keeping a few things on hand in your fridge and pantry, you can whip up gorgeous snacks for guests in no time flat! Sometimes it’s not too hard to be a Super Hero.


Meze Tray with Charcuterie, Sliced Cucumbers, Greek Olives, Pepperoncini, Sweet Gerkins, Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves), Marinated Mushrooms, Pickled Okra and red grapes. If you’re  not familiar with Charcuterie, your local deli can assist you with great selections.


Sliced Deli Mortadella, Salami, Coppa, Pancetta, Pita wedges, Roasted Vegetables with Olive Oil, Marinated Mushrooms and Marinated Artichokes.


To build a great cheese tray, include an aged cheese, soft cheese, firm cheese and a bleu cheese. You can also select your cheese using a variety of cow, goat or sheep cheese. I like to include an unusual cheese for visual appeal. Include a fruit jam, mustard, honey, caramelized onions, nuts and dried fruit to round out your tray. Serve with sliced baguettes or crackers.


Trays can also be very simple. This tray includes salami, carrot hummus, and sea salted pita chips. It’s accompanied by a second tray with goat cheese topped with Lemon Curd and Poppyseed, Red Grapes and Cracked Black Pepper crackers.


For a super quick, impressive platter, serve goat cheese with flavored curd, fruit and crackers. This is UNBELIEVABLY good.


Another very quick option is to create a Crostini or Bruschetta tray. Cut a baguette into slices and top with olive tapanade, ricotta cheese and balsamic roasted tomatoes and toast. If you look in my fridge at any given time, you will find homemade ricotta cheese and a bowl of balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes. They are a heavenly combination!


If you have cheese, bread and tomatoes on hand, you have a great appetizer! This snazzy little number is comprised of baked goat cheese topped with Rosemary and Black Pepper Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes. Serve with a sliced, toasted baguette or Sea Salted crackers.


If all else fails, you just can’t beat a good dip in a bread bowl. Shown here is a Lobster and Crab Salad in Sourdough. Other great options for bread bowl dips are Spinach and Artichoke, Buffalo Chicken, Chicken Salads or even egg salad.

For other ideas for appetizer trays including Ceviche, Pates, Baked Camembert, Proscuitto Wrapped Melon and Honey, and much, much more, click here:  https://thefrontporchgourmet.com/2014/06/26/lets-have-a-party/

And remember, life is too short to eat ugly food y’all!