Toast to Autumn

Toast to Autumn

Before autumn makes her final curtain call, I wanted to leave you with some spirited cocktails and the last photos of the tamaracks.  

Raspberry or Mango Spritz

Fanta Jack-O-Lantern Floats

Black Magic Margaritas

Vampire Kiss Martini

Blood Orange Vampire Punch

Kid-Friendly Cocktails from Taste of Home
Pumpkin Milkshakes

Two savory appetizers to pair with your Halloween Drinks

Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Fig and Honey
Cook's Notes: The inspiration for this recipe came from Cooking Light magazine. I was intrigued by the unusual ingredients. The recipe called for making sandwiches which I turned into mini appetizers. I used a panini maker to grill the sandwiches but a griddle or fry pan works just as well. This recipe works because the ease of putting it together and the flavors of fig and goat cheese were amazing. I really liked the addition of cinnamon raisin bread which added to the flavor. The recipe makes 4 sandwiches or 16 mini sandwiches/appetizers.
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 package of garlic herb goat cheese (3.5 oz.) room temperature
  • 8 slices of cinnamon-raisin bread
  • 4 tablespoons fig preserves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil or 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
  • Optional powdered sugar
  • Raspberries and strawberries for garnish
  • Mix honey, lemon zest, and goat cheese. Spread 1-1/2 tablespoons of goat cheese mixture on four slices of bread.
  • Mix the fig preserves with basil.
  • Spread 1-1/2 teaspoon fig mixture on top of each goat cheese bread slice.
  • Top bread with remaining slices and grill in a panini maker, fry pan, or griddle.
  • Cook for 3 minutes a side. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Fig and Goat Cheese Appetizer
Cook's notes: I used the same recipe ingredients listed above but created a different appetizer. I brushed both sides of the baguette slices with olive oil. The slices were toasted at 425 degrees on a cookie sheet, 4 minutes a side. The goat cheese mixture was spread on each of the toasted bread slices and topped with fig preserve mixture. The bread slices were put back in the oven for 1 minute to soften the cheese a bit. Raspberries were placed on top to serve but dried dates would work too. This appetizer was even more amazing than the first one. Something about the combination of fig preserves and goat cheese on toasted bread slices enhanced the flavor. These appetizers would pair nicely with one of the featured spirited Halloween drinks above.
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