Apps for a win-win

Family Features

For parties of any size, tasty appetizers and starters are menu must-haves. While the main course roasts and before dessert is served, guests may flock to the table for snacks and small plates to keep cravings at bay.

When pre-dinner hunger strikes at your gathering, be the center of attention with quick, delicious and simple appetizers that deliver exactly what your guests crave. One way to be the star of your soiree is with Litehouse’s rich and flavorful Simply Artisan Reserve blue cheese and gorgonzola center cuts. Whether the foundation of a delicious cheese plate or crumbled in a recipe such as one of these apps it’s a win-win solution.

Pear Obatzda

Traditionally served with fresh pretzels, this 15-minute Obatzda recipe is the perfect dip for the snack table. The savory taste of pear can keep the whole party satisfied.

Serves: 6-8

Finish in 15 Minutes

Everyone who loves Gorgonzola knows that there’s nothing better than the combo of pear and Gorgonzola. Turn it into a dip with this Pear Obatzda and you’ve got yourself a new favorite.

4 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts

1 pear

1 teaspoon brown sugar

5 ounces Simply Artisan Gorgonzola Center Cut

31/2 ounces cream cheese

Salt and pepper

Pear chips

Crackers and pretzels for serving

Fry the walnuts in a frying pan without oil, stirring constantly until they are golden brown in color. Remove from the pan and let them cool.

Peel, quarter and core the pear. Cut it into small cubes. Place the pear into the frying pan, sprinkling the sugar over the top. Saut for about 5 minutes, until the pear is light brown and the sugar is caramelized. Remove the pear from the pan and allow it to cool.

In a bowl, break up the Gorgonzola cheese with a fork into small pieces. Add in the cream cheese and mix together. Stir in the walnuts and the pears, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle additional walnuts over the spread before serving with pear chips, crackers or pretzels.

Steak Crostini

With appetizers, the name of the game is providing quick bites that make for easy eating. Look no further than bite-sized Steak Crostini served with blue cheese and crackers.

Serves: 24 pieces

Finish in 10 minutes

Steak Crostini is the perfect holiday appetizer. Bringing together the flavor of blue cheese and steak tenderloin makes a quick and easy crowd pleaser.

1 ounce low fat cream cheese, softened

1 ounce Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese Center Cut

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

1 ounce Litehouse Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing

6 ounces steak tenderloin, cooked medium

24 34 Degree Rosemary Crisps

Fresh cracked pepper

Extra blue cheese crumbles and chives for topping

In a food processor combine the cream cheese, dressing, blue cheese, chives, salt and pepper (if needed to taste). Pulse until well blended.

Cut the steak tenderloin into 24 equal slices.

Spread the blue cheese dip evenly onto 24 crackers. Place 1 piece of steak on top of each cracker and top with additional chives and freshly cracked pepper. Add extra blue cheese if you’d like.

Grilled Raspberry, Basil and Blue Cheese Sandwich

Handheld nibbles go a long way when entertaining a crowd, which is why sandwiches are an obvious solution. Go for sourdough bread and melty cheese like mozzarella and Litehouse Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese to make this appetizer a snap.

Serves: 2

Finish in 10 minutes

This sandwich brings together the sharp, nutty flavors of blue cheese and sweet raspberries in a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich.

4 slices sourdough bread

2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese Center Cut

1/2 cup fresh raspberries, smashed

3-4 fresh basil leaves, torn

Divide the butter evenly between the four slices of bread, spreading it on one side of each slice.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and place two slices of bread, butter side down, in the pan. Top each slice with º of the mozzarella cheese, half of the blue cheese, half of the raspberries and basil. Divide the remaining mozzarella cheese between the two sandwiches.

Top each sandwich with the remaining slices of bread, butter side up. Grill each side for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Slice in half and serve immediately.

Bacon Blue Cheese and Mac

This mac and cheese recipe can help please guests of all ages, but there’s just one problem: it’ll be gone quicker than you think.

Serves: 8

Finish in 1 Hour

Trust us, this Mac and Cheese is the Bomb. You might even want to make a double batch....because it will get eaten.

1 pound radiator pasta mini ziti or elbow noodles

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons flour

21/2 cups milk

2/3 cup Litehouse Bacon Blue Cheese dressing

8 ounces white cheddar freshly grated

5 ounces container Litehouse Blue Cheese Center Cut, crumbled

1/4 cup Instantly Fresh Chives

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt


1 tablespoon butter melted

1/2 cup unseasoned panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon Instantly Fresh Parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 strips center cut bacon cooked and crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.

2. Bring water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions, but shaving 1-2 minutes off of the cooking time to keep al dente.

3. Meanwhile, heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. When butter begins to sizzle, quickly add flour and whisk constantly until roux is golden, about 2 minutes.

4. Pour in milk and whisk constantly, stirring until the mixture slightly thickens.

5. Reduce heat to low and add in white cheddar and blue cheese a couple handfuls at a time until cheese melts and sauce is thickened.

6. Stir in Blue Cheese Dressing. Stir in Instantly Fresh chives and season with salt and pepper.

7. Add cooked pasta to baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over top, tossing to coat all the noodles.

8. Cover top in panko bread crumb mixture.

9. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is golden and crunchy and sauce is bubbling. Top with crumbled bacon.

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