Holiday Party Appetizers

It’s holiday party season and what’s better than a good ole appetizer. Susan Ritts, Owner of Crazy Good Dressing, joins TCL to up your appetizer game.


The savory combination of mushrooms and Brie cheese can be served either hot out of the oven (which is how I usually eat them, but I suggest you actually take them out of the oven first) or at room temperature (much safer). 

Crusty French bread crackers 
One container each button mushrooms, baby bella mushrooms and shitake mushrooms 
CGD Seasoned Oil or Olive oil 
3 tablespoons chopped garlic 
One large white onion, chopped 
Chopped parsley, 2-3 tablespoons 
Large wedge of your favorite Brie or other soft cheese 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and cut mushrooms into thin slices. 

VERSION 1 Put about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Heat oil and add chopped onion. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes. Add chopped garlic. Sauté another 2 minutes. Add all mushrooms and mix well. Sauté until mushrooms are cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Add more olive oil if it seems a bit dry. Add parsley and mix. Remove from heat. Put mixture on each cracker and top with a piece of Brie (trim Brie to fit on cracker). Cook in preheated oven until Brie is melted, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven and serve. These are terrific hot or room temperature, so no worries about this appetizer cooling off.

VERSION 2 Sauté all above and remove from heat. Cut Brie into bite size pieces and add to the mushroom onion mixture. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until cheese has melted. Remove from heat, spoon mixture onto individual appetizer plates or bowls, surround with crusty crackers, serve and enjoy


1 Cup CGD Seasoned Oil or Olive Oil
2 cans artichoke hearts
Lemon zest and juice
TBS minced garlic
1 TSP red pepper flakes
2 springs fresh thyme
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 cup crumbled feta
Salt & pepper
French bread crustini’s

In a cast iron pan, heat 1/2 cup CGD oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.  Add artichokes. Cook over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes, until chokes are browning. Add thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt & pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes. Add olives and feta. Discard thyme. Heat for another 5 minutes and serve with crustini’s. NOTE: use leftovers to top grilled chicken or pork 


1 LB jumbo Shrimp (or more depending on crowd)
CGD Seasoned Olive Oil or Favorite Olive Oil

Mustard Sauce:
1 1/2 TBS Dry Mustard
1 cup Mayo
2 TSP Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tsp A-1 Sauce
2 TBS half & half

Mix all ingredients together. Beat with a mixer or vigorously with a metal whisk until thoroughly combined. Chill sauce until serving.


1 oz Kahlua
1 oz Vodka
2 oz espresso (or strong coffee)
Crushed espresso beans

Mix equal parts sugar and crushed espresso beans and put on small plate.
Wet top of martini glass with water and dip into espresso/sugar mixture. In a shaker, combine Vodka, Kahlua and espresso. Add ice. Shake well and pour into martini glass.