Everyone's had prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe, but how about trying it around watermelon?  Add a dollop of soft goat cheese to a square of  watermelon before you wrap with the cured meat, then secure with a toothpick and you are all set! 
Enjoy! XO  Martha

Look what our fab Mama Bakes Pal, Silvana, whipped up for an appetizer.  So easy, and yet so posh!  Just a rice cracker with a small spread of cream cheese, topped with smoked salmon and a bit of fresh dill!  Brilliant!


Great as an appetizer or serve with crackers as a nibble with drinks...

Pantry Must Haves

Plate of fresh figs (approx 15)
Goat cheese log (8 oz/220gm)
Arugula (rocket)
1 cup toasted pecans
Runny honey (for drizzling)
Pomegranate Molasses*

*NOTE: Pomegranate Molasses can be found in good ethnic grocery stores or specialty delicatessans eg Eden Gourmet.  If you can't find it, a variation could be to use a balsamic vinegar syrup/reduction instead. 

Nikki xx

Cut figs twice as above (careful not to go all the way through).

Fill with a slice of goat cheese.

Place on a platter spread with arugula.

Scatter over toasted pecans.  Finally, drizzle over honey and pomegranate molasses.


Chex Mix



Chex Mix is our go to nibble when we're on vacation.  Our kids have enough allergy issues to artificial colors and flavors and MSG that commercial chips like Doritos and pre-made Chex Mix are not an option.  My friends who go Gluten free can adapt with GF pretzels, omit the wheat chex, etc. and make it work for them too!  There's a batch in the oven making a wonderful smell that's got all the kids following their noses to the kitchen...so who cares that the recipe is straight off the box!
Enjoy! XO Martha

FYI For the best taste double the sauce on your chex mix!!!
Martha's fabulous food friend, Gail Haines, may not have walked away with the prize for best appetizer at their tennis club's party, but it's first place in the Communal Pantry's book!  Here's what Gail has to say about these delicious treats:

 Even though they are not “award winning,” they are still pretty yummy and VERY EASY to make. I made up the recipe after trying something similar at a baby shower many years ago. My family calls them “Pumpernickel Toasts” and this is how you make them:

1. Toast “2-bite” size pieces of pumpernickel until just slightly soft in the middle (I usually do this and fry the bacon the day before so I can just assemble the day I serve them)
2. Spread with fig spread (I buy mine at Shop Rite – it is usually on a shelf above the fancy cheese section)
3. Layer with a very thin slice of ripe pear (I think apple would be great too)

4. Then layer with a slice of high quality sharp white cheddar cheese
5. Finish off with an already-fried slice of thick bacon (fry until almost crunchy since the bacon will crisp up when broiled)
6. Broil really quickly in a 500 degree broiler until the cheese starts to melt and the bacon starts to sizzle. Turn off the broiler and leave in the oven to stay warm until just before serving.
7.  Watch them disappear!

Cheers! Gail

Click HERE to link to more fabulous recipes from our mates and relatives
Martha loves a deviled egg, but not nearly as much as she loves a good joke.  So, when I saw this throw back (very Mad Men) deviled egg platter at the OpShop for about 75 cents I knew just what to do with it.  One of my besties, Jennifer, is a bit of a picky eater.  She's got all sorts of likes and dislikes, like no fruit in her desserts, no eggs at all, an aversion to cubed cheese and ham, and a distain of mayonnaise. My plan came together when Jennifer had a little cocktail party....I said I'd bring an appetizer she'd just love! Tee-hee! XO

Deviled Eggs
Makes 12
6 Hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon (I prefer, red wine) vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Cut 6 hard boiled eggs in half lengthwise. 
Remove yolks to a bowl and mash with the rest of the ingredients.
I use a plastic bag with the end cut out or a pastry bag to fill the egg whites.  sprinkle with paprika and garnish with fresh parsley to make them look pretty.  To fancy things up you can add crumbled bacon or relish or anything else you might like to the yolk mash to make it your own.

These quiches are super quick and easy and great as appetizers, or work well with salad for a light lunch.
You can use regular or filo pastry - whatever you have on hand.  If using filo, you'll need to use about 3-4 layers and brush melted butter between each layer. In place of bacon, you can use any of your favourite veges - eg grilled peppers, asparagus, or try spinach and feta instead of parmesan.

Mini Quiches (makes 24 or 12 medium sized)
1 sheet of ready made puff pastry [or a roll of filo pastry]
4 eggs
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 rashers bacon 
1/2 cup cooked spinach (fresh or frozen)
good handful chopped fresh herbs eg basil, thyme, Italian parsley
Salt and pepper

Grease a 24 serve or 2 x 12 muffin trays.

Grill/fry bacon and chop finely.
In a bowl beat eggs and combine with cream, milk, herbs, salt and pepper.
Roll out pastry on a floured board with rolling pin and cut circles with scone cutter/glass to fit inside and most of the  way up a mini muffin tin. [I use an old port glass and then roll out a little more].
Fill each case with 1 tsp of cooked spinach, some cheese, bacon and then fill to 3/4 full with cream/milk mix - do not overfill as they will rise when cooking!  Top with grated Parmesan.
Bake at 350F for approx 15 mins or until pastry is golden.
Let cool in tin and then gently remove.
Nana Betty's Savoury Walnuts                                                                          
1/2 packet walnut halves, lightly toasted
1/2 cup finely grated cheese                                                                                  
2 - 3 Tbspns port (approx)
Place grated cheese in a bowl and slowly add enough port to the grated cheese to make a smooth yet, thick paste.                                                                                                          
Sandwich together two walnut halves with cheese mixture and chill in fridge until firm.
Serve with drinks xx 



Pantry must haves
Mint chocolate
White chocolate
Hot Chocolate powder

  • Pop some plain popcorn
  • cool
  • spread onto a tray, lined with baking paper
  • Melt some chocolate
  • Drizzle chocolate over popcorn (using a teaspoon)- mint then white chocolate
  • Let the chocolate dry
  • Sift chocolate powder over popcorn- Toss a little then 
  • add a little salt if needed...YUMMY
This all started with that great post in the kid's section from one of Sarah's kiddos.  My son the adventurous eater was intrigued by the "horned melon" in the story, and today when he was with me in the grocery store (which rarely happens anymore) he spotted the Kiwano fruit right away. "Can we get one?" Sure, I picked a good looking one (having no idea what a "good one" should feel, smell or look like) and thought it would make a great dessert experiment.  

There was just one problem...how are you supposed to eat it?  Luckily "wikihow" was there to help me out....and hopefully it will get you to try this funky fruit too!  Click the link for some basic instructions...and a video!  http://www.wikihow.com/Eat-a-Kiwano-(Horned-Melon) It was a big success in our house! XO Martha Do-er & Co.