Hye Thyme Cafe: Antipasto Sticks

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Antipasto Sticks

Talk about easy! We had a Pampered Chef party today, and rather than the average chips and dips, crudites, etc., we wanted to set up a few new apps for the occasion. The hostess was preparing a pasta dish to showcase one of her items, so this came to mind as an obvious accompaniment. Besides, I've had this Nabisco/Kraft recipe stuck in my head since Feb 2009, and needed to free up some space in there for some new stuff! ;) This is a little different than theirs, but it was more of a visual than a recipe. I needed a picture as a reminder. You can use whatever you want really - maybe some roasted red pepper, a mushroom (ewww), etc.

I was very surprised to see that once everyone started eating, this was the first thing to go. Just goes to show - not everything needs to be complicated to be good! 

pint grape tomatoes
1 can quartered artichoke hearts
container of bocconchini or cubes of your favorite cheese
pepperoni or salami (I used thick-sliced pepperoni)
your favorite olives (I used green today - some spicy garlic and some plain)
Italian dressing (I used a packet of Good Seasons Zesty Italian prepared with an aged Balsamic Vinegar)
Long cocktail toothpicks or fresh rosemary spears with most leaves removed

Because we were making a bunch of different things and throwing the party as a brunch, we wanted to get as much as possible done yesterday so we wouldn't have to get up too early. We live like vampires in this house - we're definitely night people! The original recipe calls for marinating the cheese and artichokes for a half hour, but I wanted to set everything up last night and didn't want the cheese to break down - also, it's a lot less messy to spear things that aren't lubed up with dressing!  

I speared all of my goodies last night and stored them upright (loosely covered) so nothing would get smushed ...

Then this morning, I threw together my dressing, poured it into a plastic cup that was about the same height as the toothpicks, dunked each spear, let the excess drip off and plated ... 

See how there's not a big pool of dressing on the plate? You want them seasoned, but not drowned - especially if you're using a soft cheese. You don't want people picking up the sticks and having the cheese fall off cuz it got too soggy.


  1. Another great app! Wish you lived closer so you could host a Willow House party! Maybe someday you'll have a virtual party with me! :-)

  2. Thanks Michele! I know, I wish I lived near some of you guys so we could get together and play in the kitchen!! As for Willow House, believe me, Pampered Chef wasn't my idea - I'm not assertive enough when it comes to this stuff to wrangle customers, but I suppose it's not outside the realm of possibility! ;)


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