Jenn Velasquez
 
December 23, 2016 | Jenn Velasquez

Snacks and Starters for this weeks Festivities!

I don't know about you but we are currently scouring the internet and making lists for some exciting new dishes to serve up for our annual New Year's gathering. Having a few new stars among our staple holiday favorites is a crucial, albeit often frustrating part of the ritual. How can we be sure these new dishes will go with the wine? Luckily, we were thrilled to see our friend Lori over at Fake Food Free has tested some pairings for us! Check out her site for the full recipies, but here is a bite-sized bit for you.

Date and Bacon Tarts with Mascarpone and Hazelnuts
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Savory Fig, Rosemary and Parmesan Cornmeal Cookies

"With notes of black cherry, mocha, and vanilla as well as a little sweet oak, (the Leaky Lake Cabernet Sauvignon) is perfect for a savory snack, and tannins that aren’t too overpowering allow it to pair with a savory appetizer that has just a touch of sweetness.

So I turned to my new two favorite seasonal ingredients to help me come up with something – dates and figs.

I’m kind of crazy about these tarts. The crust bakes up light and flakey and the filling is sweet with just a hint of salty, smoky bacon flavor. Mascarpone makes the best topper because while it has the consistency of a cream cheese, it lacks the tanginess, making it a better match with the other ingredients. The hazelnuts add a pleasant crunch. 

Next up are the savory cookies. Every time I make some, I wonder why I don’t do so more often. The consistency of a good cookie, but the satisfying flavor of a salty snack. And I’m not even a salty snacks person. That’s probably why I add a little bit of dried fig so you get just a touch of sweetness in each cookie."

 

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