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Entertain with Delectable Hors D’oeuvres

This article was written by Kristel Matousek and was featured in our December issue of Home By Design magazine. Recipe and photographs by Kristel Matousek from www.photoricalfood.com. To visit the original Home By Design article, click here.



Serves 8

  • 8-ounce wheel of Brie

Cranberry Sauce

  • ¼ cup sugar, plus more for whole cranberry garnish
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup cranberries (fresh or previously frozen), plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

Candied Walnuts

  • 1 teaspoon butter or oil
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped

To make the cranberry sauce, combine the sugar, water, and zest in a saucepan. Place the pan over moderate heat and simmer for 5 minutes to dissolve the sugar and reduce. Add the cranberries to the prepared syrup and let simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Add the orange juice, then use an immersion blender to blend the sauce smooth, or to desired consistency. For cranberry garnish, reserve a few cranberries prior to blending, and roll them in granulated sugar to coat.

To make the candied walnuts, melt the butter in a frying pan over low heat, and stir in the water and sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved and begins to bubble, add the nuts to the pan, tossing to coat.

Remove from heat and stir as it cools. Spread the nuts out across the surface of the pan so they don’t clump when cooled. Let cool in the pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the Brie on a parchment-lined pan and into the oven to bake for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve on the parchment or transfer to a serving plate. Top with the cranberry sauce, candied walnuts, and whole cranberries. Serve immediately.


Makes 25

  • 1½ cup (8 ounces) cooked chicken, small dice
  • ½ cup grapes, halved
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ tablespoon diced chives
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 25 peeled cucumber slices, for serving

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the chicken salad. Chill before serving. Serve atop cucumber slices.


Makes 16 ounces

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup sweet peas (fresh or previously frozen)
  • ¼ ounce fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ ounce fresh parsley leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to your tastes
  • Pomegranate seeds, for garnish

In a food processor, combine the ricotta and heavy cream, and process until thick and smooth. Add the peas, mint, parsley, and lemon juice, then pulse until smooth. Taste and season with salt as needed.

Garnish with fresh mint and pomegranate seeds and serve.