Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Creamy Blue Cheese

Mixing it up with some hors d’oeuvres-y things today!

A tray of Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Creamy Blue Cheese ready to be devoured!

Because, I mean, what are the holidays without some delicious appetizers to snack on throughout the day? These Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Creamy Blue Cheese are certainly topping my list of delicious bites to get me through the day RN, especially as an extra-hungry breastfeeding mom. It doesn’t hurt that I am also completely reveling in the fact that I can enjoy charcuterie and moldy, stinky cheeses again!


Yes, these Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears do involve some pungent, creamy blue cheese (my favorite) but I do understand that not everyone is as freaky about stinky cheese as I am. That being said, you could easily sub in something a bit mellower like brie or even your favorite hard cheese. Just do me a solid and try the prosciutto-pear-cheese combo roasted up in the oven ASAP…You won’t be sorry!

I have always been a fan of fruit and cheese. After all, we’re all about balance here on this site and mixing in some fresh fruit with sometimes slightly more indulgent (although still arguably with some health benefits) cheese is a great way to cut back on the crackers and breads and get in some extra fiber and nutrients at the same time. A win-win in my book!

A platter of Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Creamy Blue Cheese is the perfect appetizer for entertaining.

In fact, you can rarely find my entire family getting together for any sort of occasion without some sort of cheese and charcuterie selection making an appearance, so you can bet these Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Creamy Blue Cheese will be one of our hors d’oeuvres selections for Thanksgiving, Christmas and more!

They’re sweet, salty and creamy all in one (or maybe two) bites and will absolutely just melt in your mouth. Plus, they’re pretty darn easy to assemble, so almost anyone should be able to assist in putting them together. I made a batch for my mother-in-law’s birthday at the beginning of October and they disappeared quicker than you can say “prosciutto.”

So let’s talk about the recipe for a minute. I decided to bake said Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Creamy Blue Cheese to give the pears a nice roast-y flavor and the prosciutto a little crispy crunch, but I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t end up being a little messy. That being said, if you love warm, oozy, roasted hors d’oeuvres, definitely give these babies their time to shine in the oven. But, if you’d rather keep things neat and simple (and also leave room for more important things, like a roasted bird or green bean casserole, in the oven) than it’s perfectly acceptable to serve these uncooked as well.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Creamy Blue Cheese can also be served completely raw for an even easier hors d'oeuvres recipe.

Tell me, besides making these Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Creamy Blue Cheese, what are your plans for Thanksgiving? Are you traveling to visit family and friends or staying put and entertaining on your own at home?

We’re gathering up the babe and headed up to NorCal on our first road trip with her. So far our game plan is to just take things slow and stop when needed (it’s normally about a four-hour drive) but I’d love to hear any suggestions you have for taking a newborn on a long car ride.

Delicious roasted Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Creamy Blue Cheese ready to be enjoyed as a holiday appetizer.

I hope you have a wonderful week filled with lots of delicious food!

A tray of Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Creamy Blue Cheese ready to be devoured!
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Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Creamy Blue Cheese
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

The flavors of sweet, salty and creamy all come together in this quick and easy appetizer that is perfect for entertaining. 

Course: Appetizer
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 5 ounces prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • 7 ounces creamy blue cheese (or your favorite cheese to pair with pears)
  • 4 pears, cut into 6 wedges each
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.

  2. Take one strip of prosciutto and spread on a small amount of creamy blue cheese. Wrap around a slice of pear and place on baking sheet.

  3. Repeat this process with the rest of the pear wedges.

  4. Roast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the prosciutto looks slightly crispy and the pears slightly roasted.

  5. Let cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

You can also just assemble the pears and skip the roasting part for an even easier method!

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears with Creamy Blue Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

Homemade Rosemary and Olive Oil Crackers

Today I have for you your new go-to recipe for all your entertaining needs!

These Homemade Rosemary and Olive Oil Crackers are the perfect accompaniment to your next cheese and charcuterie board!

Once you try these Homemade Rosemary and Olive Oil Crackers, you’re never going to want to go back to store-bought crackers again. Seriously though, who knew something like homemade crackers could be so easy?


We’re talking seven ingredients, very little prep and bake time, and at least a day’s worth of delicious cheese accompaniments. Your holiday appetizer spread? Never been better.

I’m not sure what possessed me to try making my own crackers, it’s just one of those realms I felt I should venture into at one point or another in my cooking journey. That’s part of what this blog is all about, after all – getting people (myself included) to step out of their comfort zone and learn how to make delicious food that would otherwise seem intimidating or out of reach. I can guarantee that when you tell your holiday houseguests that the crackers gracing your cheese and charcuterie platter are homemade, they’ll be completely wowed and think you’re the most inventive cook on the planet. Promise.

A bowl of Homemade Rosemary and Olive Oil Crackers.

I’m all about the recipes that seem fancy and complicated but really aren’t, and these Homemade Rosemary and Olive Oil Crackers most certainly fit into that category. From start to finish, they take under an hour to make, making them totally attainable on any day of the week, no matter your schedule.

There are really no special ingredients in these bad boys, just the usual culprits: flour, salt, buttermilk and, of course, olive oil and rosemary. Oh, and a little maple syrup for a touch of sweetness! All of the ingredients get incorporated into a (somewhat dry) dough, rolled out as thin as possible and cut into the desired shape before baking. After a quick 20-25 minute turn in the oven, you’ll have a tray full of delicious Homemade Rosemary Olive Oil Crackers ready to serve to your hungry troops.

Homemade Rosemary and Olive Oil Crackers ready for a quick turn in the oven.

This recipe makes enough for two very hungry or four mildly hungry guests, but if you’re entertaining a crowd, I suggest doubling up because these puppies are going to disappear FAST. The only caution I would give you is that they are best served the day they are baked, so only cook up as much as you think you’ll need. Since they’re so easy to make, you’ll be able to whip them up anytime the desire strikes!

Homemade Rosemary and Olive Oil Crackers adorn a delicious cheese and fruit platter.

I hope this weekend has been treating you well. It’s been an eventful one over here at CGC headquarters, with one of my good friends giving birth to a beautiful baby girl, our fur baby getting spayed (:() and me cooking up a storm to get a bit ahead of the game for when baby girl comes in just a few short weeks.

We have our second baby shower here in Santa Barbara this weekend and are looking forward to seeing a bunch of our family and friends and of course eating a ton of delicious food. I may even see some Homemade Rosemary and Olive Oil Crackers in my very near future…

These Homemade Rosemary and Olive Oil Crackers are the perfect accompaniment to your next cheese and charcuterie board!
Print
Homemade Rosemary and Olive Oil Crackers
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

These homemade crackers are studded with rosemary and olive oil and so easy to make - the perfect addition to your next cheese platter!

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl, then stir in the remaining ingredients to form a somewhat crumbly dough. 

  3. Using your hands, mold the dough into a thick square or rectangle. 

  4. Sandwiching the dough between two pieces of parchment, use a rolling pin to roll it out as thin as possible, keeping it in as much of a rectangle or square as possible. 

  5. Once you have your dough as thin as you can get it, remove the top piece of parchment paper and cut the dough into the desired shapes. (I cut mine into small rectangles.)

  6. Place cut cracker dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges of the crackers take on a golden brown color. Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving. Best if served the day they are baked. 

Homemade Rosemary and Olive Oil Crackers | CaliGirlCooking.com

Creamy Mushroom Pâté

Who’s ready for a little decadence?

This Creamy Mushroom Pate is the perfect, easy, vegetarian appetizer for entertaining!

Meeeee!!


We all know that the very beginning of the week is THE worst, so I always try to do a little something special/out of the ordinary to make it seem just a little less, well, depressing. This Creamy Mushroom Pâté is my answer to that this week, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

First off, tell me, have you ever had pâté? If not, you’ve really been missing out. It’s typically made from chicken liver (don’t gag just yet, trust me, I hate “liver” but I love pâté) but it can also be made from any number of things such as beef, pork, ham, seafood and VEGETABLES! Yes, vegetables. You’ll most often find it served alongside a cheese platter and/or plate of charcuterie, and you know these are some of my favorite things, so it’s no surprise that I’ve decided to make my own, healthier version of pâté to share with all of you!

This Creamy Mushroom Pate tastes rich and decadent while it's actually pretty darn healthy. Plus, it's so easy to make!

But before we get to this mouthwateringly delicious Creamy Mushroom Pâté tell me, how was your weekend? We had a nice visit with my mom, and I think we’re slowly starting to get organized and figure out how we’re going to fit another little human into our house in just a couple of months. We have our Infant CPR class tonight and my NorCal Baby Shower this weekend, so things are definitely starting to feel real around these parts! Our weekend up north will be my last trip before my due date, and my goal for when I come home is to get to prepping my blog content for right after Baby D. is born and stock my freezer with lots of yummy food we can heat up at a moment’s notice! (Got any delicious freezer-friendly recipes I should try?)

Speaking of freezer-friendly recipes, now that I think about it, this Creamy Mushroom Pâté might just be one of them! It’s full of savory flavor and incredibly tasty, with very few ingredients and taking under 20 minutes to make. It’s also fairly healthy, as long as you don’t count the butter 😉

A fresh baguette is the perfect accompaniment to this Creamy Mushroom Pate.

(Confession: I originally set out to make this a VEGAN Creamy Mushroom Pâté, but after tasting the mixture sans butter, I decided that’s what it really needed to tie everything together. If you are vegan and have any suggestions of what I could have substituted the butter with, please let me know!)

So here’s what you need to do to have a bowl of Creamy Mushroom Pâté in front of you in no time: You’ll first need to sauté the mushrooms in olive oil with some shallots, garlic, fresh thyme and marsala. Then, once those ingredients are nice and cooked, you’ll transfer them to a food processor to get that creaminess going. Finally, you’ll throw in the butter (while the mixture is still warm) to really seal the deal.

Now that doesn’t sound too difficult, does it?

My best suggestion for serving is to serve as you would any other pâté – with a fresh baguette, some crackers, and perhaps a nice chunk of cheese or two. Oh, and wine! Please don’t forget the wine – and have a glass for me?

This vegetarian Creamy Mushroom Pate is the perfect healthy appetizer for any get-together with friends. Plus, it's healthy!

A fresh baguette is the perfect accompaniment to this Creamy Mushroom Pate.
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Creamy Mushroom Pate
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

A classic French cheese and charcuterie accompaniment gets a healthy, vegetarian makeover when made with fresh mushrooms and thyme.

Course: Appetizer
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 whole shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup dry marsala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Warm olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms, shallots and garlic and stir to combine, cooking until mushrooms begin to sweat.

  2. Add fresh thyme and marsala and stir to combine. Let cook until mushrooms are nice and sautéed, about 5-7 minutes. Add salt and pepper and stir again to combine.

  3. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a rough purée forms. Cut butter into three separate tablespoons and add to the food processor. Pulse until a creamy (not chunky) purée forms, season with more salt and pepper, if needed.

  4. Transfer to a bowl and serve with baguette, crackers and cheese.

Creamy Mushroom Pate | CaliGirlCooking.com

Bruschetta Bar

Who’s ready for a party??

A Bruschetta Bar is perfect for entertaining guests, with tons of options for toppings like Classic Tomato Bruschetta with Mozzarella, Mushroom Bruschetta and Roasted Eggplant White Bean Spread!

Because today I’m bringing you a fun, inventive way to serve up some light snacks to your next party guests – a homemade Bruschetta Bar!


In all honesty, today’s post should only be considered the tip of the iceberg, because the possibilities are endless. I’ll get you started with some of what I consider the “must-have” basics for any Bruschetta Bar, and then leave it up to you to get creative from there and come up with some of your own toppings. You could even add these Butternut Squash Crostini with Crispy Prosciutto and Sage or these Goat Cheese, Apricot and Pistachio Crostini with Honey to the spread if you really want to wow everyone. There are endless possibilities!

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I came up to the Bay Area last week for a friend’s baby shower. She’s due just a few weeks before me (another girl!) and I am so excited to be going on this journey with her. It has been great to have someone to talk to and compare stories with as we both experience pregnancy for the first time. It is a pretty big life change, after all!

So when my friend asked if I’d be willing to help with some food for her shower, of course I jumped at the chance. She’s been having a little rougher time with morning sickness than I have, so I was sure to ask her what types of food were sounding best to her before planning the menu. I would hate to show up to her shower with a bunch of food that made her feel sick!

A Bruschetta Bar would not be complete without both a sweet and savory option: Classic Tomato Bruschetta with Mozzarella and Honeyed Ricotta Goat Cheese Spread with Fresh Nectarines!

After a little discussion back and forth, we decided on a Bruschetta Bar. We thought it would be the perfect “light snack” to have available for a mid-afternoon shower, would hold up well in the heat (this was an outdoor shower in the month of August, after all) and actually sounded appetizing to her.

So how do we create a Bruschetta Bar?? Well, my friends, it is incredibly easy (like, you’re going to smack yourself in the forehead after reading this if you have never thought of serving a Bruschetta Bar at a get-together before.) You simply put out a bunch of different topping options (or, better yet, have your friends each bring a topping, potluck style), toast up a big batch of crostini and set it all out for your guests to go to town. That’s it, no last-minute frantic rush in the kitchen or need to dish out plates for your guests. My favorite kind of entertaining!

A Bruschetta Bar is an easy entertaining idea that will keep all guests happy, especially with a Classic Tomato Bruschetta with Mozzarella and Roasted Eggplant White Bean Spread!

As you can see by now (and as I mentioned before), there is really a myriad of directions you could go for your Bruschetta Bar. Here are the basics I settled on for my friend’s shower:

Classic Tomato Bruschetta with Mozzarella
Mushroom Bruschetta
Roasted Eggplant White Bean Spread
Honeyed Ricotta Goat Cheese Spread with Fresh Nectarines

Each topping is incredibly easy to make, with minimal ingredients and not a lot of cooking required. At first glance it may seem intimidating, but I promise you it’s a breeze to throw together. You can also prep a lot of the toppings ahead of time, which means less pressure on you to be in the kitchen and more time to sit and enjoy the company of your guests.

A Roasted Eggplant and White Bean Spread stars in this super-easy Bruschetta Bar.

Read on for the topping recipes, toast up some crostini and be sure to tell me about some of your other favorite variations in the comments below!

Classic Tomato Bruschetta with Mozzarella | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Classic Tomato Bruschetta with Mozzarella
Prep Time
10 mins
 

Fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil come together to form the perfect topping for golden crostini when paired with creamy mozzarella.

Course: Appetizer
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into slices the size of your crostini
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. For best results, refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Serve in a bowl with a platter of mozzarella alongside.

 

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Mushroom Bruschetta
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Finely chopped mushrooms sauteed in olive oil with a touch of fresh tarragon make the perfect addition to a fun Bruschetta Bar.

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add oil to a saute pan over medium heat. Once oil is warm, add mushrooms, stirring over medium heat until they begin to sweat. Add tarragon and garlic and continue stirring until mushrooms are cooked through. Squeeze in lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Roasted Eggplant White Bean Spread | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Roasted Eggplant White Bean Spread
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Roasted eggplant and white beans come together to form a smooth, silky spread that is perfect to spread on toasted crostini.

Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 5 cloves peeled garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium mixing bowl, toss together the eggplant, garlic, olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread mixture out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

  2. Add roasted eggplant and garlic, cannellini beans, olive oil and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor and process until a smooth puree forms. Add salt and pepper to taste, pureeing between each addition to incorporate. 

  3. For best results, refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

 

Honeyed Ricotta Goat Cheese Spread with Fresh Nectarines | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Honeyed Ricotta Goat Cheese Spread with Fresh Nectarines
Prep Time
10 mins
 

This sweet, tangy and creamy spread is delicious when paired with fresh nectarines and used to top crunchy crostini.

Course: Appetizer
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 fresh nectarines, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Stir together ricotta, goat cheese, cream cheese and honey in a medium mixing bowl. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Serve in a bowl alongside a platter of the freshly sliced nectarines.

Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto

The most refreshing salad EVER!

A big bowl of refreshing Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto. The perfect summer salad!

Seriously, if you’re in need of some hydration in your life (and I know at least all us Californians do after this heat wave we’ve been having) then this Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto is going to be your saving grace right now.


Let me tell you, we are soooo lucky that our landlord was kind enough to install A/C for us about a year ago because, judging by all my CA friends’ social media posts, every store that sells fans is completely sold out and people are sweltering in the near 100-degree heat. This does not sound like one ounce of fun to me (especially being pregnant,) so this is my open invitation to all of my overheating friends to come over and enjoy some Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto in our comfortably 75-degree little duplex!

But seriously, even if you’re not close enough to come over, you’ve GOT to get some of this salad in your life stat. Don’t get me wrong, I love a delicious classic caprese salad with that creamy mozzarella and alllll the fresh tomatoes and basil, but sometimes I just want to mix it up and swapping in the watermelon for the tomatoes is just the perfect little change (but not too much of a change) to really wow people the first time you serve it up.

A close-up shot of delicious Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto. The perfect no-cook salad for summer!

And the prosciutto…Oh, the prosciutto! Okay, it’s no secret that I love the stuff, and it has that perfect saltiness (and extra protein) to really give this dish the ultimate flavor trifecta AND pass as a complete meal. I gave the prosciutto a quick spin in a saute pan to heat it up and therefore make it “pregnancy-safe,” but if you’re not expecting you can just throw it in as-is, straight from the package. Or, if you’re a vegetarian, simply omit the prosciutto and you’ll still be more than pleased with the taste. Pinky promise.

So how long will it be until you can get this Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto whipped up and ready to serve on your kitchen table? Approximately 10 minutes. No joke. There’s no cooking involved, so the most time-consuming thing about this recipe might just be chopping up the watermelon into bite-size chunks.

A single serving of Watermelon Caprese Salad with Crispy Prosciutto from CaliGirlCooking.com.

And, if you haven’t refrigerated your uncut watermelon ahead of time, you may want to give the salad a little bit of time to chill out before serving. It’s totally worth it for how much more refreshing it will make it!

I don’t know about you, but all this talking about my new favorite “salad” is making me want to whip up another batch this weekend. We’re hanging out in town again, and planning on fully enjoying the summer weather with some beach time and maybe a barbecue or two.

What are your plans for the first “official” weekend of summer?!? Making some Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto, I hope?

A bowl of this refreshing Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto is the perfect light meal for summer!

A big bowl of refreshing Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto. The perfect summer salad!
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Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

This fun take on the classic caprese salad is full of refreshing watermelon and bites of salty prosciutto. The perfect dish for warm weather entertaining!

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Snack
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 mini seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 12 ounces ciliegine (mini mozzarella balls)
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 5 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Drizzle of balsamic glaze
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except the balsamic glaze to a large bowl and toss to combine. 

  2. If watermelon was not pre-chilled before cutting, place salad in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 

  3. Before serving, drizzle on balsamic glaze and garnish with whole basil leaves, if desired.

Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto | CaliGirlCooking.com