Tis the season to be asked to “bring a finger food.”  I have a love-hate relationship with these types of parties. I love the concept of sharing in the preparation. I love to cook.  I hate that I stress over it. 

BeachBoy’s favorite carry-to-a-party item is bacon chicken wraps, but I’m not a fan of taking the same thing to every party.  I’ve tried to explain it to him, but he insisted they’re too good not to take. 

Long story short, I actually found myself buying a magazine called, of all things, “Southern Lady.”  Yes, you heard me right.  I was standing in line at THE grocery store of the south (Publix), when I noticed a magazine featuring appetizers.   As I flipped through and saw a few that looked good, I caved and paid the ridiculous price charged by the grocery store. 

This weekend, we have to parties requiring a finger food, so tonight I’m getting everything ready. 

The first recipe I tried was good, cheap, and couldn’t be faster, so I thought I’d pass it along. 

Cranberry Cheese Log with Rosemary and Toasted Walnuts

  • 1 pack softened cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack
  •  2 cups chopped dried cranberries (This came out to be just shy of a 6 oz pack. You could make it even easier and just round up.)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (My bush recently died, so I used dried.  Sorry, I didn’t measure.  I just eyeballed it as usual.)
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Mix all bu the nuts.  Chill the mixture.  Form a log and roll in the nuts.


This made me wonder:  What if I used fresh cranberries and candied walnuts?  Hmmm….



    This year, Beachboy and I are giving up on the idea of having everyone over for Thanksgiving.  His 3 brothers are in the habit of being with their in-laws for the holiday, so we just aren’t going to push the envelope. Instead, we’re planning an evening picnic at their favorite park for the day AFTER Thanksgiving.  Since everyone will be traveling, I’ll be stuck making all of the food again this year.  That said, we too will be traveling almost an hour to reach the park.

    The challenge? Planning a menu with a Fall flair without screaming of Turkey and stuffing or causing travel challenges. 

    Here are some recipes of interest I have found so far.  Do you have any ideas to add to the list?

     Pumpkin Cheese Ball Recipe

    Pumpkin Cheese Ball



    Katie posted this yummy chicken, and Beachboy and I are both smitten with it.  I’m considering traveling with the bag of marinade & meat and throwing on the grill when we get to the park.




    I wonder if CLSTAR’s pretty potatoes could be made on the grill instead of in the oven.

    The other option is Pioneer Woman’s Crash Potato– an instant hit with Beachboy and a recipe which could be converted to the grill.


    Martha’s Corn, Bacon, and Scallions looked like a warm but light side dish option.


    Or, we could do a grilled version of her Zucchini with thyme, grilling them on skewers instead of roasting them.


    What’s for dessert?  Well, you’ll have to come back for a special recipe which I’ll be posting soon.  Beachboy took me to an orchard this weekend for fresh apples, and I have an apple cake recipe which I can’t wait to try out!