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Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category


December 29th, 2010 by Pamela Murski

Cheddar and Herb Gougere

Cheese puffs make the ideal cocktail snack.  These are miniature Cheddar versions of a savory French cream puff traditionally enriched with Gruyere cheese.   Once you form them into mounds, you can refrigerate or freeze them and bake them just before your guests are ready to devour them.

Makes about 72 cheese puffs

¾ cup water

½ tsp salt

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

¾ cup all-purpose flour (spoon and level; 3.25 oz)

4 lg eggs

1 ½ Tbsp finely chopped fresh English thyme

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar or Gruyere cheese (2 oz)

1. Dough. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the water, salt, and butter in a medium (2- to 3-quart) saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Add the flour all at once and beat vigorously with a sturdy wire whisk, still over heat. It will form a very firm mass of dough that should pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat. Crack and egg into a small cup. Pour the egg into the saucepan and immediately beat it into the dough using the whisk or a hand held electric mixer. Repeat with the remaining 3 eggs, incorporating each one thoroughly before adding another. The mixture will be satiny and sticky and have a consistency between soft dough and thick batter. Stir in the thyme and ½ cup of the cheese.

2. Forming and baking. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using 2 flatware teaspoons, drop balls of dough (each measuring 1 tsp in volume) in rows on the paper, allowing 1 inch of space between them for spreading. Or use a pastry bag with a lare plain tip and pipe the dough out in ½-inch mounds. Place a pinch of the remaining cheese on top of each gougere. (At this point you can cover the pans tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours.) Bake the gougeres until puffed and golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Serve while still warm.

Note: Once the dough is formed, you can put the baking sheets in the freezer until the little mounds are solid, then transfer them to resealable freezer bags. When you want to bake a batch, transfer them to a paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes.

Herb substitutions: In place of the thyme, use an equal amount of finely chopped fresh summer savory, 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh marjoram or oregano, or 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill or chives.

Cheese Ball Recipe with Local Windy Winery Wine

November 10th, 2010 by Pamela Murski

Whip up this  delicious easy cheese ball using Chardonnay from Windy Winery, a local winery located just a short drive from the B&B!  This is a recipe from the vintners!  We use their wines in many of our classes and foodie events.  Their winery is a “must stop” place when staying at the ranch with us.   This lovely cheese ball would be great for the holidays, parties, for gift giving or just for a late afternoon relaxing with a glass of Windy Hill wine on the porch!   Let me know how you like it and how you use it!

Gorgonzola / Chardonnay Wine Cheese Ball

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons Windy Winery Chardonnay wine
2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese, Gorgonzola cheese, sharp Cheddar cheese and Chardonnay. Form the mixture into a ball shape.  On a piece of wax paper, spread the paprika and pecans. Roll the  cheese ball in paprika and pecans to coat.  Wrap coated cheese ball in wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator 6 hours, or overnight, before serving.

Salt Cod-Potato Fritter Recipe Brenham TX B&B

May 20th, 2010 by Pamela Murski

 This incredible appetizer from Spain is called Bunuelos De Bacalao (Salt Cod-Potato Fritters with Garlic Aoli).  They are an exceptional appetizer eaten out  of hand while enjoying a glass of delicious Sangria!  The dish will be added to one of our Foodie Weekends just in case you don’t try them at home….

Scrumptious Fritters and Garlic Aoli

Bunuelos De Bacalao (Salt Cod Fritters) 

1/2 pound skinned and boned dried salt cod
1 pound medium potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 egg yolks
Solid vegetable oil, for frying

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Cuban Food: Cooking with the Culinary Queens

March 11th, 2010 by Pamela Murski

Another incredible cooking time and meal with the Culinary Queens, my Herb Society, culinary group!  This time it was a Cuban meal with everything from “Chichachirritas” to delicious “Café Cubano Con  Leche”.  The Chichachirritas will find their way onto the menu for Friday night appetizers for one of our famous Foodie Weekends at the B&B!  The Chichachirritas were crispy with a delicate flavor heightened by the pungent green sauce…this is  one  of those appetizers that you want more and more of!  Served with Mojitos, you’re sure to have a great time!  Here’s the recipe….

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Moroccan Cooking with the Culinary Queens

January 26th, 2010 by Pamela Murski

Moroccan food is  redolent with aromatic spices and seasonings such as garlic, tumeric, saffron, anise, chilis, cardamom, cumin, lemons and more.  The food is delicious, fun to make and better when  shared around the table with friends.  The is another example of what guests might encounter during one  of our cooking  classes.  The Tagine, though a staple cooking vessel in  Moroccan homes, is not an absolute necessity to have.  You can subsitute a good quality covered clay pot or heavy cast iron covered pot.  We made the following items for our luncheon menu  (The Shish Kabob recipe is included as it is fabulous!)…..

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