Bravo! Best of Bridge

By The Best of Bridge

Asparagus Bacon Swirls

RATING: 4.5 out of 5

THE TEST: This is another great make-ahead appetizer, and in fact I went so far as to make the filling and roll-up the mixture in the pastry the night before my party. Wrapped in plastic wrap and kept in the refrigerator overnight didn’t dry the roll out as I feared, and it saved so much time having everything done a day early. I guess you could be adventurous and make your own puff pastry from scratch, but I wasn’t feeling so inclined and opted instead to take advantage of my good friend Pillsbury.

THE RESULTS: Delicious. Addictive. These were the first appetizers to disappear at my neighbourhood party. They look impressive too, and will make everyone think you are a culinary genius! (As a side note, I used extra pastry dough to make an additional roll. I slathered pesto and grated parmesan cheese overtop before folding and slicing the swirl. Makes a nice vegetarian option).

Chocolate Mint Cookies

RATING: 4 out of 5

THE TEST: Okay I would just like to take a moment to pay homage to the flavoured chocolate chip. Seriously, the day they decided to unleash flavoured chips to the world was a good day. And if your baking world has been limited to plain ol’ semi-sweet, let your eyes be opened and your creativity unleashed by such glorious inventions as Mint Chocolate, Butterscotch, Raspberry, Toffee Bits, Cinnamon, REESE’S Peanut Butter…all in the form of a chip!

THE RESULTS: Upon first bite I knew that I wanted these to become part of my army of Christmas cookies. There is no shortage of mint flavour considering the use of mint flavoured chocolate chips as well as peppermint extract, but if you are a lover of the combination of mint and chocolate then this is the cookie for you.

I think I made my cookies a tad too large, and would consider making them smaller in size the next time. Somehow there seems to be less guilt with eating half a dozen smaller cookies than one gigantic cookie. And when it comes to cookies I am all about lessening the guilt!

Click here for the recipe for Chocolate Mint Cookies

Vietnamese Chicken Bites

RATING: 3.5 out of 5

THE TEST: I made this appetizer as part of the spread for our recent neighbourhood Christmas party, and found the recipe to be great in the sense that you can prepare the meatballs ahead of time and refrigerate for up to four hours before baking. Definitely cut down on the usual stress I feel right before a party begins and I’m rushing around throwing together last minute dishes. I also really loved how you bake this dish in the oven, therefore eliminating the mess (and smell) of frying meatballs on your stovetop just before guests arrive.

THE RESULTS: I liked the Asian flavours of this recipe, a nice change from the usual Swedish meatballs found on party tables. Unfortunately I overcooked the meatballs slightly, resulting in them being a tad too dry. When my sister-in-law initially made this dish she served it with her homemade chilli sauce which was absolutely delicious! Next time I would definitely want to make something similar in place of the ho-hum chilli sauce out of a bottle.