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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Blue Cheese-Apricot Bites

We made these yummy appetizers for New Year's Eve, but I think they would be a nice classy addition to your college football bowl watching menu. You can only eat so many nachos . . .

The recipe is very easy, and the final product has just the right mix of salty and sweet flavors. The cream cheese tones down the blue cheese, so it doesn't compete with the candied walnuts and the dried apricot. The walnuts also provide a nice crunch to these bite-sized little guys. Our local Whole Foods ran out of fresh rosemary, so I substituted sage (it was all we had in the fridge). The sage worked, but next time I will try to use rosemary. With only 30 calories per apricot, you can eat a few of these appetizers without blowing any food-related New Year's resolutions.

I was a little disappointed that we could only get brown (unsulfured) dried apricots, but they ended up looking nice with the white cheese mixture, light brown walnuts and sage. Less additives in the brown ones as well.

 

Heating up the walnuts, butter and sugar in the skillet. I was a little skeptical that 2 teaspoons of butter would be enough to coat the walnuts, but it seemed to work well.


Mixing up the blue cheese and low-fat cream cheese. It was spreadable and easy to dollop on the apricots.




Yum - these bites will be gone before you know it.



Blue Cheese-Apricot Bites
From The Ultimate Low-Calorie Book by Better Homes and Gardens

Ingredients

  • 2 t. butter
  • 2 T. finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 t. sugar
  • 1/2 t. finely snipped fresh rosemary or 1/4 t. dried rosemary, finely crushed
  • 1/4 c. crumbled blue cheese (1 ounce)
  • 2 T. cream cheese (I used low-fat)
  • 16 dried apricot halves
  • Snipped fresh rosemary for garnish (optional)
Preparation

Line a baking sheet with foil; set aside. In a small skillet heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add walnuts and sugar; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until walnuts are light brown. Stir in 1/2 t. rosemary. Cook and stir for 30 seconds more. Transfer nuts to the prepared baking sheet; cool.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine blue cheese and cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

Spoon cheese mixture onto apricot halves. Sprinkle with nut mixture. If desired, garnish with additional fresh rosemary. 

Nutrition facts per serving: 30 cal., 2 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 3 mg chol., 31 mg sodium, 3 g carb., 0 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein.

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