Cruise Kitchen: EASY Appetizers - Goat Cheese Bites and Bonus Recipe

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We are finally back with another episode of the CruiseTipsTV Test kitchen! This is Part two of THREE cooking videos coming.

In this video, we're whipping up two EASY Appetizers!

Dessert is NEXT!

Today we've got some super delicious, and EASY appetizer type recipes for you. We'll start off with crazy good Cranberry goat cheese bites. These look like Christmas to me, but they are tasty any time of the year. You won't believe how easy these are. And keeping with the easy cooking recipe theme, our bonus recipe is Lemon Ricotta Crostini. We all love these! We hope you do too. Let us know what you think about these shorter cooking episodes.

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If you like this cooking cruise cooking theme, you should check out our episode where we cook up the famous Ringer Burger from Carnival Cruise Line's "Guy's Burgers". That episode was a tons of fun, and lots of people showed up to hang out in the chat and drool over the delicious ingredients in this burger (wait til you see us mix up Donkey Sauce).

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Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Bites
6 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons honey
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Combine the goat cheese, honey, and pepper until well combined.
In another bowl, mix together the chopped pecans, dried cranberries, and chopped parsley.
Using a small cookie scoop or teaspoon, roll two teaspoons of goat cheese into a ball.
Press goat cheese into the nut mixture, coating both sides of the goat cheese as it flattens.
Reroll the goat cheese into a ball and if needed roll in mixture again to coat more.
Place on serving plate and, drizzle with a balsamic reduction.

Can be served alone, or with crostini, crackers or veggies!

Lemon Ricotta Crostini

½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
8 ounces Ricotta cheese
2 ounces grated parmesan or toscana cheese
1 T lemon zest
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup arugula
1 loaf crusty bread (baguette, french, etc)

For the crostini:
Drizzle 1 loaf french or sourdough baguette, sliced to ¼ to ½ inch thickness with olive oil.
Bake or broil for a few minutes at high heat to toast both sides of the bread.
Set aside to cool.

While the bread is cooling prep the tomato topping, cheese mixture and other ingredients.

For the tomato topping:

½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
Chop the tomatoes, and mix with the vinegar and oil. Season lightly with salt and allow to sit at room temperature while you prep the other ingredients.

For the Ricotta topping:
8 ounces Ricotta cheese
2 ounces grated parmesan or toscana cheese
1 T lemon zest
Mix all ingredients, and allow to sit at room temperature during the prep process.

For the balsamic reduction:
Reduce ½ cup balsamic vinegar until it’s sweet, and thick enough to drizzle.
1 t honey can be added, but it’s optional
This step can be done in advance to save time!

Assemble the crostini:
Spread 1-2T cheese mixture evenly over one slice of crostini.
Top with a few arugula leaves.
Atop the arugula, add a few teaspoons of the tomato mixture.
Finish with drizzled balsamic reduction!
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