Brie cheese smothered with fresh figs cooked with brown sugar, vanilla, and almonds, then baked until almost melted. Serve warm with water crackers as a wonderful holiday appetizer or special treat during fig season. Canned figs in syrup may be substituted for fresh by reducing the brown sugar to 1/4 cup and replacing the water with syrup.
Serve your Caprese salad on toothpicks for a fun, easy appetizer. It takes just a few minutes to thread mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves onto the picks and drizzle with olive oil.
Tomatoes and basil, fresh from the garden, are tossed with olives, bell peppers, rotini pasta, then dressed with a creamy, piquant blend of mayonnaise, red wine vinegar and garlic. Let the salad chill overnight to bring out the snappy flavors.