Northwest Bruschetta

Have you ever felt the exhilarating feeling of knowing you are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing?  That everything you have worked for and towards is metamorphosizing (is that even a word) right before your eyes...and everyone surrounding you is helping you get there?

I feel like that now.  Its been such a long time coming and while there is still an enormous stretch of road before me, all those distant dreams are slowly but surely falling into line.

I have so many good people around me, old and new nurturing relationships carrying me through the ups and downs of reaching my goals.  I always have a cheering section if I need one and there are those to set me straight when I get off the beaten path.  All of these things and particularly those people inspire me and keep me strong and focused.

And then there are all of you, visiting here everyday, taking this journey with me as I chronicle our family's path towards our vineyard.  You are all just as inspiring and fostering in the friendships we have created here together.  It has been a pleasure to share it with all of you.  I thank you for letting me tell my story.

I spent some time yesterday with other winery families from our
McMinnville AVA.  We have some great things planned for the future as we press forward towards the Fall grape harvest and beyond.  There are such a great mix of successful individuals here...all talented...all inspiring...and now all friends.  I am blessed...truly blessed.  Somedays I'm not even sure how I landed so easily on two feet in this new place.  There has to be some luck involved.

It inspired me to make these amazing little appetizers known simply as Northwest Bruschetta.  The Northwest is bountiful in so many foods like apples, cherries, hazelnuts, amazing blue cheese from the Rogue Creamery and sweet onions from Walla Walla.  All of those are in this little bite of heaven.

You don't even have to live in the Northwest to enjoy these.  They are the perfect end of summer appetizer and will carry into the Fall season amazingly well. 

Let's make them together...


In a frying pan over medium heat, sauté 1/3 cup chopped onion with 1 Tablespoon olive oil until golden.  Add 1 cup chopped apple and 1 teaspoon maple syrup; about five minutes.  Let cool sightly.

Brush bread with remaining olive oil and broil or toast until golden, about 5 minutes.

Stir in 1/4 cup chopped dried tart cherries, 1-1/2 teaspoons horseradish and 2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese; spoon over toasts.  Top with hazelnuts.

Serve these at your next get-together, they will be a hit.

There is a real flavor punch here.

Enjoy these!

Northwest Bruschetta

1 sourdough baguette, sliced 1/4" thick
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/3 cup chopped onion, sweet or brown
1 cup peeled and chopped Granny Smith apple
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped dried tart cherries
1-1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts

In a frying pan over medium heat, sauté onion with 1 Tablespoon olive oil until golden.  Add apple and maple syrup; about five minutes.  Let cool sightly.

Brush bread with remaining olive oil and broil or toast until golden, about 5 minutes.

Stir in cherries, horseradish and blue cheese; spoon over toasts.  Top with hazelnuts.

One Year Ago:  Have You Ever...

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  1. Those look delicious.
    You are truly blessed.
    I will be attending school soon and hope to have the same feeling of accomplishment you are experiencing.

  2. These are fabulous appetizers! I really love the combination of cherries, apples, and blue cheese here, delicious!

  3. An unusual combo I’d never have thought of but one that sounds delicious and looks pretty too.

  4. Laura 4

    Because I am entering my own little mid-life crisis I bow to you for knowing that you are exactly where you should be. I’m quite sure you are where you should be too.
    Love these appetizers- delicious blend of tastes and not too heavy.

  5. I am completely living vicariously through you! And I am soooo excited!

  6. Liz C. 6

    I’ll eat anything with blue cheese, which makes me a Blue Cheese Ho. I can live with that.

    You have no idea how exciting it is for all of us out here to be able to share this whole journey with you. I feel like we’re watching history in the making. You go girl! I too, believe that I’m exactly where I should be & life is good…

  7. For years, my mother told me that blue cheese was the most disgusting thing on the planet and I totally believed her. I never tried blue cheese till I was in my 30’s, and when I finally had it I called her on the phone and yelled “LIAR! Blue cheese is the best thing on the planet EVER!”

    This recipe looks amazing!

  8. Marcy 8

    mmmmmm hazelnuts…

  9. I’m so happy that you like your new home and feel that all the planning and hard work are bringing you what you hoped for. Life is good.

    Love the addition of horseradish to your bruschetta. How yummy.

  10. Julie 10

    I typically shy away from blue cheese, but I’d try it again for these.
    So glad everything is working out for you!

  11. elra 11

    Everything single ingredient in this recipe delicious, I can only imagine the taste when they put together. Delicious!

  12. Barbie with a T 12

    Such an interesting combination of ingredients! These sound very appetizing to me. I just love the traditional bruscetta, and so I am going to try this one. Give me a few days to get the things I need! I will definitely have these at next week’s happy hour! Thanks for the recipe.

  13. Daziano 13

    Really interesting and nicely prepared bruschette!!!

  14. With apple picking season looming ahead, this is definitely going to be something we make.

    Although, I’m not picking 30lbs of apples this year! Just sayin’…

  15. dawn 15

    You are an inspiration to us. Not many people pick a goal and execute it without giving up. You have done it and keeps me thinking it’s not too late to return to school. Having good people around you helps too. Sometimes we have to shed the baggage of those around us who do not have our best interests at heart, the poison in our lives I call it.

    These apps I am making tomorrow, simply beautiful.

  16. grace 16

    that’s a glorious little nosh, cathy! such a great and eclectic combination of ingredients, and they all fit together so nicely!

  17. ntsc 17

    Looks good. Put up 41 pints of tomato sauce on Tuesday Wednesday, yesterday started the vegetable cocktail, looking for 30+ quarts. The AC can’t take the heat load and it is 84 and muggy out, before noon. Cooling off in my office at 75 before canning the first batch of cocktail.

    It is nice in winter though.

  18. Those look tasty. Sweet, salty, crunchy. Great mix of textures and flavors.

    Have I ever felt the exhilaration of everything falling into line? Sadly no? But I do take the joy in the bits of order I find amongst the chaos.

  19. Katie 19

    Can you make a more perfect bruschetta I don’t think so!

  20. dawn 20

    I have yet to experience that feeling, but I am trying my best to work towards. Congrats to you for getting to that point–I truly mean that; I’m sure it feels good!
    You know I would love these little apps: all that flavor combo’s going on, oh yeah! Seriously.

  21. Marjie 21

    Good looking appetizers. Glad you’re having fun in your new endeavour.

  22. Rose 22

    Mmmm! Love it! Looks delicious!

  23. It’s great to read about folks fulfilling dreams. It’s a good push for the rest of us. Chomp on that bruschetta all day!

  24. Bob 24

    Oh man, I love good bruschetta. And that look awesome.

    I’m really glad everything is working out for you, too. :D

  25. June 25

    Good things happen to good people. Enjoy. You’ve earned it!

  26. How neat!

  27. LilSis 27

    Another amazing combination of ingredients! I can’t wait to try these.

    I need to host a cocktail party soon!

  28. Lea Ann 28

    ohmygosh, this looks really…really…really good. My next get together is tonight darnit. I’m already in the kitchen cooking, or would run out and get the ingredients. Next time. ;-) I am seving your Slider recipe that you posted around July 4. They just looked to good and easy. Thanks for all the good food idea. Lea Ann

  29. imom 29

    That looks so delicious and actually easy to make!

    I have so enjoyed ready all about your adventures in moving and getting the winery going. I’m definitely cheering for you and can’t wait to hear more.

  30. Paula 30

    Awe, I love it when good things happen to good people! So glad that your transition to Oregon has clicked! This recipe is a good thing, too! I was surprised by the horseradish! Didn’t see that comin’! This is a great representation of the bounty of your new home! YUM! Oh, did the golf guys come sample these? :-)

  31. Those looking amazing! Doesn’t it feel wonderful to follow your dreams? Keep pushing in the direction of your passion and all will come together :-)

  32. Hephzibah Ochoa 32

    These look amazing!

  33. MsMVNJ 33

    Oh my gosh….they look amazing. I am so going to make them

  34. I love all kinds of bruscetta but have never seen or thought of one like this. I will definitely bookmark and surprise everyone with this great appetizer! Thanks!

  35. Melynda 35

    Yum, yes the NW has some great stuff. You fit right in!

  36. pam 36

    I’m so glad you get to live your dream!

    I’m not sure about me…was I supposed to be a special ed teacher in Soddy Daisy, TN???

  37. Lisa 37

    It’s nice to hear things are going so well, it is inspiring for those of us still on our own roads to greatness.

    These bruschetta look/sound amazing.

  38. KathyB. 38

    These look mighty tasty , I think I will be making these.

    We love McMinnville and the surrounding area. It is a beautiful place to live and well worth visiting. Yes, you are blessed and lucky, but I suspect a lot of hard work driven by passion has helped too.

  39. Amber 39

    Apples, dried fruit and nuts. Same type of ingredients but you blew me out of the water. Thanks for remembering me. I’ll be back more eventually. Just life…
    I am glad you are so happy on your mountain. Oooh, remember the Walton’s? Well you are too young but they called where they lived Walton’s Mountain.

  40. Kate 40

    I am so pleased for you. Every time I come here and see you realizing your dreams, it’s uplifting! I share your feelings about the support we get from our readers. It means the world to me, as well.
    These little treats look wonderful. Horseradish surprised me, but I am going to trust you.

  41. Amazing textures and flavours!

  42. It must be so thrilling to see your dream coming to life, congratulations again! These bruschetta look fantastic. The horseradish is a perfect addition.

  43. Lydia 43

    It’s wonderful to read about someone who’s happy with life, and whose dream is coming true. A delightful antidote to the ranting all around us.

  44. Pam 44

    Wow – not only is that beautiful but it’s making my mouth water too. I wish my husband liked blue cheese…maybe I’ll make this the next time we have guests over for dinner. Mmmmm.

  45. cassie 45

    i am so hungry and those look so delicious

  46. megan 46

    I’ve had a pear and blue cheese bruschetta that is very good, so I can imagine all these flavors would rock! This will be made soon, guaranteed! Love the Rogue Creamery :)

  47. Outstanding. Anything clever on little toasts is up my alley

  48. Now these sound totally delicious to me!

  49. I’m so happy that you’re where you want to be right now. :-) I’ve recently found a gluten-free baguette that I enjoy so I’ll make this when I buy some next … perhaps for a support group meeting. Oh, the members will love these!


  50. emiglia 50

    I love this recipe, and I especially love the inspiring words. I love days (and longer, apparently) when everything feels like it’s falling into place. Enjoy!

  51. Cath,
    I like this sweet version of crostini/bruschetta, I am going to try it in the fall, which will be here before you know it!
    Enjoy your mom’s visit!

  52. Julie 52

    Wow, these little toasts look just brilliant. Although I’ve just discovered you, it’s so nice to hear you are feeling so centered. Such a great feeling!

  53. Katie 53

    That combination sounds delicious!

  54. Shelley 54

    Just made this for a party last evening. The whole platter was consumed in less than 15 minutes. Rave reviews. Great recipe and very simple to make. Delicious.


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