That was so hard. Ugh. YOU ARE SUCH CLEVER RECIPE CREATORS! I think you should all start food blogs and I will read them. So (as my son says 47 times a day), for the top 3, I wanted to include a variety of appetizers that fit my criteria: creativity, plating and overall appeal. I have linked each finalist to their recipe. Drum roll...
I received a lot of fried or pan-fried corn cakes of various sorts and honestly, they all looked fabulous (Aunt Pam, Gretchen, Sara - I die). But something about this one hooked me. I can almost taste the crispiness just looking at this photo, and an apple cream cheese topping? Yes. (Catherine's blog)
I did a double take after looking at this recipe. I read "bread bite" and assumed this was a crostini of sorts but no, it's a bunch of wonderful fall flavors mixed together and baked in a mini muffin tin. Creative! The sliver of spicy jalapeno on top combined with the sweet, cider, maple syrup dipping sauce seems like such a great contrast of flavor - I'm dying to try.
p.s. If you don't have a ceramic Japanese spoon I'm sure it will still be good. (Oh Larry...)
This one fell into my top 3 almost instantly. The name of the dish and the picture was almost all it took. I was very excited to see the crispy sage/bread crumb topping, and of course ground sage throughout. Cooked apples and onions, swimming in the buttery cider sauce, spooned over cheesy, corn ravioli - I would order that in a restaurant.
So there you have it. I will be making all three of these tonight and tomorrow (sucks to be me), myself and my two co-judges (Jack and Carson) will test taste until we explode, and I will announce the winner on Wednesday!
A thousand thanks to those who participated - I am saving all of your recipes and will be making them, no matter what. I love you romantically.