You can imagine how hectic our lives are with a 4 year old and a 3 month old consuming all of our time! I have no idea when the evening blends into the night and before I can realize that I have slept for a couple hours, its morning again! So this weekend, when the elder one was out for a long play-date, and the little one blessed us by napping for a full 3 hours, me and my husband decided to celebrate this unexpected bout of freedom and solitude with whatever we had on hand. There was no champagne or wine, but I did have some delicious Apple Cider on hand, and to go with it, I whipped up some quick sweet and savory cracker tidbits, perfect layout for a romantic evening.
I used the Stella Artois Apple Cidre – it is a European-style cider made from fresh, hand-picked red apples with accents of peach, apricot, and orange. Its light, crisp, and refreshing taste pairs well with many appetizers, salads, and entrees. For my cheese & cracker bites, I used the whole-grain crackers with a combination of white and yellow cheese. I cut the cheese slices in a round shape to match the crackers, then topped them with some Nutella or strawberry preserves, and sprinkled some crushed pecans and pistachios on the top, for a sweet treat. I also make the Guacamole version which you can find in the recipe below.
I am not a big fan of Apple Cider, however, I do have to admit that I loved the Stellar Artois brand, because unlike other ciders which taste like carbonated apple juice, this one actually has a fresh fruity taste. Lightly sweet, with a hint of sparkling soda, not a whole lot, it pairs well with almost anything, whether its Pizza or a lavish Gourmet Dinner. In fact, I have even enjoyed it with Indian food like Paneer Butter Masala & Garlic Naan. But my personal favorite pairing is with Butternut Squash Ravioli and Garlic Bread, because it really brings out the flavor of the cider, as well as the Ravioli.
So what’s the difference between a Cidre and a Cider? actually, they are quite similar, however, the Stellar Artois Cidre is more like white wine. It is less sweeter than other hard ciders out there, and has a fruity, spicy after-taste, more like a full-bodied white wine with fruit flavors. So it compliments any kind of food quite well. If you like White Wine, I am sure you will love this Cidre. And now for the quick recipe for my cheese cracker bites…
When you are short on time, appetizers are the best way to entertain yourself or guests. I made some sweet and savory tidbits to go with my cidre. For the savory ones, I chose the classic avocado-tomato-cheese topping, while the sweet ones got their flavor from Nutella, cheese and chopped pistachios. There are numerous ways to create these cracker toppings, but I think these flavors complimented the cider quite well, bringing out each other’s flavor at every sip and bite, rather than overpowering each other.
- 10 Whole-grain crackers
- 1 avocado, scooped
- ½ tomato, finely chopped
- salt & lime juice, as needed
- 3-4 slices of white or yellow cheese
- 2 tbsp Nutella, divided
- 1 spoon unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
- Divide the cheese into 10 parts, to top each cracker.
- Scoop the avocado and add a dash of lime juice and salt, as needed. Mash the mixture and keep aside.
- For the savory bites, top each cracker with the cheese, then a layer of avocado mixture, and finally some chopped tomatoes.
- For the sweet bites, top each cracker wit the cheese, followed by a layer of Nutella and finally some chopped pistachios.
- Serve immediately.
“It’s Cidre, not cider.”
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Stella Artois via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Stella Artois.
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