YMCA Growing Communities Recipies December 13-18 Hors D'oeuvres

Thank you to all the awesome kids, parents and and volunteers who will be joining us for to this Growing Communities session at the YMCA this week. We hope you have a fantastic time, because we sure always do! If you're interested, you can find our brief presentation on the benefits of kids' cooking literacy here. If you have any questions, or want to tell us about any of the recipes you tried at home, give us a shout at info@growingchefsontario.ca. We love to share your great pictures and stories!

Session overview:  Hors D'oeuvres for the Holidays

Participants will get to make some easy yet delicious simple hors d’oeurves using simple, festive ingredients. 

Did you know? Growing Chefs! Ontario is a registered charity based in London, Ontario. Consider supporting us in our efforts to get kids excited about wholesome healthy food - donate online, become a Project Sponsor and show London your business or organization supports children's food literacy and healthy eating (email us for more information at info@growingchefsontario.ca). Thank you in advance for helping us get more children cooking up a storm!
Now, come join us in the kitchen!


  • Clementine dipped in chocolate with salt
  • Pear slices with goat cheese, cranberries and balsamic
  • Brie and pomegranate crostini
  • Roasted butternut squash squares, maple goat cheese, pumpkin seeds
  • Kale Caesar salad bite
  • Prosciutto melon mozzarella basil skewers
  • Brussel sprout sliders

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Clementine with chocolate and sea salt 


  •  8 medium clementines
  • 4 -ounce dark chocolate bar (60-70% cocoa), finely chopped
  • Sea salt


 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel and segment clementines, set aside. Gently melt chocolate in a small bowl over a double boiler. Working in small batches, dip segments in chocolate and transfer to parchment-lined sheet. Immediately sprinkle segments with a few grains of salt before the chocolate begins to set. Once all pieces have been dipped, set the sheet aside until chocolate hardens. To quickly harden chocolate, transfer baking sheet to the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

Pear slices with goat cheese, cranberries and balsamic


  • 2 pears, cored and cut into two dozen slices
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 2-3 Tbsp. cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze


Core pears and cut into even slices.

Toss in orange juice to keep from browning.

Spread cheese on widest part of slice and then dot with a small squeeze of balsamic glaze.  Place a few cranberries on each piece of pear. 

Arrange on platter and serve.


Brie & Pomegranate Crostini


  • 30 crostini
  • 30 1 inch square pieces of Brie cheese
  • Seeds of ½ pomegranate
  • A handful of cilantro for garnish


Remove the rind from the brie and cut cheese into squares about the size of the crostini.  Place the cheese slices on the toasts and then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.  Place toasts in the ovens to melt for about 2 minutes or torch with blowtorch to melt cheese, and then garnish with sprigs of cilantro leaves.


Roasted butternut squash squares with maple goat cheese and pumpkin seeds


  • 30 ½ inch cubes butternut squash
  • ½ cup goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds


Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, and sauté squash on medium high heat, until squash is tender throughout and all sides are evenly browned.  Remove from heat and cool.  In a medium bowl mix goat cheese with maple syrup and a pinch of salt.  Put goat cheese into a piping bag and pipe small bits on top of each squash, and top with a couple of pumpkin seeds.

Kale Caesar Salad Bite


  •  Parmesan x 30 shavings
  • Dried kale chips x 30 pieces
  • Crostini x 30
  • Prosciutto x 30, 2 inch pieces

 Lemon garlic aioli

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon
  • 1 lemon zest, 1 lemon juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste


To make aioli, mix all ingredients in a small bowl with spatula.  Each Caesar salad bite gets one piece of crostini.  Spread a small amount of aioli on each crostini, then place one piece of prosciutto, one kale chip, and one piece of parmesan cheese.  (If desired, fry off pieces of prosciutto to make crispy)


Prosciutto mozzarella basil melon skewers


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 bunches fresh basil leaves plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 small (about 2-pound) cantaloupes halved crosswise, seeded, peeled
  • 30 small fresh water-packed mozzarella balls
  • 30 thin slices prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise, gathered into ruffle
  • 30, 8-inch wooden skewers


 Using on/off turns, puree olive oil, basil, and shallot in a food processor until basil and shallot are finely chopped.

Cut each cantaloupe wedge crosswise in half, and cut into about 60 pieces, or make melon balls with melon baller.

Alternate 1 melon piece, 1 piece ruffled prosciutto, 1 mozzarella ball or cube, 1 more prosciutto piece, and 1 more melon piece on each skewer.

Arrange skewers on platter. Drizzle with basil oil and sprinkle with cracked black pepper. Garnish with basil sprigs.


Brussel Sprout Sliders


  • 6 Tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, DIVIDED, plus extra for greasing baking sheet
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 30 medium Brussels sprouts, trimmed of any dry edges (but don’t slice off the whole core)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • Small block of Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced and cut the same size as a sprout



 Warm 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and a sprinkle of salt. Sauté, stirring frequently, until they become more golden in color, about 15-20 minutes. Lower the heat a little and continue to cook until they are tender.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and brush with olive oil.

Cut the Brussels sprouts in half from top to bottom, keeping the two halves close together. If you don’t, you will have to search for a pair that fits well together after they have roasted.

Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the sprouts and bake 15-20 more minutes or until tender.

Take one half of a Brussels sprout, smear with mustard, add a piece of Gruyere and a pinch of onions. Take the other half of the Brussels sprout and position it so the two sprouts are like the buns on a burger, with the cut sides facing each other, and secure with a toothpick. Serve at room temperature or warm on a baking sheet in a 325 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.


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