Last weekend I had the distinct honor of catering the inauguration of the 14th President of Illinois College … in honor of our dear friend Dr. Barbara Edwards Farley. We flew down to St. Louis and then drove through the cornfields to Jacksonville, IL. We attended several inauguration events on Friday and Saturday … but Saturday was my night to put on the dog with food! If my count is correct I believe we served thirteen appetizers before we hit them with a light dinner of roasted beef sliders, bbq chicken sliders, potato salad, cole slaw a tossed salad. Desserts were obtained through a local caterer ….. just so much this body could do in two days!

So for the next couple of postings I’m going to share with you some of the recipes for the appetizers. Understand that of the thirteen dishes, all except one were brand new and untested by me. But the risk paid off, for the most part. I’m not planning to disclose what I considered a major flop! This first recipe is for a mushroom bruschetta that is to die for! So easy to prepare and rich in flavor.


  • French Bread slices-lightly toasted
  • 1 pound assorted mushrooms-sliced
  • 1 tbsp garlic-minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme-chopped
  • 1 (5-oz) container Creme de Brie


  1. Prepare the french bread and set aside
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper; cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cream, mustard and thyme. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently until thickened.
  3. Spread a layer of Creme de Brie onto the french bread slice. Top with mushroom mixture and serve immediately.