ladonna gundersenBy LaDonna Gundersen

Don’t let the delicate look of these hors d’oeuvres fool you. A touch of cayenne gives them a hint of heat that makes them a tasty accompaniment to a pre-dinner cocktail party.  You will be amazed with how quickly they disappear!

Cheese Straws

Makes 20

Roll out each sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured board until it’s 10 by 12-inches.  Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and  brush  the  surface  of the pastry. Sprinkle each sheet evenly with ¼ cup of Parmesan, ½ cup of the cheddar, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, ½ teaspoon of the salt and some of the cayenne pepper.

With the rolling pin, lightly press the flavorings into the puff pastry. With the long side closest to you, using a floured knife or pizza wheel, cut each sheet in half vertically. Then cut each sheet horizontally into five 1-inch strips. Twist each strip and lay on baking sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned and puffed. Turn each straw and bake for another 2 minutes. Don’t over bake or the cheese will burn. Cool and serve at room temperature.


2 sheets (1 box)  frozen puff pastry defrosted overnight in the refrigerator

1  large egg

½ cup  Parmesan cheese, grated

1 cup  sharp cheddar cheese, grated

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced

1 teaspoon  sea salt

1/8 teaspoon  ground cayenne or to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Recipe excerpt from My Tiny Alaskan Oven,  by La Donna Gundersen

Copyright 2014 by Ole and LaDonna Gundersen


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Brad Roberts
Brad grew up at the family cottage on Lake Simcoe using both powerboats and sailboats. A veteran journalist with large national daily newspapers, outdoor interest magazines, and syndicated television shows, Brad has entertained and educated readers for over 25 years with his unique family-inclusive perspective. His favorite pastime is teaching others to use their boats to access the freedom and beauty of a Life Afloat. Brad, his wife, and their three daughters have traveled and boated all over North America and the Caribbean, but choose to keep their "floating home" on the fresh waters of Central Ontario.