In a small mixing bowl mix together diced apples and fresh pesto until apples are evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
In a small mixing bowl; beat cream cheese until smooth. Add shredded cheddar, butter, lemon juice and smoked paprika and beat for 1 minute. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
Remove shells from the freezer. Preheat oven to 350′. When oven is heated; place shells on a baking sheet and fill each one with 1 tsp. of the cheese mixture. Bake for three minutes; or until warmed through and puffed. Remove from oven and spoon 1 TBSP. of the pesto apples on top of each tart.
After toasts were given and plates were cleared of food, the guests gathered to see a sneak preview of the reality TV showPete Stringfellow filmed ofFigone and her cousin, Dawn Bettinelli in Las Vegas during the 2014 World Food Championships (WFC). The show features Figone as head chef, with Bettinelli as her sous-chef, and takes viewers behind the scenes of the WFC to see the chaos and humor of cooking competitions.
Guests also had the chance to see a prototype of Figone’s upcoming cookbook, Cooking with Laurie Figone. The cookbook will feature around 30 of Figone’s recipes as well as gorgeous photos of her food and a special interactive element. For those with smart phones, each individual recipe will contain images that can be used to bring up short videos of Figone giving tips for that particular recipe, making it easier to follow along.
CLICK PAGE 2 TO SEE MORE PHOTOS AND A SHORT VIDEO HIGHLIGHTING THE EVENING
Growing up on a ranch and having large weekly family dinners with at least 30 people gave Figone a passion for cooking and food. Figone speaks fondly about these dinners saying, “My grandmother loved doing all the cooking … I, growing up, wanted to be down at the barn feeding calves but my mother kept me in the house. I hated it at the time but now I have to say I thank her because … I’ve just won another World Championship with my cooking and I never imagined any of this, truthfully.”
Figone’s professional cooking started five years ago when a neighbor helped her realize her talent. Figone was baking focaccia bread for one of her neighbors to take to work and soon her neighbor’s coworkers were requesting and buying Figone’s focaccia. Figone then secretly submitted her focaccia recipe to Taste of Home’s recipe contest and won. It was her first published recipe and the start of her cooking career.
The next step for Figone was participating in her first live cooking competition at the Gilroy Garlic Festival where she, again, won. From there things took off and she went on the NBC TODAY Show for their burger battle and to the Annual Bob’s Red Mill Spar for the Spurtle where she won and was sent to Scotland for the Annual World Porridge Making Championship. In the last year Figone was on TNT’s reality show On the Menu with Emeril Lagasse and Ty Pennington.
CLICK HERE OR PAGE 2 BELOW TO GET LAURIE’S ST. PATRICK’S DAY BAKED CORNED BEEF WITH A KICK RECIPE AND VIDEOS
Update 10/12/2014: YouTube video Cooking With Laurie Figone at the 2014 Sonoma County Fair on September 1, 2014; In the first six and a half minutes of this video Laurie tells the story how she came to be on television and the amazing story on how she chose the music for her show and met country western talent Pete Stringfellow, with records like Pole Dance and titles such as It Ain’t Nothin.
This self-proclaimed “cook-a-holic” is a native of Novato and currently resides in Petaluma. Joe Wolfcale of the Novato Advance interviews Laurie Figone a 55-year-old mother of two whose first show “On The Menu” (a cooking show featuring Ty Pennington and chef Emeril Lagasse) will air for the first time Friday, Oct. 17 beginning at 8 p.m. on TNT and will feature the cuisine of California Pizza Kitchen.
Growing up on the Leveroni Brothers Dairy ranch in rural Novato, she studied agriculture at Petaluma High School. She is a proponent of using locally sourced ingredients from Sonoma and Marin County. In the interview she says “There are some delicious things being grown around these parts,” She also goes on to say “My dream is to one day have a sponsor for my show,” Figone said. “Everyone loves Sonoma and Marin, and they all want to know what’s being produced there.”