Sometimes you want just a sweet bite of this, a little taste of that. Bites so small it’s hard to call them tapas even. Consider Gale Gand’s Just a Bite. Published in 2001, we often pull it from our bookshelf.

The 125 recipes here are, technically, all desserts. And there are chapters on cookie bites, cake bites, creamy stuff, frozen, candy, chocolate, fruity, and cheese.

Ah, cheese. The cheese plate. I’m sorry. But cheese is not dessert. Not for me. It’s an appetizer, plain and simple. Take Gale’s recipe for Maytag Blue Grapes. I don’t want to wait until dessert to try these. Although, it is true, these grapes with a grand port might be a delectable and successful end to any meal.

I can’t wait. Suzen and I had a plate of these with cocktails last Saturday when the thermometer screamed that summer had arrived. Thunderstorms dotted around us. The wind blew. There was heavy rain and then azure sky. Through it all we just sat on our screened in porch. Eating grapes, sipping gin and tonics.

The technique here affords you ample room for experimentation. Not a fan of blue cheese? Substitute away. If you prefer walnuts, which Gale suggests, than do as you wish. Or mix and match. Or use some cashews. There is room for diversity, and you will experience pleasure in every little bite. Just as Gale intended.

Maytag Blue Grapes

Yield: 20 pieces, enough for 5-6 people


  • 2 ounces Maytag blue cheese
  • 20 large seedless grapes: green, white, or red
  • 20 small walnut pieces [or pecan halves if you prefer]
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Use your hands to roll the cheese into very small balls.

Use a very sharp knife to cut a thin slice off the bottom of each grape to give it a flat bottom to stand on. Cut off the top third of each grape. Use the tip of a knife or small spoon to make a little hollow in each grape (to hold the cheese ball). Press a ball of cheese into each hollow and dot with a nut pieces. Sprinkle with pepper.

Serve immediately or chill for up to 12 hours. The grapes can be served chilled or at room temperature, but do not leave out for more than 4 hours.


Sources: Gale Gand’s Just a Bite

Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/60th second at ISO-1600