I’ve been off work one week and it already feels like time is speeding past. With the big football game just a few weeks away let’s look at some new possibilities.
Most people adore all kinds of appetizers, the more the merrier. However at times it feels like the ‘same old thing’. This easy bruschetta will give you something new for 2018.
I’m known for my creative spirit, so how about I throw out a new idea for the next party gathering. In the new year just about everyone is paying closer attention to what passes over the palate. Therefore why not present a party fare that allows for both sensibility and creativity. Delicious salads always hit things off with the ladies. If we add more impressive meats the men will be tempted to follow suit.
What about a beautiful salad bowl with only mixed greens? Surrounding the bowl are multiple choices for toppings, plus an array of dressings, regular and light.
A portion of the meat could be warmed taco beef and grilled chicken. This will also allow you to Segway into tacos/fajitas for the adults and kids. (What about a fajita bar?)
In another area set up a bruschetta array! In the center are toasted breads from rye to sourdough. Encompass the breads with a display of different bruschetta toppings. Artichoke bacon, onion and cream cheese, seafood, pimento cheese, egg salad and thin slices of meats and cheese.
Another fun bar idea would be to present a macaroni and cheese bar. Try to find a way to keep the mac and cheese warm throughout the serving time. Then once again set up a wide variety of toppings. Some of my favorites are: green onion, bacon, fried sausage, tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, kielbasa sausage, (Cook a great deal if kids are present) sour cream, extra shredded cheese, jalapenos and anything else you enjoy. At my friend, Sharon’s, sons’ wedding they placed the mac and cheese toppings in margarita glasses.
When your guests ask what to bring just give them two or three ingredients for the salad or specialty bars. Don’t hesitate to tell them to bring a good amount, they will also need to know for how many guests you are expecting.
Hostess gift ideas? Wine is fast and quick, but sometimes I feel a bit lazy going this route. If it’s a late night event I’ll tell the hostess to leave space in the refrigerator for a make ahead breakfast casserole. This is great for the following morning when the host is a bit tired and still picking things up! If the host enjoys good coffee or tea why not splurge for their favorite brand. Usually in my home I use cloth napkins for entertaining. However at the beverage bar or appetizer table you may need nifty cocktail napkins. Accompany the napkins with a unique cheese spreader or disposable stirring sticks. When I’m out shopping at unique stores I keep my eyes open for good hostess gifts. Then put them in a box and you’re ready for guests within your own home or hosts welcoming you into theirs. Oops, here’s one more, blank note cards!!
When you depart from a party always ‘try’ to say thanks to the host/hostess.
When you get home it’s also nice to send a note telling the individual (s) how much you enjoyed yourself. Yes, my friends, I am old school, and this is an important gesture.
The weather is certainly conducive to soups right now. How about trying the artichoke bruschetta with a bowl of your favorite soup or stew. Make it happen, if it’s to be it’s up to me! Simply yours, The Covereddish. www.thecovereddish.com
8 oz. cream cheese, softened 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons butter, softened 1 10 oz. loaf baguette bread,
1 small jar (approx. 3.2- 3.5 oz.) artichokes cut into 20 diagonal pieces
drained and chopped 1 red pepper, chopped fine
4-6 green onions, chopped fine feta cheese crumbles
4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped fine butter flavored vegetable
1/2 teaspoon Black Kettle Seasoning * spray
Blend the softened cream cheese and butter together. Stir in the artichokes, onions, bacon, seasoning and cayenne pepper. Blend well; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line pan with baguette bread and spray top side with butter flavored vegetable spray. Bake for approximately 8 minutes. If you prefer more crunch, increase the baking time to 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and spread the cream cheese mixture thinly over the bread. Sprinkle on the feta and lastly a bit of red pepper for color. Return to the 350 degree oven 8-10 minutes longer. Remove and serve warm.
- A favorite seasoning salt may be substituted.
Debbie Dance Uhrig