I love hosting parties. There’s something about inviting people into your home to share good food, drinks and conversation. However, cooking can be quite time consuming when you’d rather be with your guests. Here’s an easy appetizer that can help with time efficiency in the kitchen and help to hold your guests over until the main course. These are my olive tamponade crustinis over goat cheese and mascarpone. To create the base of these small bites, I cut up a baguette into 1 inch thick crustinis. I laid them onto a sheet tray, drizzled them with some olive oil and popped them into the oven until golden brown. While these toasted, I started on my olive tamponade. In a food processor, I combined pitted green olives, kalamata olives, Rosemary, capers and garlic. I added some olive oil as I pulsed this combination. I wanted to keep a thicker texture to the olives so I didn’t pulse them for too long. After everything had combined together I started on my cheese mixture. I mixed together goat cheese and mascarpone. I can’t say I measured this to perfection, but I tasted as I mixed. You can find a balance that works best with your taste buds! I added some orange zest to this combination. No salt and pepper needed! There is enough salt from the olives and capers in the tamponade. Once the bread is all toasted and golden in the oven, it’s time to put these together! Spread some of the cheese mixture on the crustini and add some of the olives on top. I am an olive fanatic and goat cheese lover…so this appetizer really hit home for me! Try this out and let me know how you like it! The beauty of this recipe is that you can be creative with the cheeses you choose or toppings you add. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
When there are no trips booked on the calendar and you need a get-away from day to day life, a relaxing “staycation” can do the trick.
This is exactly what my husband and I decided to do. We both took the day off of work and made ourselves a little picnic on our porch. We laid out a large blanket, popped open a bottle of champagne, turned on the record player and enjoyed our lunch in the sunshine. I made us a bunch of small bites for lunch, starting with an easy pear, blue cheese and honey appetizer. I sliced 2 pears long ways so they could serve as the base. I topped them with blue cheese crumbles, walnuts and honey. So simple, yet so tasty! On the same plate, I added some salami slices, as well as some slices of filet mignon topped with a Rosemary garnish. This filet was so tender and was simply rubbed with salt and pepper before cooked to a beautiful medium rare 👌🏻. I let the steak properly cook before cutting into it.
Moving along our picnic menu, we come to my stuffed peppers! I used small peppers that were easy to prep. I simply cut the tops off and stuffed them with fresh parmesean, oregano and a grape tomato. They cooked in the oven until the peppers were softened and the cheese had melted. I added some asparagus to the oven as well with a bit of salt, pepper and vegetable oil. While these cooked in the oven, I had some mushrooms cooking down on the stove with some rosemary, capers, garlic and vegetable oil. Once the vegetables were all ready, I added them into cute and colorful serving bowls. Lastly, I chopped up some celery and added spicy salsa to a bowl.
This was my perfect picnic! You should try it at home 🥂