Okay foodie friends and entertaining enthusiasts...
This year, my sisters and I are planning a full-scale appetizer buffet instead of our usual big sit-down Christmas day. So, what this means is that we're throwing the traditional pasta and ham out the window in favor of lots of grazing foods that we can munch on throughout the day while we chat, sip holiday drinks, open presents, laugh and make merry.
So....true to my foodie self--I've spent a good portion of the past few weeks pouring through recipes and entertaining ideas looking for some new appetizer-type delacasies to add to my holiday arsenal. Now, as we inch closer to Christmas and all the parties and eating events that go along with it, it's becoming more and more apparent to me that I don't have the time or the inclination to experiment with anything new for our big time appetizerama. After all, who wants to waste calories on experimenting? Not me. Do you? No. I didn't think so. What we are looking for and what we need are tried and true appetizer recipe ideas that have been tasted and tested and that are guaranteed to command standing ovations! Without all the pre-party taste testing. And, even if it weren't for the calories...I only have so much room in this lapbanded stomach of mine. So, believe me....if I am going to eat something, I need to love it! Let's face it....if I'm only going to have a little bite--it has to pack a powerful punch! Plus, I need to show up my sisters. What's a holiday without a little sibling rivalry....?
So, here's the thing....even though I'm a Lapbanded girl, my holiday food wishes are probably the same as everyone else's. I want something to dazzle and sparkle the taste buds yet not eat away at what little time I have to devote to all the extra cooking that needs to be done. Plus, I don't want to go hunting down exotic ingredients or spend lots of extra holiday cash to entertain in tasteful style while filling up my hungry merry makers. What I want is simple really--yummy, show-stopper, easy-to-make food that will not break the bank or my patience. Foods that are sure to wow! And, just one more thing--I don't want to serve my usual appetizer fare. It has to be special....
What's a girl to do?
Now that I'm done with the screaming.....
Let me formally introduce to you.....
Here's how it goes....
Every Tuesday until Christmas, I'll share a tried and true appetizer recipe....right here on my blog....
And, you'll do the same! Post your razzle-dazzle-concoctions in the comment section.....
Then, by Christmas day...every one of us will have a bountiful and beautiful selection of appetizers! You can put them out for family and friends who drop by to make merry or you can bring them over to Aunt Edna's and show off your culinary skills to your cousins Gerty and Birtha. Or..you can leave them by the fireside for Santa to munch on when he slides down your chimney with all those gifts! No matter what you do....you can be assured that you'll have the best tasting food this side of the North Pole. And, I'll be feeling lots of comfort and joy knowing that I am serving up a tastey, award-worthy Stories From The Road Buffet....!
(so pretty with all the colors of Christmas)
1 (32-ounce) can whole Marzano (or other good quality) tomatoes, DRAINED WELL!!
1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and spun dry
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large baquettes, sliced 1-inch thick (about 36 slices)
1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick
In the bowl of a food processor, add drained tomatoes, 1 cup basil leaves, olive oil and 2 cloves garlic. Pulse until smooth, but somewhat chunky. Season with salt and pepper.
On a baking sheet, line up baguette slices. Toast in oven for about 3 minutes or until light golden brown (375 degree oven....watch them closely!) Working quickly, rub the remaining garlic on the toasted side of each slice and then lay a piece of mozzarella cheese on top. Place bread back in oven and melt cheese slightly, about 45 seconds. Remove from oven and spread one tablespoon of the tomato mixture on each piece.
Place bruschetta on decorative platter and garnish with basil leaves.
So, please....be a good elf and dig out those party food recipes for Tastey Tuesday Recipe Exchange! Only 3 more Tastey Tuesday left!