These are truly the dog days of summer–I think it’s been over 100° for the last two weeks straight! You won’t catch me near a hot oven right now if I can avoid it, so today I’m sharing some of my easiest and yummiest appetizer recipes (I’ll admit that I can make a meal out of these if I’m home alone, too).
To make these yummy appetizers, I start by slicing French bread and toasting it in the oven. If you’re short on time, our grocery store sells pre-toasted bread rounds; yours might, too. In a pinch, these are great on wheat crackers, like Triscuits, too.
On the first batch, I used spreadable brie cheese (Alouette makes a yummy one) and simply added a fresh blackberry on top.
On the second batch, I spread herbed cheese (try Boursin) and added half a grape tomato and a basil leaf from my herb garden.
Like I mentioned earlier, I can make a meal out of an appetizer, especially the basil/tomato/Boursin combination, and I’m not ashamed to say that I have–many times!
If you’re serving guests, maybe include a few extra blackberries and walnuts to nibble on, too.
Another great combination is a wedge of espresso cheese (BellaVitano is our favorite) paired with fig spread and 34 Degrees crackers. All of those are available in the deli and fancy cheese section of our grocery store, but I linked to them so you can see the exact ones that I buy. The 34 Degrees plain crackers are one of my very favorites for cheeses because they’re a great light texture; they’re actually a much better deal if you buy them online since they’re almost $5 a package at our grocery store!
The easiest way to pair these easy appetizers with cocktails is to set up a tray with a few options. I usually have a chilled chardonnay in the fridge (try Bogle or La Crema), and in the summer it’s great to include the fixings for refreshing drinks like gin and tonics, Manhattans, and Pimm’s Cups (I’ll post the recipe for that soon).
Cocktail napkins, paper straws and swizzle sticks (all from HomeGoods) make everything pretty.
The little hobnail glass holding the straws and swizzle sticks was originally a candle; I just cleaned out the jar to reuse it.
The black and gold tray is one of my favorites; it was a whole quarter at a thrift shop!
I love Fever-Tree tonic water for my gin and tonics; often I can find it at HomeGoods or TJ Maxx, but if not, my grocery store carries it, too (it’s just more expensive there).
If you have any go-to appetizer recipes, I’d love to hear them in the comments. I’m always looking for new ones.
Stay cool, my friends, and thanks for stopping by!