summer crostini

Otherwise known as pesto goat cheese with fresh tomatoes on….crostini.

I thought the latter was a little long.

Few things scream summer like garden-fresh tomatoes and flavorful pesto.

And few things taste as good as summer tomatoes and pesto made from a fresh bunch of basil. Or you know, pesto from a jar – sometimes convenience rules.

It is the combination that never gets old: basil, tomato and bread. Cheese never hurts.

This summer appetizer is great because it can be made ahead of time and then just compiled when you are ready for it. If you are short on time you can always buy pre-made crostini or use melba toasts.

And I totally used jarred pesto – I just didn’t tell.

 

Summer Crostini

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Keywords: appetizer cheese July 4th Italian summer

 

Ingredients (12 servings)

  • 8 oz goat cheese
  • 8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 4-5 Tbsp pesto
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 baguette
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

Prepare crostini: thinly slice bread, brush with olive oil and broil or grill until golden brown.

Let goat cheese and cream cheese soften in bowl.

Stir to combine until smooth.

Stir in pesto.

Spread mixture on plate or platter.

Layer chopped tomato on top of cheese mixture.

Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper.

Serve with crostini.

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fourth of july food

Hello Everyone!

Happy fourth of july week! It is kind of a weird work week for me – and I suspect many of you too. Work a bit, take a break, work a bit more and then another weekend is here!

I’m not quite sure what our plans are quite yet, but I’m hoping it involves a pool and a grill. :)

This is what I want to eat and drink!

 

Sips:

Mango Wine Coolers via Just Putzing Around the Kitchen

Blueberry Smash via Bon Appétit

Summer Hoedown (Watermelon Beer Cocktail) via CHOW

Mango Raspberry Sangria via Epicurean Mom

Watermelon Keg (picture source)

 

Bites & Sides: 

Fresh Spring Rolls via Satisfy My Sweet Tooth

Extra-Green Goddess Dip via Bon Appétit (photo source)

Charred Corn Salad with Basil and Tomatoes via Bon Appétit

Mains:

Hot Dogs with Peppers & Mozzarella 

Peach, Prosciutto, and Goat-Cheese Pizza via Gourmet

Grill-Pressed Italian Party Panini via Serious Eats

Hawaiian-Style Hot Dogs via A Spicy Perspective

Korean BBQ Ribs via Jo Cooks

Treats:

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Bars via Pinch of Yum

Peach-Blueberry Ice Cream Pie via Bon Appétit (photo source)

Blueberry Mascarpone Tart via Sugar & Snapshots

Wild Ginger Ice Cream via Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Easy Berry Pavlova via Haidee’s Kitchen

 

What is on your menu?

Have a safe 4th of July!

salmon tartare

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My second shipment of Copper River Salmon arrived last week and let me just say – I wish salmon season was year-round. I’m not sure that I’ve ever had salmon so fresh and so delicious.

Even though I’ve always wanted to make a fish tartare – I’ve always been a little apprehensive. Partly because my Food Microbiology Professor frightened us with horrible stories of raw fish and partly because eating raw fish at home seems a little scary. But I’m never one to live in fear, so it was time to try it out. I searched for recipes online and took a little bit from here and a little bit from there to create this salmon tartare plus avocado that is absolutely delicious and full of good fats.

The salmon tartare is bursting with flavor and is pretty addictive alongside salty tortilla chips and a chilled beverage.

So. Go get yourself some ultra-fresh salmon and make some tartare this summer! It is the perfect lunch, or afternoon snack and is everything I look for in food – exciting flavors, somewhat healthy, a little pretty and super simple.

Salmon Tartare

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: raw appetizer side snack gluten-free high protein salmon summer

 

Ingredients (4 appetizer servings)

  • 8 oz fresh (as you can get) salmon fillet (skin and bones removed)
  • 3/4 cup diced avocado (about 1/2 of a medium sized avocado)
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber (seeds removed)
  • 1 Tbsp diced jalapeno (seeds removed)
  • 2 Tbsp diced shallot
  • 1 tsp ginger, mined or jarred
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp thinly sliced chives
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp oil (grapeseed, canola, etc)
  • salt & pepper
  • tortilla chips or rice crackers for serving

Instructions

Chill salmon in freezer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prep all other ingredients and toss together.

Thinly slice salmon and then cut into small cubes.

Toss together with other ingredients.

Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Serve immediately with tortilla chips or rice crackers.

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easy entertaining ideas

I absolutely love entertaining, having and attending parties, and making appetizers. Eating the appetizers tops the list as well, of course!

I always go for cocktail parties because I love the idea of mingling and little bites of food. (I’m going to pretend that if we had a dining table that could fit a meal for four people I would still feel the same way). But whether you are serving a multi-course meal or wine with some simple snacks, here are small ways to make any get-together a little better.

 beverages

  • champagne (makes everything more festive)
  • signature cocktail (great signature cocktail ideas from Martha)
  • a variety of wine and craft beers
  • flavored water like cucumber slices or strawberry and orange slices (recently had this at a hotel and it was wonderful)
  • something non-alcoholic (iced tea, juice spritzer, sparkling water, etc.)
nibbles

  • goat cheese log + olive tapenade served with baguette slices and/or crackers
  • roasted & spiced nuts
  • cheese tray with a variety of crackers (how to build the perfect cheese tray)
  • crostini
  • cured meats
  • 10 best store-bought party appetizers

ambiance

  • cute cocktail napkins
  • lots of candles
  • fresh flowers
  • good music
  • fabulous outfit :)

What are your best entertaining “tricks”?