Fare for Friends

By Lauren Rowland

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Every Friday night, my group of friends meets for a “family” dinner. Sometimes we make sushi and sit around a bonfire, and sometimes we make little hors d’oeuvres and watch movies. When it comes to hors d’oeuvres, you can’t beat an assortment of bite-sized treats.

Goat Cheese Bruschetta Crostini

First, you have a modern take on bruschetta. I mean goat cheese, tomatoes and balsamic glaze—what could go wrong?

  • 2 loaves French bread, sliced
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 cup creamy goat cheese
  • 1 cup whipped cream cheese
  • Garlic paste
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Balsamic glaze

For the bread: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place sliced bread on a cookie sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic bread. Toast for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

For the cheese: Mix room temperature goat cheese and whipped cream cheese. Add the leaves of four fresh thyme sprigs, two tablespoons of garlic spread and freshly cracked pepper.

For the bruschetta: Cut two containers of cherry tomatoes into quarters. Place in a bowl with four tablespoons of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Chop basil into little pieces and add to tomatoes with salt and pepper.

To assemble, start by spreading the goat cheese mixture on crostini. Place a small amount of bruschetta on top, making sure to make sure there is no excess liquid. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve.

Guacamole

Guacamole is another crowd; it’s simple and classic. Chips and dip are a necessity at any good party.

  • 8 ripe avocados
  • 3 limes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Tortilla chips

Cut avocados in half and throw pit away. Scoop avocado into a medium size bowl. Add the juice of three limes and two teaspoons of salt. Mash with a fork until desired consistency is achieved. Serve with warm tortilla chips.

Prosciutto Wrapped Nectarines

Don’t be afraid to throw a wild card in the mix of hors d’oeuvres and try a new recipe. My favorite new dish is prosciutto wrapped peaches with a honey mustard dipping sauce. They are the perfect transition for spring to summer.

  • 4 ripe peaches
  • 16 pieces of prosciutto
  • Honey
  • Spicy mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Pepper

Cut each peaches into 4 slices, giving you 16 slices total. Fold each piece of prosciutto in half long ways and wrap around a slice of peach. On high heat grill each wrapped peach for 4 minutes until prosciutto is crisp and peach has char marks. Turn temperature to medium heat and brush with honey on each side. Let sit 1 minute on each side before removing from the grill. In a small bowl mix ¾ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup honey, ¼ cup of spicy mustard, 1 ½ tablespoons of red wine vinegar and a dash of fresh ground pepper. Serve peaches and sauce together on a plate.

So, gather some of your friends and impress them with these simple and delicious recipes.

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