February 11, 2015

Easy Appetizers for Entertaining

The best thing about entertaining, there is NEVER a bad time to do so! Needless to say, us Gold Leaf girls look for anytime, and anything to celebrate with friends, full glasses, and snacks. If you are like us here in Aspen, you are enjoying bright skies, open windows, and trail runs with the pups. It may be throwing our bodies into shock and our ski's feeling cheated on, but we will take it with open arms! The weekends are filled with smells of roasting grills and we feel it is the perfect time to have some friends over for a cookout on the deck! (East coasters please don't hate us, we are truly envious of your powder). Since we are all praying this changes quickly and we can get our winter fix, we have included 2 easy appetizers for a Saturday get together: one for the warm weather, and one for the cold!

Our first option- Baked Tomatoes with Basil and Feta.

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I was lucky enough to grow up with a momma who always had the garden stocked with the most incredible tomatoes, and basil, among many other amazing veggies. This was my go-to almost everyday and friends and family gush over this insanely simple easy appetizer.

-3 Large Tomatoes -5 Sprigs of Basil -1/4 Crumbled Feta -Extra Virgin Olive oil

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees. Make sure your tomatoes are just BARELY ripe, even a little under works perfectly. Cut one tomato into 4 thick slices width wise. Too thin will wither away once baked. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil and lay out your slices so there is no overlapping, drizzle with salt, pepper, olive oil and a sprinkle of feta. Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes. While the tomatoes bake pick off all your basil leaves and leave them full and beautiful or slice them up so it's easier to eat. Once your tomatoes are out place the basil leaves on top and let cool. Serve as is or on your choice of water crackers with a spritz of balsamic.

However, are you having a normal February? Cold and wrapped in blankets? Watching 'The Holiday' on repeat? Whip these up for your guests and be warmed by the compliments.

Warm Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini Drizzled with Honey and Olive Oil.

[caption id="attachment_1987" align="aligncenter" width="640"]party appetizers[/caption]

  We'll give you a second to take that in...

Okay, go -

-4-6 Figs Sliced -4 oz. Goat Cheese (Gouda and Mozzarella also work wonderfully) -1/2 Baguette of Sourdough -Extra Virgin Olive Oil -Sea Salt -2 Sprigs Rosemary

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut baguette into 1/2 inch slices and generously cover with olive oil, a quick sprinkle of sea salt and rub both in with a sprig of rosemary (leave the leaves on if they come off on the bread-delish)! Once all slices are covered, top with cheese and bake for 5 minutes until bread is golden and cheese is soft. Once out of the oven top with figs, and drizzle with honey! Feel free to personalize this and make it completely your own. Choose your bread, add more cheese, or if you're like me, add some arugula on top of the fig and before the honey! The peppery taste compliments the sweetness perfectly.

We hope you give these a try and please let us know how they turn out! Bon appetit!