Party Time Treats!

Last weekend we celebrated my very good friend’s 30th birthday.  We had an adult’s night out Friday and a party with family, friends and kiddos on Saturday.  It was really cool to party in an adult fashion (although no fun drinks for me) one night and as families with our little ones running and giggling and enjoying the celebration with us the next.  To the family party I brought two yummy, easy appetizers that were big crowd pleasers.  This brings me to today’s post:

Party Time Treats

With the holiday season fast approaching here are two great but simple party appetizers (“appies” as my husband calls them) plus a homemade hostess gift that you’ll want to make for your kitchen too!

Crostini Two Ways –

Start with one sourdough baguette for each recipe.  Thinly slice each baguette and spread out the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Drizzle the slices with olive oil and bake in the oven at 400 degrees until golden brown (about 8 min).

bread 1   bread 2

Top and cook the toasts as follows.

Parmesan/Artichoke Crostini –

This is a specialty of a close family friend and a staple at all our family parties.

– Spread pre-made artichoke/jalapeño dip on each toast.  Costco sells a great one and many local markets make and carry their own.

– Top the spread with shredded parmesan cheese and lots of cracked black pepper.

parm pre

– Broil for 5-10 minutes depending on your broiler until cheese is bubbly and crisp on top.  Serve and enjoy!

parm finished 1

Peach and Blue Cheese Crostini –

This recipe was taken from a Pinterest post found at http://bevcooks.com/2013/05/crostini-with-peaches-blue-cheese-and-honey-a-giveaway/.

– Top each toast with a thin slice of peach (you can leave the skin on). Then cover with crumbled blue cheese, or slices of cambaloza.

peach pre

– Broil for 5-10 min until the cheese is melted.

– Plate the toasts and cover with a drizzle of honey.

peach finished

An Easy Hostess Gift –

Our homemade chili oil has become a staple in our house and is literally good on everything: pizza, chicken, shrimp, salad, pasta…the list goes on.  We were first introduced to it by some great friends who often had us over for homemade pizza out of their outdoor pizza oven (fancy right..we dream of having our own one day).  They would serve the pizza with this amazing spicy chili oil to drizzle on top, something they saw in pizzerias in Italy.  Todd and I experienced chili first hand on our trip to Europe a few years ago as well, and have been making it ever since.  We’ve given it as hostess, housewarming, and even Christmas gifts over the years.  Here’s how to make your own.

– Fill an olive oil container 1/4 of the way with crushed red pepper flakes.

pepper flakes

– Add 8-12 dried chilies (depending on your tolerance for spice).

– Fill the rest of the way with extra virgin olive oil.  Then tip it over to mix the oil into the chilies.

The oil will get hotter over the first few days you let it sit. You can refill the oil using the same pepper flakes and chilies 1-3 times before needing to replace the ingredients all together.

chili oil 1  chili oil 3

Enjoy and party on friends!

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