Have you ever made
something that instantly you say to yourself – this is absolutely one of the
best things I have had in a long time?
If you are like me, you like to cook a variety of dishes which are
great. But then you have those certain
dishes that you make that just stand out and make your taste buds do the happy
dance. This Crostini was dancing like
the stars for me.
What an incredibly busy week.
So hectic that this weeks Friday Night Bites is actually appearing on
Friday. With work kicking into high gear
along with hosting my direct reports for the annual team appreciation lunch at
my house plus some other events, this week whirled by.
I am elated that it is Meyer Lemon season. This lemon is a hybrid between a lemon and a
mandarin orange and is native to China. I couldn’t be happier that they made their
way to the United States
back in the early 1900’s. Several were
ready to be picked from my tree on the patio and just needed to find that perfect
recipe to highlight these little yellow gems.
After an extended holiday break from The Secret Recipe Club,
we are back up and running. I missed the
monthly reveal and exploring another bloggers site. If you are not familiar with The Secret
Recipe Club or want to join, simply click here to learn more. Essentially each month you are paired with
another food blogger and you can choose any recipe they have posted. You make it and post it. Yup – it is that simple. The fun part is finding out who had your blog
and what they chose.
I am a Crostini enthusiast! I am consistently creating
new combinations in my head – often when I am driving or falling asleep. This
holiday season was a time for entertaining at my house and that naturally means
appetizers will be part of the event. If
you know me or have followed me for a while, “the Crostini” will make an
appearance on the blog. It is that time
again. This Wild Mushroom Crostini was a
complete hit at one of my parties, especially since one of my dear friends is a
vegetarian. I actually had her in mind,
when creating it.
Getting friends together and making them smile by cooking
some of my favorite things along with trying out new recipes, brings me much
joy. Over the holidays, I was a frequent
entertainer – which suited me just fine. My hubby is always amazed that I will
make a new recipe for friends who are coming over. I guess it never really fazes
me. It gives me the opportunity to test
out a new recipe and make tweaks to enhance the overall taste. I must admit
that looking back, I have vastly improved my cooking prowess and I can evaluate
a recipe quickly and make adjustments.
While browsing the web, I came across a recipe for Roasted
Shallot Dip on Southern Living . My mouth began to salivate
immediately. Besides the ultra creamy
texture, the process of roasting the shallots in their skins was a unique technique
that sparked my interest. Okay, the pile
of bacon bits on top certainly had an allure that was unmistaken. A typical
onion dip has sour cream and perhaps some cream cheese or mayonnaise added in
for good measure. This particular recipe
has mascarpone cheese. You heard me
right – mascarpone cheese. This was the
secret weapon in this masterful dip. I
topped with crumbled crispy bacon and finely chopped scallions – it was perfect. I made a few changes to the recipe but found it to be a keeper. Next time I would add some dry roasted pecans
to the top and can just imagine how over the top delicious that would be. Note to self – buy pecans. Smile.
Happy New Year! I want to give a huge shout out to all of
you, my loyal readers. I appreciate each
of you. Each time I receive a comment on
my blog, a like on facebook, a tweet on twitter, a pin on Pinterest, a like on Instagram or a nice personal email, I am reminded that writing this blog is more
than posting recipes. It is a platform
for building a community around something I have a passion for – Food, Wine and
Entertaining. Thank you and look forward
to making 2014 a great year!!!
Back to work on Monday.
After sixteen days away from the office, I must admit it rather shocked
my body to abound to a alarm
clock. One can certainly get use to
sleeping in until each morning
then enjoying a piping hot cup of coffee while watching Good Morning America
with hubby. Oh, hubby was on vacation
too – yeah! We filled the time with
working out every other day, doing a ton of organizing, entertaining, drinking
wine, spending time with family and friends, eating in and dining out, baking, shopping,
watching movies, catching up on our favorite television shows and general
relaxation. Overall, it was one great
vacation in my opinion – just wish it did not go so fast.
A couple weeks ago I had the ultimate Friday Night Bites
with great friends. My long time friend
Denise came up from San Diego for
the Holidays. We reserved a date for the
get together back in September and it seemed like it would be forever until I saw
her, but then the holidays appeared. I
had about a dozen folks over to enjoy an evening of wine, appetizers and many