Happy Saturday friends! We hope your long weekend is off to a great start! We are taking this time to re-charge our batteries and explore our wonderful state & can't wait to share our adventures this weekend with you :) But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let's back up to this last week - we decided to host our first ever game night with our friends! As we grow older, we find it is harder to get everyone together with everyone's schedules or even see our friends as often as we did, for example, when we were in school. It's so easy to say "omg we should hang out/catch up soon" without actually doing so, but it is so extremely important to stay in touch with your friends, especially after you are married! So a new tradition was born: GAME NIGHT!
I adore hosting, so we invited the girls to come over to our place. Generally, we will provide the food & I ask the girls to bring along whatever they would like to drink. This time, we also were able to share a few bottles of wine we picked up during our trip to Palisade. Because we were hosting it during a work-day (Thursday), we wanted to make food that wouldn't take long to prep after work but would still be absolutely delicious. After browsing hundreds of recipes, we finally settled upon Ina Garten's Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta, Martha Stewart's Jalapeno Poppers, and Brown Eyed Baker's Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Gruyere Tart. Read on for the alterations I've made & to see how they turned out! PSST: for all of these, I've included prep tips so that the day of, all you have to do is bake and serve! How easy is that? :)
Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta - (1) Make Ahead: Buy cute little heirloom tomatoes; wash them and the cut them into halves. Store in an airtight container. (2) Day of: To your container of tomatoes, add 2 cloves of finely minced garlic, 1/3 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir this together well, and set aside. (3) Day of: Slice French bread and toast in the oven (under broiler until the top is golden brown, 1-2min). (4) Day of: In a mixing bowl, add the following: 2oz (1/3 packet) of cream cheese, 1/3 cup of olive oil, 6oz crumbled feta, salt, and pepper. Use a hand blender to whip them together. This is your whipped feta! (5) Top toasted bread with the whipped cheese and the tomatoes and serve.
Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Gruyere Tart - (1) Prep Ahead: Grate 1 cup of Gruyere cheese | Finely chop one clove of garlic | Clean 16oz of white button mushrooms, de-stem them, and slice | Slice 1 medium sized yellow onion (2) Make Ahead: In a heavy bottom skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and warm under medium heat. After two minutes, add the onions and stir occasionally for 20min until they are caramelized. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and the mushrooms; stir occasionally for 20min until the mushroom liquid evaporates. Add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of thyme, salt, pepper, and stir. Then add 1/4 cup of vegetable stock or broth. Cook until the liquid has evaporated. Let cool and then store in an airtight container. (3) Day of: defrost one puff pastry sheet (I use Pillsbury brand!) and cut into 12 squares. Use a water/drinking glass to make a circular indent in the center of the puff pastry. Top the indent with the mushroom/onion filling and top with the Gruyere cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20min (until golden brown). Serve!
Jalapeno Poppers - (1) Make Ahead: Cut 6-10 large jalapenos in half. De-stem and de-seed (be sure to wear gloves; B didn't and accidentally touched his nose after...not good!). Wash, dry, and store in an airtight container. (2) Day of: add the remaining 6oz of cream cheese (from the crostini recipe), 1/2 cup of grated sharp cheddar, salt, and pepper. Use a hand blender to mix together. Slather each jalapeno with this stuffing and bake at 400 for 20-25min until the top is golden brown. Serve!
&& that's all! We shared the wine, some Angry Orchard rose (new favorite) and played a few card games! What a fun evening with the girls! ♡
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