Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Yummy New Year

I hope everyone had a fabulous New Year's Eve and New Year's day. Last night we stayed in and I made appetizers to celebrate the arrival of 2013. One of my New Year's resolutions is to try new recipes on a more consistent basis. With the burdens of work and other unexpected events it is easy to stick to the familiar in regards to cooking or better yet pick up the phone and order take out! This year I hope to become a more accomplished chef among other things such as reading more good books and curbing my unquenchable appetite for all things J. Crew! (I'm not sure how well the last one is going to stick!)

Below I am sharing a couple of the recipes I made last night for appetizers. Both are elegant, yet simple, which is always a winning combination.

Prosciutto Basil Crostini and Artichoke Crostini:
The first recipe is for crostini. I guess crostini is a fancy word for serving stuff on toasted bread.  Actually crostini's origins are not as fancy as you might think. It is commonly believed that crostini and bruschetta originated during Medieval times as a peasant food. Instead of eating off of plates, people would eat their meals on toasted bread.

Think of this toasted bread as a blank canvas which you can decorate with whatever delectable delights you choose. I chose to make prosciutto and basil crostini along with artichoke and Parmesan crostini. These are both incredibly easy to make. Simply get a baguette and toast slices of bread with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. For the prosciutto crostini, top the bread with one basil leaf, one slice of shaved Parmesan, and one slice of thin prosciutto. For the artichoke crostini, dice marinated artichoke hearts, mix in chopped parsley, and sprinkle in grated Parmesan cheese.

Blue Cheese Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms:

I can't believe I used to hate mushrooms! I first started liking mushrooms when my husband would order stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer at a local steakhouse. Since they were brimful with cheese I couldn't resit. (The Oysters Rockefeller however, which also have cheese, I was able to resist!) Gradually, I came to like mushrooms without all of the "extras" but for New Years I wanted to try to recreate the stuffed mushrooms we had at the steakhouse.

This recipe comes really close. It is from Allrecipes.com. I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter with the exception of using a mix of both shallots and yellow onions and adding breadcrumbs to the top of the mushrooms before baking. Last of all, the recipe says to bake for 10-15 minutes. Mine ended up taking 25 minutes, but I really stuffed them and I used fairly big mushrooms, so these factors may have influenced the cooking time. The recipe for these yummy and cheesy "fungi" can be found here.


  1. Even though I'm still full from brunch all of these made me drool!

    1. Thanks Laura! I hope you had a great New Year's brunch!


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