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Monday, June 11, 2012

Party Appetizers Galore!

Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry Jam

Caprese with Pesto 
Turkey and Cheddar Skewers
Watermelon, Feta and Mint Skewers
Minted Pea Crostini with Bacon
Last week was filled with parties, home decorating and cleaning! I hosted a neighborhood cocktail party and housewarming all in the same week. I actually purposefully planned these two events a month after we moved in to give me motivation to get our new house in tip-top shape for our guests viewing pleasure! I wanted to keep the appetizers simple and delicious. Unfortunately, many of the appetizers I made were camera shy, so I'll talk about what is pictured above. First off, I have to admit I cannot take credit for the Swedish meatballs, my mother takes the cake for making hundreds from scratch for a wedding the week prior. I will    hunt her down for the recipe and get back to ya! I can, on the other hand take credit for the caprese, cheese, watermelon and pea bites. recipes for the pesto and pea bites below (pleasssse try the pea crostini, you'll thank me later!). 

Homemade Pesto
(makes 1-2 cups)
1 large bunch fresh basil 
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts 
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves
Olive oil

In a large food processor, add all ingredients, drizzling in the olive oil until you reach your preferred consistency. 

Minted Pea Crostini with Bacon
* Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentis 

(makes 6-8 servings) 


Sweet Peas:

  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 3 ounces finely diced prosciutto or bacon



For the Sweet Peas: Warm the chicken broth and red pepper flakes in a medium
saucepan over medium-high heat until the broth boils. Add the frozen peas and cook until the peas are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the peas in a mesh sieve.
Place the peas in a food processor with the mint, salt, and pepper. Puree the pea mixture. Place the pea puree in a medium bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the crostini: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the baguette slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in the oven until toasted and golden around the edges, about 10 minutes. While the crostini are still warm, drizzle the tops with extra-virgin olive oil. Using a whole clove of garlic in your fingertips, rub the top of the crostini a few times to give a hint of garlic.
To finish, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the pea puree. Top each of the crostini with about 1 tablespoon of pea puree. Sprinkle with a bit of the diced prosciutto. Serve immediately.

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