Summer Fresh Mini Skewers
(please excuse the picture quality – they look much better than this in real life!)
Tread a small ball of bocconcini cheese, a washed and dried fresh basil leaf, and a cherry tomato onto a toothpick or small skewer. Make as many of these as you would like to serve. In a small bowl, mix together a dash of olive oil with a dash of balsamic vinegar, stir in some dry mustard powder, fresh cracked pepper, and minced garlic and pour over the mini skewers. As easy as that, appetizer #1 is complete!
Beet and Goat Cheese Crostini
These are so simple to make. Mix together a tiny splash of olive oil, some balsamic or red wine vinegar, cracked pepper, and either some orange rind and a few squeezes of the juice from the orange or some lemon rind and a few squeezes of the juice from the lemon. Coat sliced beets (either canned or freshly cooked) with this mixture. You can prepare this step ahead and leave the beets in the vinaigrette overnight if you wish.
Lightly toast some slices of baguette or French bread. If you brush the bread with olive oil before you cook them, this step can be done days ahead and the cooked bread slices (crostinis) can be kept in a sealed bag or container. On the day of the party, layer the slices with some goat’s cheese and a slice or two of beet. Appetizer #2 can now be crossed off your to-do list!
Carmelized Onions on Brie
(again, my apologies for the poor picture quality on all three photos)
In order to carmelize the onion, slice one onion (unless using a large brie round in which case I would use 2 onions) thinly. On low heat, melt some butter and cook the onions, stirring periodically. Continue to allow them to cook on low heat for 20-30 minutes. Slice off the top of your brie round, top with the carmelized onions, and back in 350 degree oven until cheese is fairly soft.
Serve this with pieces of sliced baguette or French bread, which you can slice up at the same time as you are making your second appetizer. In very little time, you can make these 3 quick and easy appetizers and be able to enjoy an evening with your guests!