What’s better when you’re having a party and don’t have time to make a ton of food? Making TWO appetizers with one base recipe! Easy peasy, but oh tasty!
Way back when my kids were little, we used to have parties at my mom and dad’s house for their birthdays. Both birthdays were in the summer and my parents have a huge pool, so it was a no brainer. My mom and I would think about all the wonderful appetizers we could make, not even thinking that these were KIDS parties and they didn’t give a crap about the food. All they cared about was swimming and cake! Seriously, trying to get a bunch of young kids out of a pool to go eat lunch is like pulling teeth!!
But the deal was this–WE wanted the food. We just used the kids as an excuse to make and eat all the good stuff! Not to say the kids didn’t have a great time and of course we made great “kid friendly” foods, but our goal was to load up on all the appetizers we could think of for ourselves!!
THE MASTER RECIPE
I’m sure you could probably come up with a whole slew of different crostini from this one recipe, but here are a few to get you started. We used to make both of them all the time and they were always a hit. The master recipe is so simple:
- Begin with two blocks of cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer.
- Add mayonnaise to thin it out and make it more spreadable.
- Add chopped bacon (what could go wrong here?)
That’s a pretty easy start, right? The spread then gets divided into two bowls and transformed into two different appetizers.
Hot Mushroom Cheese Spread
Surprisingly, you’ll never know mushrooms are in this spread because they are chopped so fine. I love mushrooms, but several people I know don’t and still love this spread. It’s not the prettiest appetizer, but it’s so good!! To the base recipe, add:
- Finely chopped mushrooms
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
- Finely chopped garlic
- Worcestershire sauce
- Fresh dill
All of the above gets mixed together and spread on unbaked crostini slices. Put them in the oven to bake. Remove and adorn with a sprig of fresh dill. Serve warm or at room temp.
These little babies are always the first to go at a party. The only thing that’s added to the base recipe is chopped chives. For these appetizers, however, pre-bake the crostini until lightly browned and then spread the room temperature cream cheese mixture on top, followed by a slice of Roma tomato, sea salt and pepper. So incredibly simple, but so crunchy, creamy, and refreshing in one bite!
These crostini can be whipped up in no time, so you can get ready for the big game and not spend hours in the kitchen. Which team are you rooting for? The overachievers or the underdogs? Neither are my favorite, but I guess I’d have to go for the underdogs since my team isn’t in it.
Gluten Free Crostini Two Ways
- 2 gluten free baguettes from gluten free artisan bread
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
HOT MUSHROOM CHEESE SPREAD:
- 1 cup finely chopped mushroom (about an 8-ounce package)
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
- 2-3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
- sea salt and pepper
- extra chives for garnishing
- olive oil
- Cut baguettes on the diagonal into crostini. Put half of them on a baking sheet and sprinkle each with olive oil. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Leave oven on.
- In bowl of mixer, add softened cream cheese and sour cream. Blend on medium until thoroughly combined. Divide mixture into two bowls.
- In one bowl, add all ingredients for hot mushroom cheese spread and blend until well mixed. Spread on other half of crostini that’s unbaked. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and place on serving tray. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs.
- In the other bowl, add chives and blend well. Spread onto already baked crostini slices and top with tomato slices. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh chive sprigs.