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Tomato Soup Shooters with Everything Bagel Twists
I love making individual serving appetizers like these soup shooters. The trick is making something in one big batch the day before and then just having to pour them into little shooter glasses when your guests arrive. The everything bagel twists are a fun dipper for the tomato soup and also can be made in advance, just freeze, up to one month, and then bake from frozen.
Holiday Prosciutto, Taleggio and Sage Twists
The holidays always means hosting family and friends. These twists are easy to put together and are delicious, especially when they come right out of the oven. The best part is that you can make them ahead; freeze them and bake straight from frozen, so whether your guests are planned or unplanned you'll have warm twists at the ready in under 20 minutes. Feel free to get creative with the filling, you can leave out the prosciutto if you want a vegetarian option, or even change up the cheeses and herb, using whatever you have on hand.
Pick Your Flavor Cheese Balls
Cheese balls are not only a crowd pleaser but an excellent make ahead appetizer for a crowd. I like to make the cheese balls the night before and then roll them in their toppings before serving to ensure they are still crunchy! These are some of my favorite flavor combinations but the base of this recipe is easy to get creative with and make your own.
Make Ahead Chorizo and Manchego Bites
Growing up my parents were always hosting family and friends at our house for everything from small dinner parties to family weddings for 120 people. No matter the occasion we always try to cook everything ourselves which can be a feat around working and family responsibilities. Because of this, I am always coming up with new recipes that we can make in advance, freeze and bake from frozen, like these delicious chorizo and manchego bites wrapped in puff pastry. Whether you are planning to have people over or if friends just stop by for game night or over the holidays these bites are at the ready, no need to defrost, just bake straight from frozen, this way they taste fresh each time you make them!
Pickled Shrimp with Mustard Aioli
These perfectly poached shrimp are marinated in a citrus vinaigrette with lots of herbs, fennel, and spices to give them a delicious "pickled" flavor. What's make these even better is, you guessed it, they can be made ahead! Pickle the shrimp the night before you want to serve and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The mustard aioli can be made up to 5 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. These shrimp will be become a staple for you whenever you are hosting but if you do have any leftovers take off the shrimp tails and chop the entire mixture and turn into a shrimp salad sandwich!
Garlic bread is one of those comfort foods that just makes me happy. It's always a crowd pleaser and is such a simple way to upgrade a baguette (or any bread really). The secret to my garlic bread is slowly cooking the garlic and parsley in the butter before adding it to the baguette, this mellows the garlic flavor slightly and flavors the butter. You can make this garlic butter and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week and you can use it for a simple pasta or a base in other sauces in addition to making garlic bread!
This broccoli rabe recipe has been in my family for generations. It only has a few ingredients but it is packed with flavor. You may look at the recipe and think it has a lot of garlic but the flavor becomes mild after cooking low and slow with the broccoli rabe and olive oil for an hour. I love this tender rabe on its own but it also goes great in pasta dishes or as a breakfast sandwich with sausage and eggs. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week and reheat on low on the stovetop.
Roasted Dandelion Greens
My favorite bitter green is the dandelion green! They are so versatile; you can eat them raw in a salad, sauté them (see the recipes page for my version) or roast them for a crunchy snack or easy side dish. These will store best at room temperature in an airtight container for 1 or 2 days after roasting.
Sautéed Dandelion Greens
Dandelion greens are one of my favorite bitter greens but I find that they are not often used. My mother tells me stories of my great grandmother going to the backyard to pick dandelion greens to make a salad so maybe that's why I've always loved them. This is a really simple sautéed version of the greens that is a great side dish on its own or you can make it ahead and have it on hand to stir into pastas, soups or even serve it with some scrambled eggs on toast.
Lazy Girl Sourdough Bread
Like so many, I started making sourdough during the pandemic. After lots of experimenting, I have landed on this "lazy girl" version. Lazy doesn't mean it takes a short period of time to make, it refers to the low maintenance approach to making sourdough bread. You don't need specialty equipment, there's no intense kneading and the ingredients are pantry staples. The end result is a bakery quality loaf that you don't need to leave the house to get; it's crunchy and perfectly chewy with a mild sourdough flavor.
Caesar dressing is one of my favorites on a salad. This is a recipe I learned from my grandfather and I've made a few updates over the years. He used to soft boil his eggs, so the yolk was still runny but warmed through, which is an easy thing to do if you don't want to add raw egg yolk. And if you have leftover dressing I like to use it on sandwiches or toss roasted vegetables in it and top with a little extra parm!
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