Judy's husband, Carl, is a super guy. He carefully planned a surprise party for Judy's 50th. Then, when a lot of the email addresses didn't work for Girls Night Out, he asked one of the other gals to forward his email. She did. To everyone. Including Judy. Ok, so much for the surprise. Watching the emails go back and forth was very amusing, actually. I was just REALLY glad I wasn't the culprit! Judy and Carl live on Fort Ben in one of the old officer's houses. Many years ago, Fort Benjamin Harrison was shut down. The redevelopment has been amazing. It's been tremendous for the city because there's been a lot of new commerce out there. The officer's houses are actually huge duplexes. Judy and Carl have done an amazing job of renovating their house. Now, the bonus for them is their neighbors. Fantastic neighbors. When they have their famous (infamous?) Halloween parties, the whole Girls Night Out crew is invited as are all their neighbors and some other assorted friends. Consequently, I knew that if I volunteered to bring some goodies to Judy's birthday party I'd have a great tasting group. There were several recipes that I wanted to try out for our big open house in January. I figured that I'd make a few and eliminate half and we'd have some newbies for our party. The best laid plans of mice and men. There's only one I'd elminate. And, I made SEVEN...
Kara's Garlic Shrimp Toasts
Bacon Blue Cheese Dip
Lemon Basil Parmesan Crisps
Wing Eggrolls with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce
Spicy Dough Knots with Onion Dipping Sauce
Caprese Skewers with Pesto
Baked Goat Cheese with Rosemary Cream
Here are some of the comments:
Kara's Garlic Shrimp Toasts - I should've toasted the bread and made the spread a bit spicier. The shrimp were too limp. Next time, buy better shrimp. These are really good when made correctly. But, as an appetizer for our open house, I think they'd get soggy too quickly. And, it's never a good idea to have shrimp sitting out... Keep this one for smaller parties. This recipe is from my wonderful daughter-in-law, Kara. Here's the link to my original post on this : Garlic Shrimp Toasts.
Bacon Blue Cheese Dip - Connie's favorite. In fact, a lot of folks really liked this one. LOTS of blue cheese flavor. Easy to make ahead then heat the evening of the open house. This one is going on the menu. This recipe is thanks to Sara at Easy Appetizers.
Lemon Basil Parmesan Crisps - This takes a good bit of work for not many appetizers. But, one guest said these'd rank right up there with chocolate. I've got to agree. But, then I prefer caramel to chocolate... These will be on the smaller parties list since I need appetizers that I can make en masse without tons of effort per appetizer. This recipe is also thanks to Sara at Easy Appetizers. Unfortunately, we didn't get any photos of this recipe. Here's the direct link to Sara's recipe: Lemon Basil Parmesan Crisps.
Wing Eggrolls with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce - I'm sad to say these disappeared at the party. I'd have had the leftovers for breakfast. And, lunch. They were that good. Absolutely my favorite newbie. I've got to figure out a way to make them in smaller, bite-sized portions for the open house. Connie finally cut the eggrolls in about 6 pieces each so they'd go further. This recipe is from Rachel at Our Blissfully Delicious Life.
Spicy Dough Knots with Onion Sauce - This is the one I'm keeping off the list. Maybe I used the wrong kind of pizza dough. Or, maybe because we had two hours to make seven appetizers and this was the last one we made. Whatever. It was a pain in the tookus to make. The taste was pretty good. But, when I looked at the bowls and platters, this was clearly the one that folks liked the least. The recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers, Sommer at A Spicy Perspective. Because her recipes are typically spot-on, my guess is it's my error!
Caprese Skewers with Pesto - Easy! Good! I have no idea where I saw this idea. I stored it in the back of my mind. Then, when we got our bag of cherry tomatoes and I saw the hunk of mozzarella that needed to be used up, it came to the forefront. These pretty much disappeared as soon as I set them out. They're very easy to make ahead. And, I'll make and freeze some pesto with the abundance of basil we have in the yard. Perfect for the open house. It'll seem like a little bit of summer in the winter!! How to make them? On each skewer you want a small mozzarella ball and a cherry or grape tomato. Drizzle with pesto. Here's the link to my friend Monica's fabulous pesto:
Baked Goat Cheese with Rosemary Cream - This is a knockoff of an appetizer at one of my favorite restaurants - San Giovese. Connie and I went there on our first date in 2004. Since then, we've been back several times and have always had incredible food. This is absolutely going on the party list. It's super simple to make and people just swoon over the flavors.
Rather than have one HUGE post, I'm going to publish the appetizers not covered here in another post(s)- with the exception of the dough knots, which you can get from Sommer's blog - along with a LOT of wonderful ideas!