I love to entertain and before I had kids I was a go-all-out kinda gal. You know, the weirdo who would spend weeks pouring over recipe ideas and table-scape plans. I’m not talking frou-frou or fussy , this is me we’re taking about, but let’s just say that BK (before kids) I took a lot of time with my party preparations. Now I’m lucky if I can even remember napkins but my love for entertaining still remains strong. I love being with people and sharing a good meal.
Entertaining does not have to go out the window after you have kids. Sure, you need to change your strategies and even though I always entertained casually, my definition of the word “casual” has gotten more loose since the kiddies came along. And you know what? I sort of love keeping it loose and relaxed. I have more fun preparing because I’m not stressed and in turn, my guests get a more focused, less frazzled host. Everyone is happy and well fed regardless of how many days it took me to prepare or how many courses I serve.
In the interest of keeping things simple, my go-to meal plan goes like this:
This plan is foolproof and so easy yet it still feels special and even luxurious. No matter how much time I have to spend on preparations, I always want my guests to feel special and welcome in my home and the above strategy always does the trick. It allows you to actually enjoy your guests, and after all, isn’t that what really matters?
The sweet tender fig set atop a crusty piece of bread with melty cheddar is one of my favorite appetizers to make and it’s always a hit. I love how the salty sharpness of the cheddar pairs with the sweetness of the fig, top that off with a drizzle of flowery honey and you have yourself one divine appetizer in less time than it takes to bake up frozen ones out of a box. . It goes perfectly with any beverage and is a nice nibble before the main course.
Fig and Cheddar Crostini
1 baguette cut on the bias into 16 (1/2-inch) slices
16 thin slices of sharp cheddar
8 ripe figs cut into quarters
1/4 cup honey
1. Set oven to broiler setting. Place slices of baguette onto a large baking sheet and cook under the broiler for 30-60 seconds or until bread is slightly golden. Keep an eye on them because they burn quickly.
2. Remove baking sheet from oven. Using tongs, flip slices of bread over so the toasted sides are facing down. Place a slice of cheese onto each piece of bread and place back into the oven for another 30-60 seconds or until cheese begins to bubble. Remove baking sheet from the oven one last time. Top each crostini with two fig wedges and drizzle with honey. Serve warm.