Happy New Year one and all! It’s hard to believe that 2014 is just about over. This is the year we launched PositiveKitchen and hopefully we’ve made your lives a little bit easier, more pleasant and more delicious.
So the question now is what we can prepare that’s very pretty, very festive and extremely easy, to help celebrate the beginning of 2015? Since we know that New Year’s Eve can quickly turn into a party planning nightmare, we wanted appetizers that required extremely little, if any, cooking but that you could bring to any party and get raves about your culinary prowess.
I made this platter for a holiday party where every guest could eat everything and it was a hit!
First, I decided to make a sautéed mushroom appetizer dish that I had at a tapas restaurant in Spain. All you need to do is quarter some mushrooms, sauté them in olive oil with minced garlic until golden brown. Then, add whatever type of wine you want. I added Marsala but dry sherry would be another great option. Simmer for a few minutes to burn off the alcohol and pour into a serving dish. Provide forks or toothpicks for serving. YUM!
Lox on Sliced Cucumber
Cream cheese and lox (smoked salmon) on sliced cucumber is another tasty treat that’s easy to assemble. Just slice a cucumber into rounds, spread a little dab of DAIYA cream cheese product on top and then top with a small piece of lox or smoked salmon. There’s only one tip you need to know to make this quick and easy. Have a dry paper towel handy and dab off the cucumber slice so it’s dry before you try and spread the cream cheese on otherwise you might get a little bit frustrated. If you happen to have fresh dill around put a sprig on top; if not throw a few capers on the plate and you’re good to go.
Another super-fast and delicious appetizer is wrapping prosciutto around two cooked asparagus spears. You can either steam or roast them for a few minutes with no seasoning for about 10 to 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven. (Remember: the way you remove the woody part of the stalk is by snapping it off with your fingers we did in the recipe for roasted asparagus.) Roll them as tightly as you can and chill for an hour so before slicing them into bite-size lengths. To add variety, use other veggies, such as jicama, which also adds crunch.
The last recipe is simple if you make some allergen-free bread in your freezer. Just slice it as thinly as you can, toast it, and then take a peeled garlic clove and rub the clove onto the toast. The rough surface of the toast will take off just the right amount of garlic so that you end up with garlic toast. Cut into bite-size pieces and then top those little small pieces of garlic toast with a bruschetta topping of chopped tomatoes, herbs, olive oil and garlic. You can either make this yourself, or the small container I bought at Trader Joe’s also worked beautifully.
As you can see, it doesn’t have to take an extreme amount of work to create a beautiful appetizer platter whether you’re hosting or attending a New Year’s bash!
I can’t wait to share more great ideas, recipes and tips with you in 2015!
// What were some of your favorite recipes from 2014? Anything you’d really like to learn in 2015? Collaborate with us in the comments below!