Posts by tag: party

  • Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese Crostini

Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese Crostini

Posted on November 13, 2017

This post was originally published here on September 13, 2013. I’ve since updated the photographs and text in hopes of encouraging you to give it a try!

Hi Friends! Happy Monday!

How are you all feeling about the upcoming Holiday? Excited? Anxious? Un-prepared? Somewhere in between?

Last week, I was starting to get stressed about how quickly Thanksgiving was approaching. But I managed to pull myself back from the proverbial ledge and enjoy a super fun and relaxing weekend (hiking, beers, pizza and ice cream galore!). So now I’m feeling much more sane. And mentally ready to tackle the weeks ahead.

My Mom is hosting Thanksgiving at her house, but we will divide and conquer all the tasks for the big event. Yesterday we sat down and planned everything out. So now that I have my list of things that I’m in charge of, I’m feeling a lot less frantic. Lists always relax me.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way.

One of the things I’m responsible for this Thanksgiving is all the appetizers. And you better believe that these Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese Crostini will be making an appearance at our table.

Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese Crostini | www.floatingkitchen.net

I love roasted grapes in all forms. This time of year, I usually roast up an entire sheet pan of them at least once a week for adding to salads, grain bowls, yogurt, etc. Anywhere you love using grapes, you can try replacing them with roasted grapes for an extra sweet treat. And they are especially good when combined with tangy goat cheese, sautéed shallots and crusty bread.

These Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese Crostini are seriously some of my favorite little bites EVER. And they are also one of the most requested things that I make. So you know they MUST be good! To save time on Thanksgiving day, you can make the goat cheese-shallot mixture in advance and store it in your refrigerator. Then on the day of, just roast the grapes and assemble the crostini before serving. Easy peasy!

Cheers,

Liz

Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese Crostini

Serves 10-12

Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese Crostini

Ingredients

  • 1 lb seedless red grapes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup shallots, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 rustic French baguette

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the grapes with the rosemary and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast the grapes in your pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking time. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat warm 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the sliced shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
  3. Add the goat cheese and honey to a medium bowl. Add the sautéed shallots, plus any accumulated juices. Stir to combine.
  4. Slice the French baguette into 1/2 inch slices. You can warm or toast the slices, if desired. Then spread approximately a tablespoon of the goat cheese-shallot mixture onto each of the bread slices. Top with the roasted grapes. Serve immediately.

Notes

1. If you don’t like goat cheese, ricotta or cream cheese would be a great alternative.

https://www.floatingkitchen.net/roasted-grape-and-goat-cheese-crostinis/

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  • Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer

Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer

Posted on October 30, 2017

This post was originally published here on January 12, 2015. I’ve since updated the photographs and text. I hope you try it out!

Hi Friends! I’m going to keep things short and sweet today (and a little spicy, too!). Because there needs to be as little as possible standing between you and this snack mix. It’s one of my favorite recipes to whip up for parties, game day gatherings, gift giving, etc. So I figured with Halloween on the horizon, today would be the perfect opportunity to re-visit this post and give it a little bit of a facelift. If you need a last minute recipe for tomorrow night, seriously consider giving this Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer a try. No tricks. Just treats. I promise.

It has chocolate AND beer. I mean, really. What more could a person ask for?

Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer | www.floatingkitchen.net

The very first time I made this recipe I went all out and put in a full teaspoon of cayenne pepper. And hot damn, that was a painful mistake that I won’t ever be making again. I was literally sweating while eating that inaugural batch. And I think at one point, I even got momentarily light headed. So word of caution: go easy on the spice. A 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper will provide you with a nice amount of heat, while still being relatively comfortable. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can certainly try adding more. But just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For beers, I’ve made this recipe with both Wicked Weed Dark Age and Lagunitas Brewing Company Brown Shugga’. I’m sure other beers would also be excellent. My suggestion is to stick with something with “warm” flavor tones.

Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer | www.floatingkitchen.net

A couple of other notes on the actual recipe that I think are worth mentioning. First, I always use unsalted nuts and salted pretzels (mostly because I can never find unsalted pretzels). If you only have salted nuts, you might want to cut down on the amount of extra salt added in the recipe. Second, the snack mix will look wet initially, but it will dry as it sits and cools. So don’t panic if it doesn’t look dry enough at first. And third, depending on the beer you use, some parts of the snack mix might get pretty dark. It’s OK! Just check on the snack mix closely as it’s baking to make sure nothing is actually burning.

I hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween! Enjoy!

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe adapted from Food52

Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer

Yield: Makes 8 cups

Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix with Beer

Ingredients

  • 4 cups unsalted nuts (I used a mix of cashews, almonds and pecans)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup beer
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 4 cups pretzels twists
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp. kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Add the nuts to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar and beer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the maple syrup, cocoa powder and all the spices.
  3. Pour this mixture over the nuts, stirring to coat. Then fold in the pretzel twists, sprinkling in the salt as you fold.
  4. Spread the mixture out evenly between your two prepared baking sheets, making sure to add in any of the accumulated liquid in your bowl. Transfer the baking sheets to your pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes, stirring and checking on the mixture 1-2 times during baking.
  5. Turn your oven off and open the door, leaving the baking sheets in your warm oven for an additional 5-10 minutes. This will help the mixture to dry. Then remove the baking sheets from your oven and set them aside to cool completely. Once the snack mix has cooled, use your hands to break up any big clusters into smaller pieces.
  6. The snack mix can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
https://www.floatingkitchen.net/sweet-and-spicy-nut-and-pretzel-mix-with-beer/

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