With seasons changing and football season in full effect this is my favorite time of year to entertain. My traveling usually slows down a bit and I focus on spending time with family and friends at home.
This past weekend RG and I hosted a small football get-together to watch a disappointing Tennessee loss. The night itself was great, we drank, ate, watched football and played games (Catch Phrase anyone?). As I started planning for the night I struggled with what I should make. We didn’t want to make it fancy or serve an entire meal. Instead I opted for small plates and appetizers that could sit out and be eaten over time. We haven’t really hosted anything since we moved into our new place this past spring so I had to dust off my recipe book and get to business. I decided on a cheese dip, hummus, deviled eggs, cheese and crackers, and bruschetta. Overall I think it was a great spread and was the perfect amount of food for our gathering.
I thought I would share a few of the recipes here in case you are hosting a fall cocktail party or game day soon. Enjoy and please feel free to share your favorite recipes with me, I am always looking to try new things!
*This recipe was adapted from JCT Kitchen’s original deviled eggs, they have since updated their menu and have a different version
10 large eggs
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise *I use the olive oil blend
5-6 Wickles Pickles, minced *Wickles relish or Cornichons can be substituted here
2 tablespoons creamy goat cheese, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallot
2 teaspoons chopped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Optional: 1 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto
- In a large saucepan, cover the eggs with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Let boil for five minutes, remove from the heat, cover the pan and let eggs stand in the hot water for about 10 minutes. Transfer the eggs to an ice water bath until chilled, about 5 minutes.
- I then use this trick to remove the shells from the eggs…works every time!
- Mix together the mayonnaise, pickles, goat cheese, mustard, shallot and 1/2 of the chives.
- Cut the eggs in half, lengthwise. Add the yolks to the mayonnaise mixture, beat together until smooth, season with salt and pepper.
- Set the egg whites on a serving platter. Scrape the egg yolk mixture into a pastry bag, or Ziplock bag, and pipe the filling into the whites. Sprinkle the remaining chives over top.
- Optional: Top each egg with a piece of prosciutto
- Refrigerate and serve once cooled.
Hot Corn Dip
This recipe is courtesy of Gina Marie’s Kitchen blog. I came across this a while back and have been holding on to it for the perfect occasion. Everyone loved it and it will definitely become a fall staple in my house.
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
2 tbs chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced small
1 small can (4oz) diced green chilies, undrained
1/2 cup Mayo *I used the olive oil blend
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 11oz can of corn, drained *I would suggest using 1.5 or 2x cans instead of just 1
1 small tomato *I used two or three tomatoes
2 tbs cilantro, chopped
2 tbs green onions, sliced thin
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix the cheeses, chiptole and green peppers, mayo, garlic powder and corn together. Pour into an oven safe dish.
- Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly *My oven cooks low so I baked this for 30 minutes, use your own judgement
- Top with diced tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.
This is truly my own recipe. Each time I make it I tweak it a little. This latest version, the one below, is the best so far. Prepare the pesto first, there will be extra…I usually make some quinoa and toss it with the extra pesto, add some tomatoes and a chicken breast for a quick meal
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Add the olive oil, salt and pepper, process until fully incorporated and smooth.
- Add the Parmesan Cheese and pulse slightly to make smoother. You do not need to pulse this until completely smooth, sometimes I like a little texture in this!
- At this point, pour the pesto into a separate bowl, set aside and clean your food processor. Now we start on the hummus!
1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans
4 tablespoons lemon juice *About 1 1/2 lemons squeezed
2 tablespoons Tahini
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
pesto (see recipe above)
- Bring garbanzo beans with liquid to a rolling boil on stove top. Do not cook these through, just boil for about 5 minutes. This will help the texture of your hummus.
- In a food processor, chop the garlic.
- Add garbanzo beans to food processor, include about half of the liquid with this – this helps make the hummus smoother, you can add more later if needed. Add lemon juice, tahini, and salt and blend. Blend until creamy and well mixed.
- Add about half of the pesto previously made to processor and blend until mixed. Taste and if desired add more pesto.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium serving bowl, cook in refrigerator. Sprinkle with pepper and pour olive oil over the top. Garnish with fresh basil if desired and serve.
*Remaining pesto will keep in freezer for up to three months.
Hope you enjoy!!