As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, The Holidays Have Officially Started our party was a big success. People are still telling me how much they enjoyed it and how much fun it was. I am also getting a lot of recipe requests too. SWEET!!!!! I am just glad everyone had a good time.
The kitchen is always my favorite room of the house no matter what day it is, but on party days, it seems to be everyone’s favorite place to be.
We had a wide variety of foods and everything was delicious. I love bruschettas of all kinds, and one of the dishes I made was a new type of bruschetta. It was not the traditional kind we see and enjoy all the time with tomatoes, but was made from artichoke hearts, olives, butter beans and grape leaves instead. It is super simple and very tasty. It has a real Mediterranean personality.
Artichoke and Olive Brushetta
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
4 large grape leaves, chopped
1 can butter beans, drained
1/2 cup olives – you can use any kind of olives you like, or use a combination of different kinds. I used both Kalamata and Cavatappi olives, chopped
1 1/2 TBSP garlic
1 tsp lemon zest
1-2 TBSP lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste – optional
3 TBSP olive oil + more for the baguette
1 baguette – sliced at an angle, and brushed with olive oil
Mix all the ingredients together with the exception of the baguette slices.
Most people are unfamiliar with grape leaves. Depending on where you live and the season, you can get them fresh, or you can buy them brined in a jar, like I do. Roll them tight and chiffonade or slice them, just like you would for other leafy herbs and vegetables, then chop them in a rough chop.
Preheat the oven to 350* F or 180* C.
Slice the baguette at an angle, in thin slices. Brush both sides with olive oil and place on a baking pan. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the baguette is lightly browned and crunchy, then flip the pieces over and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes. You can use them right away or store them in an airtight container for a few days before using.
Once the bread is done, top it with the artichoke mix and enjoy.
After everyone had their fill of all the good food, it was time to unwrap the ornaments and let the stealing begin. There was definitely a lot of stealing too, which always makes the game much more fun and entertaining. We had so many great and unusual ornaments this year.
The rules are that all the ornaments have to be shown, just in case someone wants to steal them later, which is usually the case.
Happy Holidays everyone! Make them Merry and spread good cheer!