App-ily Ever After: An Appetizer Happy Hour



With summer in full force, one of my favorite past times is patio hangouts with my girlfriends. A key to this is the food snacked on while we talk away -- to spice things up a bit, I suggest “App-y Hour.” Everyone brings an app or two to share, making it a little fancier than the classic chips and salsa. Here are some divine (and easy to make) appetizers to try out.


Bruschetta

I honestly thought of writing this blog post on the sole fact that I have been craving bruschetta for roughly two weeks. It’s simple to make and is one of my favorites.


What you’ll need:

4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 large tomatoes, diced

1/4 c. thinly sliced basil

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. kosher salt

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1 loaf french baguette


What you do:

In a medium-sized skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and cook until lightly golden (2-4 mins). Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl toss together tomatoes, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and vinegar. Once tossed, add in cooled garlic and oil. Let marinate for about 30 minutes.

While the tomatoes are marinating, preheat the oven to 400 to toast bread slices (best sliced about ¼” thick). Brush bread lightly with oil on both sides and toast until golden (About 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through).

Once toast is done, let cool and spoon tomatoes on top before serving.

Optional: once bread is out rub a garlic clove over tops of toast.



Caprese Salad

Another classic and even easier to make! Although not traditional, I always add avocado for more taste. You can use either large tomatoes and slices of mozzarella or cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls, whichever you prefer. I like using the little bites to make it more of a salad. You can add whatever portions of this you'd like. I normally do equal avo, mozzarella, and tomato with a couple of basil leaves, a dash of salt and pepper, and a heavy drizzle of balsamic.


What you’ll need:

Equal portion fresh mozzarella

Equal portion cherry tomatoes

Basil (as preferred)

Salt & Pepper

Balsamic Vinegar

Optional: Avocado


What you do:

Slice cherry tomatoes in halves, slice mozzarella into bite-size pieces (or buy the mozzarella balls), slice avocado into small squares. Put in a serving dish.

Sprinkle basil, salt and pepper over top.

Drizzle balsamic vinegar over salad for taste!



Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip

I pinned this recipe a couple of months back and it's the perfect dip for any vegetable or cracker. I recommend it with cucumbers and pita chips!


What you'll need:

4 oz. feta cheese

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers (drained and patted dry)

1 jalapeno roughly chopped, seeds separated

1 clove peeled garlic

1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon oregano


What you do:

Add feta, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and lime juice to food processor and mix 3-4 minutes until cheeses are very smooth, scraping sides down occasionally.

Add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth. If it looks too watery, mix in a tablespoon of milk for thicker consistency. (Dip will also thicken in refrigerator)

Add jalapeno seeds to taste to reach desired spice level, mix.

Place in the refrigerator until chilled.


These are just a few of my favorite appetizers to enjoy when it’s warmer outside, they are super light and fresh! Hope you enjoy!

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