Whether you want more money to donate to charities, have maybe lost your job, are looking to start a family, or are getting married… money is on a lot of people’s minds right now. So here’s a money saving tip that I learned from my grandparents: Homemade Happy Hours. It can be a lot of fun to go out, get some fancy drinks, and a basket or two of appetizers… the entire time reminding yourself it’s OK because the drinks are only $3 and appetizers are half off. But let’s be honest: then the bill comes, you’ve spent way more than you thought, and now you have to tip. Or, you could spend the night in a place where you can control the music, your sports team is on a TV you can actually see, there’s a short wait, and you know that they serve your favorite drinks. Home.
The Homemade Happy Hour we’re sharing today is Italian-themed, and actually a pretty remarkable spread. We made toasted Crostini, Roasted Garlic, and Sauteed Olives. Just buy your favorite beer or beverage–maybe aMorena or Peroni or a bottle of Limoncello if you want to keep it Italian. These recipes are easy enough that you can make them right after work and not worry about mussing up your kitchen. And they’re delicious enough that you won’t miss paying extra to have someone open your beer bottle for you. Be sure to keep reading… we included lots of pictures.
Also, be sure and check out Dan & me on Our Hen House’s Podcast this weekend! We love those kick-ass ladies over there, and it was a great honor to be a part of what they’re doing to make the world a more compassionate place. If you’re not familiar with Our Hen House, we highly recommend you check out their site.
|Toasted Crostini with Limoncello|
10 -12 slices of Baquette (1/2 inch thick, and don’t count the ends… we can eat those with the Roasted Galric)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Large Tomato (diced) or 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
4 Tablespoons Fresh Basil (chopped)
1 Tablespoon Capers (No, not the mysteries… the flower buds of Capparis spinosa, a prickly, perennial plant which is native to the Mediterranean and some parts of Asia.They come in little jars and are kinda cute.)
1 teaspoon Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Pinch of Daiya Mozzarella Cheese (shredded) per Crostini
Heat oven to 375.
On an uncovered cookie pan, place Bread Slices and toast lightly in the oven for no more than a minute and a half.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except Olive Oil, Bread and Daiya. When you remove the Bread Slices from the oven, just flip them over in the same spot and drizzle 1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil over each Slice of Bread.
Then spoon just enough of the Tomato Mix over each toasted slice of bread to cover it evenly. You will have some leftover but that’s OK. Just put it in a cup for dipping crusts later. Then put the pinch of Daiya on top of the Tomato Mix and put the pan back in the oven.
Let bake for no more than 10 minutes. Check on them often. You want to remove them when the crusts are golden brown and the Daiya is melted. Serve warm and remember napkins that can be messy.
|I was suspicious of trying to improve Olives. Betty was right again. These little guys are GOOD!|
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley (chopped)
2 Green Onions (chopped)
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
2 cloves Garlic (minced)
3 cups of Mixed Fancy Olives on the Stone (this means with the pit still in it. Ours included Colossus Sicilians, Kalamatas, Spanish Green, Greek Green and Gaeta – it also included some Greek Golden Peppers that were a nice spicy addition if you like heat)
|Sometimes I think Roasted garlic looks good – sometimes not so much – but even when it’s ugly – it’s DELICIOUS!|