Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Party Food: Tomato Canapes

If you're having a party, chances are you're going to need food. While it's very easy to go to a big box store and buy all those adorable little frozen appetizers that they've got all ready to go for you, there's something about making your own. I'm a big fan of "make some things, buy some things" as our time is truly precious and well, you just can't fit it all into a day's work (or sometimes even a week's work). I guess we just pick and choose what we have time to make and do. And I'm a big fan of slicing the work up into spurts: do a little this day, a little more the next and so on until the job is done.

That said, with a little planning and some extra freezer space, there are plenty of appetizers you can make and freeze ahead of time!

When I was growing up, my Aunt Lynnie had a yearly Christmas party at her home.  I can't quite remember the age, but at some point, I was asked if I might like to help out in the kitchen as one of the servers. It was A BIG PARTY. Aunt Lynn had dozens of appetizers and they were all made ahead, labeled and stocked in her big stand up freezer in the basement pantry. My teammate, Renee and I would bake and restock the warming trays as the guests devoured every single treat my Aunt had prepared. It was a labor of love and one that I cannot soon forget. I do believe I've adopted a lot of her interests over the years and making tasty foods is certainly one of them. To help me out, I have all of her copious notebooks where she's written down her menu plans for every party, Garden luncheon, bridge group and family dinner. In addition to those notes, I also have her recipes!

I've shared several of her recipes over the years and one of my favorite party food appetizers is Spinach Balls. I've even started making it as a side dish at dinner as my kids really do love them and well, it does have spinach in it!

When I was prepping for Sophia's first birthday party, I decided early on that it was going to be somewhat simple, as simple as Crafty can be at least. I went with a Sweets and Savories menu and the recipe that follows is a winner indeed! My friend, Marijke, shared Tomato Canapes with me while I was going over my menu plans-  I'm so glad she did. You can make these ahead and use some store bought bruschetta to make it even easier to assemble!

Tomato Canapes

Large jar of prepared bruschetta, drained
3 packages of mini phyllo shells
1/2 cup mayo
1 cup shredded mozzarella
8 slices real bacon chopped up into bits


Instructions:

1. If you've bought yourself some prepared bruschetta, I'd go ahead and drain the majority of the liquid from it so that these little phyllo cups don't end up all soggy bottomed. No one likes a soggy bottom.

2. Leave the phyllo cups in their trays and spoon a little bruschetta into each one, I'd say this is about a half of a regular sized teaspoon (not the measuring type of teaspoon, the one in your silverware drawer)



3. Stir together the mozzarella and mayo (I used light mayo) and use this to "frost" each of the phyllo cups


4. Chop up a few strips of bacon or open up a bag of bacon bits- whatever you've got time for and sprinkle that on top of the frosted phyllo cups



5. Now you can do one of two things, freeze them for later or bake them now! For freezing, I just kept them in their safe little plastic containers and used press 'n seal to seal them tightly. I then put them in a large freezer bag.
To Bake: preheat your oven to 350° and bake for 10-12 minutes. Serve hot.




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