Thursday, January 19, 2012

Party Like a Rock Star

Crostini and bruschetta make the perfect party food. And the Jersey Girl should know, since she is such the partying fool.

Yeah. You got me. That was so five years ago. OK. Make it like 15 years ago.

True. My throwdowns these days are usually a party of three involving The Husband, The Baby and The Wifey/Momma.

But when we’re not playing beer pong or downing Jell-O shots as The Beastie Boys and Nine Inch Nails blare away with me, a raring-to-go Susan, shimmying across the dance floor in my vinyl go-go boots, you will probably find us chilaxing on the couch sharing a bottle of red with a plate of crostini on hand as Evan drops his sippy cup and points to the TV saying “Boo” in reference to his beloved Blue of Blue’s Clues fame.

Reality check: We don’t REALLY play beer pong or do Jell-O shots or listen to Nine Inch Nails at Chez Jersey Girl. Do I look like an animal? Just having a reminiscent moment of my days as a Delta Gamma, that’s what I am-a. I sometimes imagine my house as a skankadelic fraternity basement trapped in the 90s.


Sidenote: I think if I presented The Husband with a tray of Jell-O shots he would probably ask for a trial separation. However, he would totally dig the vinyl go-go boots.

So crostini and/or bruschetta. They sound so fancy pants, right?! So simple to make, peeps. So simple.

No joke: I cooked these babies in September, making use of the final days of the majorly awesome Jersey tomato. Way to stay on top of things, Susan. Good job!!

Procrastination is not my middle name, but “Really Bad Blogger” probably should be. Trust me, when I’m doing my fifth load of laundry of the day, vacuuming, organizing toys and scrubbing the floor, I really REALLY would much rather be blogging.

Maybe if I get a bumper sticker that says, “I’d rather be blogging,” I would more actively pursue this hobby.

Working moms have hobbies?!? Say what?

I’m giving all y’all two recipes: One by Giada and one by moi.

Obviously, the one invented by me – piano teacher by afternoon/night, average mom who is always cleaning by day – is vastly superior to that of Giada De Laurentiis - seasoned Food Network glamazon/New York Times best-selling author/culinary empire owner who probably has a staff of 100. It’s like the choice has already been made for you. Duh.

I made both of these on the same day. And, they were awesome. They go fab with a glass of red wine. But really, who are we kidding? Make that a bottle of wine.

Baked Caprese Salad
4 to 6 servings
From “Everyday Pasta”
By Giada De Laurentiis

1 baguette, sliced ½ inch thick (30 to 36 slices)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Roma tomatoes, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ¼ lbs. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
Leaves from 1 bunch of basil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet, brush with some of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake until the bread is pale golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Top each slice of bread with a slice of tomato and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with a slice of mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with salt. Return the baking sheet to the oven until the cheese and tomato are just warm, about 5 minutes.

Arrange the toasts on a serving platter. Top each toast with a basil leaf. Using the brush, drizzle the remaining olive oil over the basil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

Note from the Jersey Girl: I cooked these at 400 degrees Fahrenheit just because high temperatures from the oven always set off my smoke detector (no matter how often I clean the oven). I snipped the basil into ribbons. Also, I only salted the tomato. Giada goes kind of overboard with the salt, in my very humble opinion. Also, I only made about 12 of these because me and The Husband would NEVER eat that much. Jeez.

Prosciutto Arugula Bruschetta

1 baguette cut into 12 slices
Olive oil for drizzling
12 slices prosciutto
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Juice and zest of one lemon
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Drizzle the bread with olive oil and place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine lemon juice, lemon zest, 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss dressing with arugula.

Place a small bunch of dressed arugula on top of each slice of prosciutto. Place a slice of mozzarella on top of the arugula. Roll up the prosciutto around the arugula and cheese.

Remove crostini from oven and top with prosciutto wraps. Serve!!

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