We wanted it to be an evening we could visit and soak up each other's company and not have to fuss around with food. An alfresco event seemed ideal and YM's house provided a perfect backdrop. She styled the table—gorgeous—and also provided the mascots (meet chickens Buffy and Nice Girl) who had no problem mixing and mingling with the group.
For the appetizer we thought it would be fun to set up a crostini station. The concept is to provide three different cheeses, spreads and nuts that people can mix and match to their heart's content. It proved to be a big hit. People loved being able to build their own crostini according to their preferences but also had fun seeing and trying someone else's combination.
To lay it out, I used the largest cutting board I have and simply placed the "layers" in a row. YM did create this cute and helpful board to share what the options were:
> Cheese: Goat, Le Petit Creme (which is similar to a brie, and Cream Cheese
> Spreads: Apricot Jam, Hot Pepper Jelly and Roasted Tomatoes
> Nuts: Tasted Almonds, Pecan halves and Candied Walnuts
Personally, I could make an entire meal off bread or cheese so was pretty much camped out at this table for most of the night, but we were sure to leave some room for YM's stunning amaretto soaked peach cake.
Whether you're having a small intimate dinner, a large party or just want to enjoy an alfresco snack along with the summer weather, it's nice to have a nibble to offer that is as effortless as it is tasty. This will definitely not be the last of the crostini station around here—and we know it's certainly not the last of the Stone's. But bon voyage our special friends! We'll miss you and are already counting down until your welcome back party!
Build-Your-Own Crostini Station
Baguette sliced about 1/4-in thick
2-3 soft cheeses (such as goat cheese, blue cheese, brie, cream cheese)
2-3 spreads (such as apricot jam, fig preserves, red pepper jelly, roasted tomatoes)
2-3 toasted nuts (such as pecan halves, almonds, hazelnuts, candied walnuts)
Please note: All photography © Yummy Mummy Kitchen.