a recipe for an easy, make ahead appetizer

December 22, 2021







Over the years I've shared this recipe many times but recently realized that I hadn't actually written out a "formal" recipe. I'm here to fix that!


Every 60s hostess had a cheese toast recipe in her recipe arsenal. My mother made these regularly and I remember her using a mix of leftover cheeses, as in whatever she had on hand. I always like to have sharp cheddar, gruyere and parmesan if possible. The one pictured  above has fontina and jack in them too. My mother often added blue cheese but I find that too overpowering. The point is, just use your favorite cheeses and bits of this and that are just fine. You could elevate it by adding flaked crab, but then you must serve it with champagne, just because!


Kids LOVE these. Just warning you in advance. I'll add the recipe to my recipe blog so you can find it again easily.


Retro Cheese Toasts  


You will need 1 sliced baguette.

Start with 1 1/2 cups grated mixed favorite hard cheeses and mix in enough mayonnaise to make a spreadable mixture, I would guess about 1/3-1/2 cup but I've never measured. It's an "add and stir until you get it right" mixture.


Mix in one, two, or more of these add ons:

chopped chives

thinly sliced green onions

finely chopped pimientos

finely chopped green or black olives

drained capers

a heaping spoon of pesto or chopped chutney

chopped, drained tomatoes

1 tsp of your favorite dried herb or a tablespoon of your favorite fresh, minced herb

1-2 tsp of curry

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

2 tsp prepared mustard

1 can drained crab or 1/2-1 C flaked fresh cooked crab or tiny bay shrimp


Spread mixture on bread slices.  Sprinkle with paprika, cracked black pepper or additional herbs if desired. At this point, cheese toasts can be flash frozen on a baking sheet. After a few hours in the freezer and they are frozen solid, place in freezer bags. They will keep nicely for up to a month and are very handy for the busy hostess. To bake: line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy clean up. Place rack on top and place toasts on top of rack. Bake frozen toasts in a hot oven, 375 F for about 8 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned in spots. Unfrozen slices take a little less time. Baking them on a rack is optional, but it crisps up the bottoms nicely. Makes about 3 dozen.

             


 






I thought you'd like to see the pretty table my friend set in her sunny dining room for a girlfriend Christmas lunch. For appetizers she served champagne with crab toasts and homemade puff pastry crackers topped with duxelles, and oh my, did we ever love being spoiled!  Next we were delighted with roasted tomato and red pepper soup with pesto aioli, and a beautiful platter of See's Chocolates for dessert.  No one wanted to leave. 


My little best buddy and I made gingerbread men with this Norwegian Pepperkaker recipe. I subbed molasses for the Karo syrup to give it more oomph. We rolled them thin and baked them crispy. Fabulous! We packed a car-ride supply of our little men and headed to the coast for a walk on Mavericks at Half Moon Bay then a late lunch at Sam's Chowder House. No big waves but the sky was bright blue and glorious and we were able to collect a good amount of shells and beach glass. The ride to was filled with singalongs of our favorite Christmas songs where I finally learned the correct hand movements for Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. The ride home, well, two of us took a nap. Such a nice and relaxing way to spend time during the busy week leading to Christmas. 


I've been making soup at least once a week since the beginning of fall because my husband and I are both souper soup fans. Pictured above might be cream of mushroom, cannot remember. I only took a picture because the lavender garlic chive flowers looked so pretty. Even when it's just the two of us, or maybe especially if it's just the two of us, I like to have our dinner look pretty. I'm going to try this soup next.


Friends, I’m wishing you merry, relaxing, and fun filled days before Christmas. I know many of you are in lockdown again, with the rest of us being limited in other ways. I hope you have chances to slow down and enjoy the season and maybe even learn the hand movements to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, although I warn you that it's quite challenging, especially if you have a grandson who is a rigorous tutor.


 xo Kristen


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4 comments

  1. Cheese toasts reminds me of a restaurant my step father owned in the 80’s. Now I can make my own. Thank you.

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  2. Oh that's fabulous! I love the way food can bring back memories.

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  3. I hope you had a nice Christmas and lots of health and joy for the new year.
    I'm a very silent and faithful reader of this blog and hope you'll going on , it is so interesting and inspiring and heartwarming. :)
    lots of love
    Jeannine

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Jeannine. Thank you for taking the time to write such a nice comment!

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