Ya know what?
I love having last minute parties.
Do you know why?
Because, when you invite guests over at the last minute, there’s never an expectation for things to be perfect.
Your grass hasn’t been cut in two weeks? You say, “ugh, sorry about the grass…I was going to cut it this weekend, but I had a party instead”.
You haven’t cleaned up you back yard in weeks, your only patio umbrella is torn, and there are a smattering of weeds between your patio stones. You say, “Wow, I never realized how much there is to do around here…but if I take the time to do all of those things, I’ll never have you guys over”.
Case in point…
I decided yesterday (Wed) to have 40-50 people over for a bbq this weekend. All of the above issues are mine (aaaand, my basement, which walks out onto my patio, hasn’t been cleaned in months)…but I still invited everyone over.
Am I panicking? A bit. But if my guests really love me, they’ll understand (and if the food is good, they probably won’t even notice…at least, let’s hope so).
But, now I have to plan a quick menu that can be partially made ahead….because having a party means you get to have fun too, right?
Nothing beats a good old hamburger – especially when you create a gourmet burger bar with a slew of toppings, a few diffferent kinds of bread and lots of fresh salads to go along with it.
The best dessert, in my opinion (especially on a hot summer day) is an ice cream sandwich bar (homemade cookies with vanilla ice cream and a bunch of toppings…think nutella, skor pieces, peanut butter, marshmallow fluff).
But, the trick is to have a few apps that can carry people over while you flip the burgs!
One of my go to apps, any time of year, are these glazed fig and blue cheese crostini. The fig part can be made weeks in advance and putting them together is a breeze. This one is always a crowd favourite.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go clean my basement. Once it’s done, I’ll have to ask everyone in my family to stop living here until Monday morning.
That’s not too much to ask now, is it?
Balsamic Figs and Blue Cheese Crostini
Always keep a batch of this balsamic glazed fig mixture in your fridge for last minute guests. It's a hit any time of the year!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced (about 1/3 c) (can substitute red onion)
- 16 dried figs (about 2 cups), diced
- 1/3 c balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey, optional
- 1 baguette, sliced and toasted
- 1 cup crumbled blue cheese (or cambozola) (can substitute goat cheese)
- 1 bunch arugula
In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, combine oil and shallot; sauté until shallots are coated and beginning to soften (but not brown)
Add diced figs and vinegar and sauté for another 2–5 minutes or until figs soften and the glaze begins to thicken (if you are using the honey, add it now).
Sprinkle cheese on each crostini, evenly distributing it over the top of each piece
Top with a sprig of arugula and a spoonful of the fig mixture; serve immediately