People… I wrote a book. It’s a beautiful and delicious cookbook full of simple yet elegant recipes to throw a shindig with and it’s called the Effortless Entertaining Cookbook — 80 Recipes That Will Impress Your Guests Without Stress. This fabulous book is organized by seasons and each season contains menus for occasions ranging from the casual get-togethers like “Fiesta Taco Bar” and “Autumn Beer Dinner” to the more elegant soirees like “Sunset Garden Party” and “Winter Harvest.” Every occasion comes with a timeline to help you breakdown your schedule and a list of drink pairings to create the perfect party.
Each recipe is either extreamly simple to make or can be made in advance. Some of my favorite jewels of this book are vanilla bean and bourbon peaches, backyard seafood boil, heirloom tomatoes and burrata, Bee’s Knees Cocktail with thyme honey, white wine braised turkey legs, roasted chicken with fennel and leek croutons, chardonnay apricots, carrot and ginger soup with mint cashew pesto, IPA quick-pickled green beans, gazpacho with lobster relish, lemon elderflower icebox cakes, curried snack mix, garlic and rosemary baked camembert, bourbon pecan pie shortbread, and speck and mozzarella crostini with truffle oil.
Speck and Mozzarella Crostini
Speaking of Spec and Mozzarella Crostini, there’s a neighborhood pizza shop that serves a thinly crusted wood-fired pizza with spec and mushrooms that I adore. I crave it so much that I created an appetizer with the same flavors that I can easily make at home and included the recipe in my book. Smoky speck (smoked prosciutto), creamy mozzarella, and earthy truffle oil come together on crisp baguette slices for a simple but deeply delicious bite. This quick and impressive appetizer is perfect for any gathering in the fall and winter months (think football gatherings to holiday dinner parties) and is so easy to throw together that I want to share it with you here (but you can also find it in the Autumn Beer Dinner chapter of Effortless Entertaining Cookbook).
This really is a fun book for anyone who likes to throw a party! If you’re getting tired of the same old chips and dip appetizers or lasagna dinners, pick up a copy of the Effortless Entertaining Cookbook to give you a bit of inspiration. It would also be a great gift during the holidays. You can find it at Barnes and Noble and Amazon and if you do go out and grab a copy, thank you and I hope you enjoy! Cheers!
Smoky speck, creamy mozzarella, and earthy truffle oil come together on crisp baguette slices for a simple but deeply delicious bite -- from Effortless Entertaining Cookbook.
- 4 slices speck or prosciutto, thinly sliced*
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced into 16 slices
- 1 16-inch baguette, sliced into 1-inch slices
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, thinly sliced
- Truffle oil
- Flaked sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay baguette slices on the baking sheet. Cut each slice of spec into four slices, for a total of 16 slices, Top baguette slices with mozzarella then top with spec and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the crostini is slightly crisp and mozzarella is melted. Remove from oven and garnish with sage, a drizzle of truffle oil, and a pinch of flaked sea salt. Serve.
by Meredith Steele
- Suggested Pairing: Beer: Witbier (Belgian Wheat Beer); Wine: Pinot Noir
- *Prosciutto can be substituted for spec.