French Onion Soup Crostini

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Don’t you just love this this time of year? This exact week, to be specific? It’s that time when friends haven’t quite yet scampered off to their respective family locales for the holiday, parties are in full swing, and there’s never a lack of reason to pull your favorite sequined dress out of the closet. Festiveness is at its peak, and everyone’s trying to squeeze in all the holiday cheer they can before it’s over in a flash!

 

I usually like to host small, casual gatherings this time of year. After all, the last thing we need is to add more stress to our lives during the month of December. An appetizer party is a great way to accomplish this. I love whipping up appetizers that are particularly warm and cozy, like this French Onion Soup Crostini…it holds all the flavor of the beloved soup, but in an easy to eat, party-friendly fashion.

Instead of topping the soup, the crouton becomes the base…the vessel for holding all the yumminess.

crostini

The onions are caramelized to a lovely, deep brown, but just a bit of stock is added so that it keeps the consistency nice and thick and spreadable. All that gets topped with a healthy dose of gruyere and emmental…the essential ingredients!

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Cucumber Cream Cheese Ghosts

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When it comes to Halloween-themed foods, I feel like all I ever see are sweet treats. There’s not enough savory recipes! As much as I like the sweet stuff, there is only so much sugar I can take!

How cute are these little ghosties?! They are basically little tea sandwiches, but in a much cooler shape. They are a lot of fun for all ages and you can use whatever flavors of cream cheese you like best! I served these at a party I had last weekend to break up all the sugary stuff.

I will tell you that it can be a little tricky to spread the cream cheese over the cucumber. Using thin slices of the cucumber and whipped cream cheese makes it easier, but if you are finding it too difficult, you could always just skip the cucumbers!

Cream Cheese Ghosts

Homemade Pumpkin Applesauce

I’ve been on an applesauce kick lately. I don’t know why, I usually only want it when I am not feeling well. I think it might just be the time of year. It’s actually been quite nice temperature-wise. And by nice, I mean like 90 degrees. This is fall in Phoenix. I guess I’ll take what I can get!

I’ve made homemade applesauce a few times before. It’s really quite simple to make and what’s better than an applesauce that only has a few natural ingredients and nothing else? No weird, unnecessary ingredients here. This time around, I wanted to give my applesauce a fall twist with the addition of pumpkin puree. Not only does this applesauce taste great, but it will also make your house smell amazing while cooking!
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Cheesy Garlic Twists

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The kids and I love garlic bread in basically any form. Sometimes we buy the store-made garlic bread and give each slice a few seconds in the microwave. Sometimes we brush a leftover hot dog bun with butter and garlic salt and broil it for a couple minutes. And sometimes, we make these garlic twists.

I have yet to convince my husband about the wonders of garlic. It’s a family thing… his entire family is garlic averse. They never eat garlic bread and don’t even use garlic in the lasagna.

But me? I’ll put garlic on just about anything. I remember this one time when my son was a newborn and I was nursing, we went to a pizza place that was new to us, and I ordered a pizza that was basically just garlic cloves and caramelized onions. I thoroughly enjoyed it. About halfway through the meal, it occurred to me that my nursing child might not appreciate that too much.

He didn’t, by the way. He cried every time he nursed for the next two days, and the garlic was so strong I could smell it on him for days.

Oh… but that was a good pizza! And it didn’t stop him from growing up to love garlic bread, so nothing lost.

I should tell you upfront that I have never been one to make homemade bread. It’s so time consuming… and kneading for 10 minutes straight? I don’t think so. Laziness reigns here.

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