Intellectually, I know it’s December. The Christmas carols are playing on repeat in the local Macy’s and the front of the grocery store is filled with wreaths, poinsettias and other greenery. The Christmas cards have begun arriving.
But all the same, I have this feeling of “Oh my goodness, it’s DECEMBER!” Like how did that happen? Wasn’t it just summertime?
And despite my good intentions to have a decked-out house on December 1, the decorating has been slower, steadier. A mini-tree with food-related ornaments went up in the kitchen last week (an idea that I totally swiped from Cate). The wreath is hung outside. And today, I added the giant ornaments to our front porch. Next up? The lights outside, and the various angels and Santa’s inside. The tree won’t come until just before Christmas.
All the same, it is beginning to feel like Christmas. That makes me happy. And the kids too.
With the holidays already underway, holiday parties abound. That means delicious drinks, great conversation and fab holiday appetizers (that is what parties are all about, right?) … and this amazing little Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Crostini is perfect. The bread lends a slight crunch. The hummus adds a whisper of creamy base and roasted red pepper and artichoke topping is sweet-cool-warm-savory. It sounds like a lot going on, but really all these flavors and textures are subtly working together to create a mouthwatering bite.
Want to make it an even easier, faster holiday appetizer to throw together — buy precut French bread. My grocery store bakery sells it at a slight premium, but it’s worth it when you are short on time (or just don’t want to cut the bread yourself).
Are you hosting a party this holiday season? What’s on the menu?
- 1 loaf French bread, , cut into 1/4-inch slices
- cooking spray
- 1 cup chopped roasted red pepper, (about 4 whole peppers)
- 1 cup chopped artichoke hearts, (not marinated)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, , minced
- 1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
- salt and pepper, , to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the bread slices on the baking sheet (you will have to do 2-3 batches). Spray with cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the roasted red peppers, artichokes, Parmesan, garlic and salt and pepper.
- Spread each of the bread slices with a little hummus and set on a platter. Divide the roasted red pepper-artichoke mixture evenly among the slices, piling on top.
- NOTE: These can be made up to an hour in advance.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.