Cooking Hostess

Most people think that because I like to entertain, I also like to cook. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. Planning the menu, of course, is an ever important part of a successful soiree, however; this task is most often left up to my Mom or her best friend Leslie who have flawless taste in food and a surefire stock of recipes.

Entertaining, in fact, is one of the few times I actually enjoy cooking. You see, as a single gal most meals I prepare are for one. I find it hard to get enthused about preparing a meal that only I will be able to enjoy. The thrill of pulling off a new recipe is just not as fun when not shared with a friend.

Maybe that is why I like hosting parties so much — it challenges me to experiment in the kitchen and also comes with the added pressure of getting it right.

Over the past year, my adventurous spirit in the kitchen has blossomed. While in the past I was satisfied with heating up taquitos or ordering in Chinese, I’ve stepped up my game and ventured to try some new dishes that require more than a cookie sheet and a hot oven.

At a party I hosted for the most recent premier of The Bachelor, I served up a panini bar, offering a delicious array of deli meats and cheeses with a serious selection of spreads. Also, I recently attempted a new avocado bruscetta recipe for a dinner party I attended.

I’ll save the rest of my culinary crusades for upcoming posts, but I’ll leave you with the recipe for avocado bruschetta — a delicious little number I picked up from Lauren, Leslie’s daughter, who is a pretty good cook herself!

Remember, a good hostess doesn’t always have to be a good cook. Do like me and fake it till you make it! Chinese and frozen bites are always a great fallback when your short on time, money or culinary creativity! Throw them on a pretty porcelain platter and your guests will never know!

Photo courtesy of: Elle's New England Kitchen

Avocado Bruschetta

  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 in. ciabatta slices
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/4 t. ground black pepper

Combine lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl.  Whisk in oil, then stir in cilantro and parsley.  Fold in avocado cubes.  Brush ciabatta slices with olive oil and toast lightly under broiler.  Spoon avocado mixture onto toast slices, and serve.

{Photos via Pinterest and Elle’s New England Kitchen}

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