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Hand Held Bites That Will Change Your Life
You’re having a holiday gathering and starting to stress about what you can serve for munchies. Think about crostinis. What are they? Actually, they are just an elevated piece of toast. And who doesn’t like a piece of toast? They are so easy to make and taste so good. Just little bites of heaven. And what’s not to love about a little carb-loading at a holiday party? Combinations are endless. A fresh sprig, unusual pairings, be they sweet, savory or spicy, combined with a visually pleasing presentation, should make crostinis your go-to appetizer. Best of all they are so easy, everybody loves them and can be prepared ahead of time.

YOUR ESSENTIALS AND BASE PREPARATION
You’ll need some day old french bread or baguettes or a mixture of both. Slice the bread and place on cookie sheets.  Drizzle olive oil on both sides of the bread. Bake at 350 for 4 minutes on each side. How easy is this? You are now ready to create.

BRIE AND CRANBERRY
Slice your brie cheese, place it on your prepared crostini, and place it under the broiler until the brie has melted. Keep your eye on it. Don’t be diverted. Remove from oven and top with a touch of cranberry sauce. Top with one basil leaf.

SMOKED SALMON
Make a lot of these. We are west coasters, but we’ll welcome you east coasters as well. Everybody loves them. Combine 4 ounces cream cheese, 1 tablespoon horseradish, 1 tablespoon dill and coarse black pepper to taste. Spread the cheese mix on the crostini, top with lox salmon. Sprinkle with dill. You need nothing else.

CHEESY BRUSSEL SPROUTS
Heat oven to 350. Heat oil in frying pan. Add brussel sprouts, sliced in half; three cloves garlic (minced), 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes and season to your taste with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes on medium (the sprouts should be tender). Place white cheddar cheese on crostini and top with brussel sprout mixture.  Bake for about 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

GENOA SALAMI AND RICOTTA
We didn’t forget you meatlovers. Spread ricotta cheese over your crostinis. Season with salt and pepper, or not, to your taste. Top with thinly sliced salami. Use genoa. It’s the best. Top with a sprig of fennel.
If you’ve read this far, you’ve already figured out that anything will work on these little beauties.

Crostinis taste good and are easy to make. Just create. Enjoy your gathering.