I’m a big fan of this traditional first course of a formal Italian meal. Heck, I’m a fan of ALL courses of a formal Italian meal, but this one holds a special place in my heart because of how darn easy it is to put together a great antipasto recipe or three. And, really, antipasti just sounds so fancy!
My favorite antipasto recipe to make is barely even a recipe it is so darn simple. It is also incredibly delicious and looks great on a platter! The recipe for my caprese bites is below along with a round up of some awesome Antipasto recipes from around the web. Think of this your one stop antipasto shop. (Don’t forget to Pin for later reference because, believe me, you’ll want to come back here and make these for guests!)
Caprese bites are an easy way to wow your guest for antipasto course!
You can purchase a balsamic glaze or you can make it yourself! To make your own balsamic vinegar reduction simply by taking a cup of balsamic vinegar, cooking until boiling over medium-high heat (stirring occasionally), and then turning down the heat to medium-low and cooking until the vinegar has reduced by half. Some people like to mix in honey in their balsamic reduction... me, just give me vinegar!
Okay, I promised a one-stop antipasto shop and that is what I plan to give you. Some of the below dishes would make for the perfect antipasto course all by themselves, others are the perfect addition to a beautiful antipasto platter.
Growing up I was one of the children on the free lunch program at school. I often ate peanut butter and sugar sandwiches or hamburger helper because that is all we had available in our home. While we never starved—due to great programs available to us and parents and grandparents that worked very hard to make sure we were okay—we never did really get to try new things or enjoy different kinds of vegetables. A lot of what we ate was frozen, in a can or fast food.
The times that I did get to experience great foods, often at my grandmother’s home where she would spend hours over the stove making home made spaghetti and meatballs or fresh strawberry topped pancakes, introduced me to a world with which I would someday fall in love. As I grew up and began to earn my own money and buy my own meals, I discovered my deep love for food— fresh, different, amazing food. My first year of marriage I think my husband and I spent $800 a month on groceries for just the two of us. YIKES! (Although, it sure is nice to have a partner that values good food as much as I do!)
We can’t spend that much on food nowadays with more bills and a kid (and one on the way). Though, even when we struggle with money, our food budget is one area that I work hard to maintain enough budgeted money so that we can enjoy fresh fruit, vegetables and quality proteins daily. I meal plan weekly to make sure that we are spending our food budget wisely and getting to try new things. Trying new things, enjoying great food, and sharing that experience with others is pretty much what my life is about. Which brings me to this post… I just had to try artichokes because I had never really had any success with them before!
These crazy looking vegetables have always alluded me. I love them in an artichoke spinach dip, but the one time I tried making them myself I had no clue how to even approach eating them, much less cooking them! Recently I was craving a really amazing Italian meal. At this point in my pregnancy I just knew I had to give into the craving before it drove me really mad, so I planned an Italian themed dinner party with friends. I knew that this was the perfect opportunity for me to give artichokes another try. After googling how to eat the suckers, I researched several different recipes to get the knack of how to cook them, and then tackled the project for the party.
After discovering just how easy artichokes can be, I’ve now made them a few times and love them more and more! Below are some tips for cooking (and eating) artichokes plus my recipe for Parmesan and Garlic Stuffed Grilled Artichokes.
The first time I tried cooking an artichoke I tried trimming, cutting and de-choke before cooking the artichoke. This led to a lot of pricks on my fingers, a bunch of furry bits all over my kitchen and most of the heart of the artichoke in my waste bin. It was an utter disaster and made me not want to try again. Thankfully, I found that doing just a tiny bit of prep and then steaming the artichoke makes the whole thing go much smoother.
This recipe makes 12 quarters of artichokes that make for a great appetizer for a party of 8 to 12 guests or a hearty side for a meal for 6-8 guests.
The Summer holidays are coming around quick (Memorial Day is this upcoming Monday!) and with that comes the opportunity to spend time with the people in your life celebrating, remembering, and just enjoying each others company. It likely will also bring together a lot of hungry people! Enter Chex Party Mix… Chex Party Mix is super versatile and can feed a crowd. I came up with a couple easy recipes for an “All-American Chex Mix” flavors in honor of Memorial Day and Fourth of July. Though, they’d also work for any get together or even as a great camping snack.
I chose Buffalo flavor as one of my “All-American” flavors just because it reminds me of Summers back home in Oklahoma. I’m a huge fan of Buffalo Chicken Wings—especially during grilling season! Check out my first “All-American” Chex Party Mix recipe below and don’t forget to enter to win a $50 Visa Gift Card from Chex!
I really wanted an easy, "All-American" feeling Chex Party Mix to feed a crowd. Because I didn't want to overwhelm everyone with spice, I only used the Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce as a spice. However, if you want to kick it up a notch then you could also mix in a packet of Zesty Ranch Seasoning or a tablespoon of cayenne pepper. I used the oven for this recipe because I enjoy how the roasted cereal tastes. Microwave instructions for Chex Party Mix can be found on the side of your Chex cereal box.
Chex.com has a great site full of even more delicious Chex Party Mix recipes along with a bunch of other recipes that can be made using Chex! I’m also not the first person to come up with a Buffalo Chex Mix recipe… there are a ton of great ones out there. Mine is a fairly mild version that only gives you a little taste of that yummy buffalo sauce. Don’t forget to check back again soon for my other “All-American” Chex Party Mix recipe!
The fine people at Chex are giving away a $50 American Express Gift Card so that one lucky reader can go buy as much Chex Mix ingredients as they could need for future snacking needs! Winner must be in the United States. Please read the giveaway terms and conditions for more information.
Sources: The USA Marquee Sign and patriotic travel mixing bowls came to me compliments of the Kohl’s Summer Entertaining Mailer. Check out your local Kohl’s for your Summer entertaining needs!
This post and giveaway was in partnership with Chex. Recipe and opinions are my own. Thank you for reading and participating in posts that help support this blog!