Call them "hacks," "secret weapons," or just plain ol' good ideas; I think we'd all agree that saving time without sacrificing quality is something we can get on board with.

This is especially true when it comes to feeding a party. We've all been there; you've been planning for weeks, then somehow it's three hours before guests arrive, and it looks like a bomb went off in the living room. Not to mention, the only food you have to share is a couple slices of cold pizza, and some day old donuts. While this may not deter some guests, it's really not something we recommend falling back on.

There are alternatives.

Did we mention that they are easy?!

Not only is this recipe simple, it is also the kind of thing that will have your guests asking, "where did you get these? They're delicious!" Then, the best part: you get to say, "I made them!" We recommend leaving out the part where you explain that it only took you minutes to prepare; that loses a bit of the magic.

By using a versatile toast and spread, you can cover sweet and savory snacks, by changing just a few of the ingredients. See, it just keeps getting easier!

So, go enjoy your party, and keep the leftovers where they belong.

Whipped Goat Cheese Party Toasts

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 loaf Aunt Millie’s Cracked Wheat bread
  • 2 Tb extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TB melted butter
  • kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Using a rolling pin, roll out bread until flat.
  3. Cut bread into desired shape, with a square, or biscuit cutter.
  4. Combine butter, and olive oil.
  5. Lightly brush both sides of the toasts with the butter mixture, and place on cookie sheet.
  6. Bake until slightly crispy, and golden.
  7. Sprinkle with salt, and let cool.

(These can be made ahead, and stored in an air tight container for up to two days.)

Olive Tapenade

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups assorted olives. chopped.
  • 4 anchovy fillets. optional, but recommended
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 3 Tb olive oil
  • black pepper. to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place all ingredients in food processor, and pulse until uniformly chopped.
  2. This can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for three to four days.

Whipped goat cheese spread

INGREDIENTS

  • 8oz goat cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1-2 Tb heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment. Whip until smooth.

Assemble

Spread goat cheese mixture onto toasts, top with tapenade, or as desired.

Other suggestions:

  • smoked salmon + dill + radish
  • blackberry + honey + mint
  • nectarine + thyme
  • prosciutto

Lindsay and John Cheesebrew are chefs, caterers, lazy bloggers, mom & dad, and total food nerds who are constantly pushing personal boundaries, with a seemingly endless string of events, and personal projects. They seek to share their vision of community through food with everyone they meet.

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