Last night, two of my best friends traveled up from Stevens Point to do some more wedding related activities this weekend in Green Bay (they’re getting married in GB in September). We decided to have a low key evening and just hang out at our apartment.
Dave and I have a large group of friends, so when a smaller group of us get together, I get to scale up the fancy on the food a bit, which I love. Last night was no exception.
First, I thought I’d made a signature drink for the evening. Given how hot it was, I went for a cool drink involving my liquor of choice–gin.
Cucumber Lemonade Chiller (Serves 4)
- 3 large cucumbers
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup gin
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 3 tbsp agave syrup
Cut 12 thin slices of cucumber for garnish. Peel and dice the remaining cucumber.
Add water, gin, lemon juice, and agave to the cucumber juice. Mix well. Divide among four ice filled glasses, and garnish with cucumber slices.
Source: Eating Well
The verdict from the foursome: a great summer drink! I personally wasn’t completely sold on the cucumber flavor. Although I like cucumbers, I’m still getting to used to the idea of drinking it as a juice or soda. However, the chiller was quite refreshing and would make an excellent poolside beverage.
I stuck with four fairly simple hors d’ouevres:
- Mini Caprese Skewers
- Spinach and Brie Topped Artichoke Hearts
- Smoked Salmon with Avocado Pesto Toasts
- Lemon-Garlic Marinated Shrimp
- cherry tomatoes
- mozzarella balls
- basil leaves
- balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper
Using toothpicks, pierce one cherry tomato, one basil leaf, and one mozzarella ball. Repeat as desired, then drizzle the skewers with balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Spinach and Brie Topped Artichoke Hearts
- 1 8.5 oz can artichoke hearts, halved
- large handful of chopped spinach
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- thinly sliced brie (I used a brie log which was a perfect size)
- salt and pepper
Saute chopped spinach and lemon juice in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Lay artichoke hearts on a greased cookie sheet. Top with spinach mixture and brie. Broil about 3 minutes or until the cheese melts.
Source: Eating Well
Emily over at A Nutritionist Eats made a delicious looking sandwich the other day–a salmon sandwich with avocado pesto spread, to be exact. I couldn’t wait to recreate it and thought tonight was the perfect occasion to test it out.
Smoked Salmon with Avocado Pesto Toasts
- 1 pkg smoked salmon
- 1 avocado
- 1 tbsp pesto
- 1 tbsp greek yogurt
- 1 French baguette, sliced on the bias
Bake French baguette slices at 350 degrees for about ten minutes or until just crispy. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mash up avocado and combine with pesto and yogurt.
Top baguette slices with avocado-pesto mixture and smoked salmon chunks.
Lemon-Garlic Marinated Shrimp Cocktail
- large deveined shrimp
- lemon juice
- minced garlic
- salt and pepper
- cocktail sauce
This appetizer doesn’t even need a recipe. I’ve been craving more shrimp since we had it in our low country boil–and shrimp always makes a popular appetizer!
If you’re unfamiliar with cooking shrimp, here goes: bring water in a large pot to a rolling boil. Add shrimp and let cook 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Remove to a tupperware. Add lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper, and shake to evenly distribute.
Fill a martini glass with cocktail sauce and adorn shrimp around the edge of the glass.
I’d say the hors d’ouvres were a success! No leftovers, and everything was pretty tasty. My personal favorite was the salmon with avocado and pesto spread, but all the appetizers were pretty good.
I’m still in my pjs–I’m debating going for a run, exercising indoors (it looks like rain), or doing absolutely nothing. Hmm, decisions, decisions.