Hosting a girls’ night in can be a fun alternative to a night out on the town. Especially if you have a friend who’s pregnant or if you’re all trying to save a few bucks, try a night in with a movie or with a game around the coffee table.
Ask each friend to contribute a drink or dessert or a crudite tray. As the host, bake 2-3 loaves of crusty, French bread to have ready for the recipes below. To prepare, slice each loaf on the diagonal into ½ inch slices. Drizzle olive oil over each slice and bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes. Slices should be golden brown.
Here are a few perfect for a bruschetta party.
Traditional tomato basil bruschetta
Chop 4-5 ripe, on-the-vine tomatoes and add to a serving bowl. Roll up several leaves of fresh basil to form a cigar shape and thinly slice or julienne. Add basil to the tomatoes. Top with ½ teaspoon garlic powder or fresh minced garlic, salt, pepper and ¼ cup good quality olive oil. Mix all together. Set aside to serve with bread slices.
Ham and cheese crostini
Using 6-8 slices of the crostini toast you made, spread each with a thin layer of dijon mustard. Then, layer shaved black forest ham and fontina cheese on top. Just before the party, broil crostini for 4-5 minutes until cheese is melted.
Sauteed mushroom bruschetta
Dice one carton each of cleaned button and cremini mushrooms. Also, dice half of a small yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. In a medium saute pan, cook ingredients with two tablespoons of olive oil over medium to high heat until veggies are soft. Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup white wine. Continue to cook for a few minutes and then add one teaspoon of fresh thyme and season to taste. Set aside in a serving dish to serve with toasts.
Mini tuna melt crostini
Mix two cans good quality tuna with ¼ cup mayonnaise and a pinch of salt and pepper. Small dice a half of a red onion and mix in. Spread tuna mixture on top of 6-8 toasts and cover each with half a slice of either provolone or American cheese. Broil for 3-4 minutes before guests arrive.