I’m the first to admit that when I entertain, my focus is on the entree and dessert, with appetizers being a bit of an afterthought. I usually prepare, and I use the word “prepare” very loosely, a riveting cheese plate and my guacamole, whether it goes with the night’s Italian/Moroccan/Hungarian/Asian menu or not (I know, culinary tragedy).
But tonight I am refusing to settle for mundane apps in exchange for a killer main course. I just prepped a double batch of Hot and Creamy Artichoke Dip (a favorite from the early days of Just a Taste) and have it tucked away in the fridge. An hour before my guests arrive, I’ll pop the ramekins in the oven and bake up a warm, cheesy and quick-fix app to serve with sliced baguette and veggies. I baked off a test batch earlier today, and by test batch, I mean my lunch, because apparently 5 p.m. can’t come soon enough.
And I couldn’t resist sharing this picture of one of my dogs, Bacsi, as I’m home in San Diego for a few days and he’s loving every minute of my recipe testing. Balancing my camera and a 350ºF ramekin looked like too good of odds for Bacsi not to shadow my every move in and out of the kitchen.