It’s not often I’m responsible for feeding other people, especially when I’m invited to a dinner or barbecue at a friend’s house. I’m usually the guy that reaches into the back of my freezer, grabs some rock hard burger patties and I’m on my way. You know — a typical bachelor. It’s time for a change though. I need to act like a 31-year-old; not a college student. I have a new job and I’m living in a new city, so why not start now. I had my first opportunity on the 4th of July.
I was put in charge of appetizers (for 8-10 people) for a friend’s Independence Day BBQ. A couple of bags of Doritos just wasn’t going to cut it, so I turned to my sister and girlfriends (friends that are girls — I’m not a polygamist) for help. They were a wealth of information. Ideas came oozing out of them like they were Martha Stewart or Rachael Ray. They were excited to tell me all of their ideas — almost like they were waiting for me to ask. It was exactly what I needed.
There were several killer appetizers to choose from, but since no cooking was involved, these were the two winners:
Caprese Salad On A Stick
All you need for this recipe is grape tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese (preferably mozzarella cheese balls), balsamic vinegar and kabob skewers. It doesn’t get much easier than this – put one grape tomato on the skewer, add a leaf of basil, and then a ball of mozzarella cheese on top of that. Repeat the process until the skewer is full and then start a new skewer. That’s it — you’re done. Since some people like more or less balsamic vinegar than others, I took the bottle with me to the party and let everyone sprinkle their own skewer with as much vinegar as they wanted.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers
Believe it or not, there is an easier recipe than ‘Caprese Salad On A Stick’ — and this is it. All you need for this appetizer is goat cheese, peppadew peppers (the kind that are already gutted and bottled with oil) and a knife (or spoon). Take the goat cheese with the knife and fill each pepper with the cheese (clear the inside of the pepper of excess oil first). Are you waiting for another step? There isn’t one — that’s all you have to do.
It didn’t take me more than 10 or 15 minutes to put both of these appetizers together, and they went over really well at the BBQ. I got a bunch of compliments for my eats, especially the peppers. Even though the appetizers were really easy to make, it was all very rewarding (much more rewarding than bringing Doritos).
What are some of your favorite/easy appetizers to make? I’ll be looking for more ideas in the future, and if I’m not, you just might help other bachelors who read this post. Please leave a comment right here with your recipes/ideas. Help make us better dudes (and a holiday BBQ a better place)!
P.S. I want to give huge props to Whole Foods. I had trouble finding skewers for the ‘Caprese Salad On A Stick’, even after asking an employee for help (she didn’t think they sold them). When I went to the register, the guy behind the counter asked me if I had trouble finding anything, so I told him I couldn’t find the skewers. He immediately had another employee run to look for them (thinking they did have skewers). While the other employee ran through the store, the guy continued to ring me up. He told me the total and wanted me to pay. I asked if he wanted to wait for the skewers, but he told me to swipe my card. About a minute after I paid, the other employee came back with skewers and handed them to me. I offered to hop back in line to pay for them, but the guy at the register told me not to worry and sent me on my way. So, thanks to Whole Foods for being awesome.