I love the holidays, but I still get twitchy and nervous when I get invited to a party where everyone brings a food item to share. I feel like my food is a middle school student, desperate for everyone to like them.
I knew the holidays were a PERFECT time to hit up my old cookbooks for Christmas-inspired recipes, but I was skeeeered to bring a new recipe to feed to a group without a test run at home. As I’ve mentioned before, I do have a 9 to 5 AND a baby boy – so even though trial run-less sharing isn’t my favorite it just had to go own like that. So, I played it safe.
I dove into my Better Homes & Gardens Guide to Entertaining book from 1969. Check out the cover of this book – I want to be at that party RIGHT NOW. Super chic people. Well, upon closer look – that girl in the pink dress REALLY doesn’t want to sit by that couch creeper if she’s on the arm of the sofa – but I’ll put it out of my head and just focus on the fact that I want to be anyone else at this party.
Lucky for me – there were a grouping of recipes of a “Trim the Tree” party. It included Crisp Cheese Triangles. I hit up the grocery store between meetings on my work day to pick up “the goods.” I wasn’t familiar with the Liederkranz cheese in the recipe ingredients list so I made sure to go to Whole Foods so I could ask the cheese monger a ton of questions. The first woman I asked behind the counter was not familiar and then the gentleman in charge was asked about Liederkranz cheese and while he was familiar – he scrunched his face up and said it was a VERY strong stinky cheese which made me too scared to serve to a group without a trial run. I showed him the recipe and asked for a more crowd-pleasing option and he recommended Fontina cheese- so there’s edit #1.
Recipe edit #2 came by way of the bread. I was now standing in a bakery and could not bring myself to not “upgrade” to a French baguette.
Recipe edit #3 – I started worrying that just cheese bread would end up being a weak offering to a party where people with more time and pizzaz in the kitchen were probably making something incredible so I picked up a Bella Cucina jar of artichoke lemon pesto – thinking it could be served with the bread as an optional topper at the party.
From there everything else was pretty much according to the directions. I had never buttered/cheesed both sides of bread before putting in the oven, but the outcome rocked. Highly recommended. Timing was about right. I had the bread cool on a baking rack (afraid that if I threw into my serving dish too soon the cheese would glue them all together).
It’s a winner. I’d probably be a little more generous with the paprika and dried mustard next time – and maybe add a little garlic salt – but I love the idea of blending cheese and butter for making part of an hors d’oeuvre in the future.
Thank you chic retro party book!