Snacks and Apps

After having a little get together at my house last week, I realized I like to entertain even more than I thought. I've watched my mom entertain with grace over the years, but never thought my control freak side would be able to manage it. 

When a friend asked me to host a jewelry trunk show at my house, I immediately thought of it as an opportunity to get good friends together and serve good food, so I quickly said yes! 

I did as Ina has always taught me, and made half of the appetizers and bought the others. She always says your guests won't have any fun if you are running around trying to take things out of the oven and can't enjoy the party. So, for my snacks and apps, I made pumpkin dip served with apples and graham crackers and dried fruit mascarpone crostini. I also bought little cherry tomatoes and olives for people to snack on.  

I've been eating this dip around the holidays since I was little. I updated it a bit, but it tasted just like the original. It's super simple and a huge crowd pleaser. 

Pumpkin Dip
*adapted from my mom's recipe

1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup cool whip (I used lite)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 granny smith apples, sliced
graham crackers, quartered

Fold together all the ingredients for your dip in a medium size bowl using a spatula. And that's it! Serve with sliced apples and quartered graham crackers. 

*Mom's recipe called for sour cream, but I love the healthy swap of Greek yogurt instead!


Next up, my dried fruit and mascarpone crostini! These were equally a hit. I got several "Annie! What is this spread?" My fiends were very intrigued with mascarpone and loved it even more when I let them know it was basically italian cream cheese. 

Dried Fruit and Mascarpone Crostini
yields about 32 crostini

1, 8 oz container of mascarpone (if you can't find it in your grocery store, just plain cream cheese will work too!)
2 thin baguettes
any kind of dried fruit (I used cranberries and figs)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice your baguettes at a diagonal into 1/2 in slices. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 4 minutes on each side or until crisp without being too brown. Spread a nice layer of cheese on each baguette. Sprinkle with dried cranberries or half of a dried fig. Drizzle with a small amount of honey!

Also as Ina would say, "How easy was that?" Now enjoy these foolproof  appetizers, perfect for holiday parties coming up!...Okay my Barefoot Contessa references are over. 

Happy entertaining!