Since we’ve moved in to our new home we’ve already had two of our California couple friends come to visit and in August, both of our parents are coming for an extended stay. To say I’m overwhelmed with getting our home guest ready is, well, stating the obvious. Our guest shower needs a curtain rod, none of our bedrooms have blinds. Whatever. I know it’ll all be fine. Why? Because one thing I know about family is this:
As long as you have food and a place to relax,
happy memories can be made.
The meals are usually fairly easy. My mom loves to make breakfast (yum hashbrowns), and we’ll probably use the grill for a BBQ and go out to eat at least once. What really makes a family visit cozy is the snacks set out before meals while you visit or play games. I don’t want to set out potato chips or candies, although I’m sure they’d eat it. I’d rather do something a little healthier but equally as easy.
The easiest things are a bowl of nuts and fruits you can easily eat with your hands (grapes, cherries, etc). The slightly more creative and fun things I like to do are bite-sized caprese salad appetizers and some kind of dip. However, my husband doesn’t love caprese salad as much as I do so I’m going to modify that (while also using a gluten-free cracker).
Artisan Nut Thins
These little nut thins are wheat & gluten free. They super light, crispy and slightly savory. As they’re made with brown rice and almonds, they remind me of asian crackers I used to eat in China. I could seriously snack on these all day. So, I’ll be using Artisan Nut Thins as a base for my bite-sized caprese salad instead of bruschetta.
They come in a variety of flavors (click here to see them all), but I got a free box of the Flax Seeds and Multi-Seeds to try.
First up is the bite-sized berry salad made with:
- Flax Seeds Artisan Nut Thins as a base
- Mozzarella bocconcini cut into thin rounds
- Blackberries & Raspberries butterflied so they don’t roll away
- Drizzle of balsamic of your choice. I used both Black Cherry & Coconut
These adorable little nibbles take minutes to put together but they look and taste impressive! A good mix of tangy/tart, sweet/milky, and a satisfying crunch underneath it all. More please!
For something more savory, these cherry tomato canapés are made with:
- Multi-Seed Artisan Nut Thins on bottom
- Any cheese you like. I used Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, and a garlic & herb goat cheese
- Cherry tomatoes, halved so they look cute. Different colors make it fun.
- Chives, chopped into sprinkly little bits.
- Olive Oil. I used an infused Lime Olive Oil for a summery effect. Get creative.
- Toothpick helps keep your fingers clean and the tomatoes in place.
Again, cutting tomatoes and cheese takes less than a minute. Another minute of stack and drizzle and, BAM!, done. Not a whole lot of work for a really nice looking and tasty appetizer. I hope my in-laws are impressed.
Finally, the tried-and-true hummus and crackers. My secret here is using a shelf-stable hummus (read more about that here) that I can leave sitting out for folks to snack on at will. Nope, it doesn’t have to be refrigerated! The only problem is whether or not I’ll have enough nut thins left!
What are some of your favorite, easy appetizers?