My nephew, the O, is attending Cornell University this Fall. It’s far, far away from his home, but sort of close to my home, if you consider a 4-hour drive close. Being a loving and considerate young man, he made a stop at our home. So he could see his cousins first, before going off to college, since it had been almost 2 years since he last saw them.
Actually, I made him come. No, actually, I wanted to send him off properly. It’s not every day that you have a nephew going to an Ivy League. Plus, I’m like the embarrassing and un-cool aunt who wants to hang out with her nephews and nieces, all the time. It’s not my fault I like being around them. It’s their fault for being so much fun.
I personally escorted him to Cornell, how was that? Don’t worry, I knew enough not to insert myself unwanted. All I was going to do was interrogate his roommate, nothing major. What?? You’ll never know nowadays of whom you’d end up meeting. Who knows, his roommate might very well be the next Bill Nye, the most recognizable Cornellian. Stranger things have happened.
Actually, the most interesting Cornellian, in my estimation, is Pearl S. Buck, but she’s a woman and my nephew’s roommate is obviously a young man. A courteous and unassuming young man, it turned out, which greatly reassured us. In fact, I thought Cornell students look to be down-to-earth, well-behaved, happy, friendly and helpful. The school feels wholesome and is so green! Just beautiful!
The trip to Cornell also allowed me to expose my own children to what college life is like, and if they continue to study hard, who knows, they might end up in an Ivy League institution, too. You’ll never know. Stranger things have happened.
Before going off, I cooked the O a big Italian dinner. I slaved all day in the kitchen to make him this meal.
I jest, obviously. Bruschettas and crostini are about the easiest things you can make. But you won’t tell anyone, will you? It’ll be our little secret.
These appetizers can really save the day when you’re entertaining on short notice. A bruchetta or crostini party can be both filling and satisfying. Just think of all the possible toppings, both savory and sweet. You don’t need to serve different antipasto, primo, secondo, or even dolce. Just make sure you have plenty of wine. Well, actually, I would still serve a dolce, but that’s just me.
A Bruschetta or Crostini Party
Crostini is Italian for “little toasts”. They’re very similar to bruschetta in that the name actually refers to the bread, not the toppings. So for those of you (I used to be one) who think that you’re buying a bruschetta when you go to Sam’s Club and get yourself a jar of chunky and garlicky tomato sauce labelled “Tuscan Bruschetta”, well…..let’s just say you’re really buying a jar of chunky and garlicky tomato sauce, not bruschetta.
Bruschetta refers to the slice of bread itself, that has been grilled or toasted and then rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. Toppings may be added.
Crostini, meanwhile, are smaller and thinner slices of bread that have been toasted until they’re crisp and topped with various toppings.
So, the difference is subtle and sometimes the lines are blurred. I’d like to think that crostini are more dainty while bruschettas are more rustic. Whatever you prefer to call them, we really shouldn’t squabble about two equally delicious appetizers.
On the left, big = bruschetta. On the right, tiny = crostini. Does anybody really care about the difference or lack thereof? They’re both superb!
1 ciabatta or Italian bread (any crusty long loaf will do)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Slice bread thickly (about 1-inch).
2. Grill bread slices or toast in oven, for about 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
3. Rub garlic on grilled/toasted bread, and drizzle a little olive oil.
4. Top as desired.
1 baguette, sliced thinly (about 1/2-inch)
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Brush slices of bread with olive oil.
2. Toast in pre-heated 350°F oven until crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Top as desired.
There is no fast rule or limit. Whatever takes your fancy. My favorite are those with tomatoes, either fresh or roasted. If you can get your hands on them, try using heirloom tomatoes or those extra-sweet cherry tomatoes.
More topping ideas
Creamy cheese, such as ricotta, burrata or goat cheese with sliced fruits, drizzled with honey and topped with crushed candied walnuts.
Caramelized onions with roasted peppers and shaved Parmesan.
Features from FF30 are:
Waffle Sandwiches with Avocado, Caramelized Onions, & a Fried Egg from Katie @Le Petit Artichaut. This is what Margy has to say, “Are you sure you can call this a sandwich??? In my mind, this recipe shakes up the entire category of sandwiches.”
This is what I have to say, “Are you sure you can call this a sandwich??? (triple question marks) I think you’ve just shaken up the entire world’s idea of a sandwich, Katie!!! (triple exclamation points) What a recipe!”
Wild Apple and Rose Geranium Jelly from Hilda @Along The Grapevine. In Margy’s words, “Do I need a motivation, for real? I think not. I cannot help but admire Hilda for her passion and deep knowledge of plants and fruits. She made a unique apple jelly. Really, that’s enough for me,”
Uhm…Hilda, I also have such an apple tree. I usually just let the squirrels have at it, but maybe I should steal some from them this year. That pretty jelly convinced me. All I need is a rose-scented geranium. Or maybe I can use my rose water? Since I still have almost a full bottle and no idea what else to use it for except for a few desserts, and I mean like 2 recipes. Great, great way to use those less-than-perfect apples!
Leche Puto from Jhuls @The Not So Creative Cook. Oh, c’mon, this is so not fair! How could you tease us so, Jhuls?? I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s half cake and half flan. That is so clever! I love cakes and I’ve never turned down any flan, so this one is definitely on my must-try list. Just an excellent recipe from The So Clever Cook!
Easy Peasy Pudding Rhubarb Swirl Cheesecake from Emma @EmmaSouthLondon. No way, you cannot be serious! This is an easy peasy cheesecake that took only 20 minutes to prepare? I’m in! Looks so delectable and such a happy color. Love it, Emma! Will. Try. For. Sure.
Fiesta Friday #31 is officially open. This is my last weekend before work starts, so of course I got sick and of course I forgot to get co-hosts. But don’t worry, I’m on antibiotics so I’m alive and kicking and will be eager to party with you. All the way from Charlottesville, Virginia. One last trip. I intend to squeeze my summer dry. And I will end it with a bang, by partying with all of my friends, all of you. So link up, everybody, I’ll be waiting!
Click on the button below to join the party. If you’re new to Fiesta Friday, please read the guidelines.
Claudia ~ Food with a View said:
These bruschette and crostini look all amazing! Would love to taste some right away :-).
The Novice Gardener said:
They were some of the best appetizers I’ve made! Were so much fun to put together, too. Thank you so much! 🙂
Mary Frances said:
All of these look just fantastic! Thank you for sharing and congrats to your nephew!
The Novice Gardener said:
Thanks, Mary! These are great for entertaining. Everybody gets what they like. So glad you liked them! 🙂
Ohhhh!!! I am so late!! Thank you so much, Angie!!! ❤
And I must say that you are a very good aunt. 😉
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