Appetizers and Board Games

Photography credit goes to Ioana.

If you just want the recipes, scroll all the way to the bottom!

Back in October I shared some of our favourite appetizer’s “on a stick” recipes for movie night – or as I like to call it – Saturday. The news that we have appetizers for dinner nearly once a week brought some disbelief from our friends. So I set out to prove that yes, appetizers can in fact be dinner. And it’s not a party until someone breaks out the board games, am I right or am I right?

Being an overachiever and not wanting to leave any doubt about appetizers for dinner, I went to the queen of all appetizers – my mother. Rich and I sent her a list of our favourite appetizers she makes when we visit and bless her, she sent the recipes within minutes.

She’s the true hero of this post.

Despite Rich’s scepticism to doing photos while we cooked, we really do enjoy cooking together and another pair of hands to do the photography was perfect. I’m so happy with how the photos came out – Ioana captured some really great moments once again. It also gave us the perfect excuse to try all the different flavours of Fentimans and test the mocktail recipe before people arrived!

So are we ready for the menu yet? Yes? Ok, without further ado…

 

The Starters

Garlic and red pepper hummus with feta cheese, served with carrots, celery, red pepper, cucumber and pita bread

Guacamole, served with tortilla chips

Bruschetta

The Mains

Chorizo and Shrimp, served on a stick 😉

Hot crab dip in a bread bowl, served with additional bread cubes

Pepperoni pizza dip, served with various tortilla chips

 

Since we’d already shared the chorizo and shrimp and the crab dip takes a whopping 3 hours to bake, we opted to show you how to make the bruschetta – a simple and quick recipe – and suitable for when it’s just the two of you.

The recipe can be easily cut in half or doubled depending on the number of people. If it’s just the two of you, I’d cut it in half. The above photo with Kendall show how much the “halved” recipe makes.

Since it’s Dry January, we had to come up with a creative way to keep the energy and antics high – and that’s when I found the Mr & Mrs game (for all you Americans, it’s a version of The Newlywed Game). With mocktails in hand, thanks to Fentimans, we set out to find out who knows their partner best. Some of the questions were really random, some really funny and others painfully obvious, but regardless it was a lot of fun and everyone had their fair share of disagreements which made it even funnier. No alcohol necessary. I’ll take a good board game and a fancy bottle of Rose Lemonade anyday.

All in all, such a fun night! How you ever hosted a game night? What’d you play? More importantly, what’d you eat?

Have you ever had just appetizers for dinner? If so, what are your go tos? And if not, what are you waiting for!

In case you’re wondering how we faired at Mr & Mrs trivia – we won one of the two rounds we played. The two questions that sparked some serious tension?

To Rich — What precious gemstone is your Mrs most likely to want?

  • Diamond
  • Emerald
  • Ruby
  • Sapphire
    His answer: Emerald. My answer: YOU IDIOT! A ruby! (although I would have accepted sapphire)

To both of us (paddle round) — Who gets up the earliest?

  • I said me and he said himself. The truth — me. I get up earlier for work, aka 5 days a week. His argument “but he’s the morning person” …umm that wasn’t the question!

To both of us — Who is the most romantic?

  • Naturally we both said ourselves, but in all honestly it’s him. He’s way more thoughtful and romantic than I am. Me agreeing to let him pick the movie is my idea of being romantic. Whoops.

 

The Recipes

All recipes are courteous of the Mama West archives, with the exception of the shrimp/chorizo and guacamole because we vary on what should be in guacamole…

Bruschetta

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 ripe tomatoes (I used medium vine tomatoes)
  • 1/2c fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4c fresh parsley leaves
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1  French baguette

Deseed and chop the tomatoes, finely chop garlic, basil and parsley. Mix together with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Refrigerate at least 2 hours so the flavours are more full, herbs will blend in more. Serve over thin slices of baguette.

If you’re in a hurry or it’s last minute, you don’t have to refrigerate but even if it’s just 30 minutes it’ll help bring out the flavours. 

Guacamole

  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 medium tomato
  • 2 limes

Deseed and chop the tomato, finely chop the red onion and put aside. In bowl, mash your avocado, add juice from one lime into the avocado, making sure it’s still a little chunky. Add in onion and tomato. Add the juice of second lime. Mix together. Serve immediately.

Hot Crab Dip in Bread Bowl

  • Large round loaf bread (I used gluten free loaf and you can’t tell difference)
    I bought an additional second loaf to cut up and serve with the dip as well. 
  • 16oz cream cheese
  • 3 cans of crab meat (fresh is best, if possible)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped green onions
  • 2 Tbsp beer
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp tabasco sauce

Beat cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Stir in drained crab, green onions, beer, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and tabasco until well blended.

Cut top from bread and hollow out loaf, be sure to leave at least 1 1/2 inch shell.

On baking sheet, make a cross out of foil – long enough to cover the bread. Place bread in the middle, pout mixture into the bread and put the lid back on top. Wrap the bread with the foil.

Bake at 250F (or 120C) for 3 hours.

Once served, cut up top of bread.

Pepperoni Pizza Dip

  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2c pizza sauce
  • 1/2c chopped pepperoni
  • 1/2c chopped red pepper
  • 1/2c mozzarella cheese

Mix cream cheese, oregano, garlic and pepper in bowl. Add pizza sauce. Pour mixture in lightly oiled dish. (A shallow dish would work best, but I used a small pie dish because I didn’t have anything).

In layers add the pepperoni, red pepper and top with mozzarella. Don’t mix.

Cover with foil and bake at 350F (or 175C) for 30 minutes.

The Chorizo and Shrimp recipe can be found in the 4 Appetizers on a Stick post.

The hummus was a cheat from the store (Sabra Garlic + Red Pepper), simply crumble feta cheese on top and serve.

Happy cooking! Tag @staciandco on Instagram of your appetizer creations and board game nights!

About the author
Staci West is an obsessive compulsive traveller who is currently dealing with a chronic case of coffee addicition. Symptoms include blackouts from online shopping sessions, a ferocious passion for everything colourful and energy levels that exceed a normal human capacity. On the advice of her carer and companion, Kendall her yellow labrador, she created L&L, a down to Earth lifestyle blog, as a distraction for her pathological need for shoes.

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