Men these days are just as active in the kitchen as women. You will find more and more often that male members of your family, especially those who have moved out and are living the “bachelor life” tend to entertain a lot more.
Time is usually not their best friend and so having a quick set of recipes that take less then 10 minutes to wrap up and yet have that fresh home cooked vibe is a must.
The first must is always to have a variety of crackers/ crostini / breadsticks in your hamper. These go perfectly with most dips, cheese plates and a bowl to even snack on your own.
I have recently been using Bake Stix/ Bake Rolz (AKA my crostini) as my perfect snack on the go and even at home. They have a range of flavors, they’re hassle free, you can match them up with anything and they come in an easy pack with a moderate portion.
The Perfect Cheese Plate
A cheese plate is one staple appetizer that works for any invitation. It is also an ideal snack when looking for something quick and to the point. You can pair it up with dried fruit, fresh chutney and different baked goods that will always give it that extra spark.
When picking your cheese plate, remember to choose a variety. Always integrate a soft cheese, something creamy, an aged cheese, as well as a more solid one. When selecting your cheese, have a taste of what’s out there. It doesn’t take more than a couple minutes. You might surprise your taste buds and most cheeses usually have a good shelf life, meaning you do not have to eat it in the next couple of days or it will go bad.
If an entire cheese plate is a little high maintenance for you, but you still want to get your cheese on, then I have the most amazing thing you will ever eat in your life!
- 1 whole Camembert, in its box
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 3‐4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 bags of Bake Stix / Bake Rolz
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Remove any plastic packaging from the cheese and place back in its box, leaving the lid off.
3. Pierce the top of the cheese in several places with a sharp knife and insert pieces of garlic and sprigs of thyme into the slits.
4. Drizzle the cheese with olive oil and place on a baking sheet, leaving the cheese in its box. Bake in the oven for ten minutes, or until the center of the cheese is melted.
5. Serve the Bake Stix / Bake Rolz with the warm cheese for dipping.
Everyone loves a good dip! Now, whether you have more of an adventurous palette or just like a good snack, here are a couple of quick and easy kitchen lessons that will stick with you for life!
Roast Beetroot Dip
- 1 bunch beetroot
- 1 head garlic
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 cup low‐fat yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
- Extra dill and grissini (see note), to serve
- Bake Stix
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Trim beetroot, leaving 1 cm stalks attached. Cut 5 mm off the top of the head of garlic.
2. Place beetroot and garlic on to prepared baking tray. Spray with oil. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes or until tender when tested with a skewer. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
3. Gently peel and discard skin from beetroot. Squeeze garlic flesh from head.
4. Roughly chop beetroot. Place into a food processor with garlic flesh. Process until smooth. Transfer to a glass bowl. Stir in yogurt, dill, and salt an pepper. Cover. Refrigerate for a couple hours to allow flavors to develop. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with dill. Serve with Bake Stix.
Keep It Fresh!
Looking for something a little more fresh? This dip works perfectly with avocado in season. Not your typical guac‐like dish, I would suggest this dip for those who like to change things up in the kitchen. A note to the chefs out there: Avocado is a very sensitive fruit that is best eaten on the spot rather than kept in the fridge for too long.
Avocado Feta Dip
- 2 avocados, peeled and pit removed
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Bake Stix, veggies, bread, crackers, etc. for serving
1. Place the avocados, feta, onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor or in a blender. Blend until creamy and smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
2. Scrape dip into a bowl and serve with Stix, cut up veggies, bread or crackers.
Crostini can be made multiple ways with fun toppings. Here are a couple of different ways to prepare them. In this case, we are using the ready‐made Bake Rolz with flavors, mostly sticking to Olive.
Lemon Thyme Bruschetta
- 1 baguette; thinly sliced
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 lemon, zested
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 8 springs fresh thyme
- Sea salt, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Mix together ricotta and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
3. Toast baguette slices in the oven for 5‐7 minutes until slightly browned and warm. Spread liberally with seasoned ricotta. Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with thyme. Serve warm.
Peach & Blackberry Bruschetta
- 2 bags of Bake Rolz
- 6 oz cream cheese (or light cream cheese)
- 1 cup arugula
- 4 peaches, chopped
- ½ cup blackberries, chopped
- 2 oz gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Spread a layer of cream cheese on each Bake Rolz.
2. Layer each Bake Rolz with a few pieces of arugula and top with peaches, blackberries, crumbled gorgonzola and freshly ground black pepper.
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