One of my earliest memories of entertaining was when I invited my husband, or at that time boyfriend, over for dinner. This was THE first time I had ever cooked for him, much less cooked anything really fancy. I flipped through a ton of cookbooks---it's crazy to think that this was before the Internet---looking for the perfect "date night" dinner. I chose Spinach Stuffed Manicotti and it turned out perfect! It took courage, planning and lots of patience but I made it a success. Haha, or at least that's what he said. It could have been our young love that made up for the real taste.
Do you like to entertain? Does it get you to finally clean your house or to use your favorite dishes? Do you plan everything out or fly by the seat of your pants? Would you rather cook it all yourself or have it catered?
Here is one of my favorite appetizers! It's a crowd pleaser that's simple to make and doesn't use many ingredients. It's also full of healthy fats with the olives and walnuts. You can serve it with a rustic bread (I used small slices of my Whole Wheat Bread) or spread it on crackers or celery. Or you could eat it like our youngest gal---straight from the bowl!
1 cup olives, pitted (I use a mix of Kalamata and Green. I love to shop from the Olive Bar at Whole Foods and Fresh Market)
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup artichoke hearts
1 tsp water
Add all ingredients to your blender or small food processor and pulse until mixture is chopped. You don't want to puree this, just chop until there are no large pieces. Place in the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes to let flavors soak together. Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in a sealed dish.