Sunday, February 10, 2013

easy entertaining + white bean-bacon dip with rosemary

This post is about an easy app.... but it's also about something else. A few months ago, my husband offhandedly announced that he was in charge of throwing the Y Guide "Squaw's Night" (aka: the annual couples gathering for his father-child group). Seriously? You volunteered?! I can't remember the last time we hosted a dinner party, let alone planned a large social gathering for people, some of whom I don't even know? Add in my nutrition coursework, a renovation project, lots of volunteer work, two kids, and the brewings of a business launch and.... "this is all you," I said. Now, for someone who likes to entertain, staying out of it was no easy feat. But, for the first time (probably ever), I did. And you know what? Everything went just fine. No, better than fine. 

Our house not being an option mid-renovation, he rented out a paddle hut, emailed everyone asking them to bring an appetizer and wine, and picked up a keg, plastic cups and paper goods... and that was it. No fretting about the menu. No renting a coat rack. No scurrying around before the guests arrived. No one noticed that the wine glasses were the size of Solo cups and the cocktail napkins were luncheon size (white no less, no pattern to coordinate with the theme... or maybe he was cleverer than I, seeing as how we all had to park in snow drifts after Nemo had blown through the night before?)...Anyway, the party was perfect, and not because of anything I did. Whenever the need to micromanage or over-plan arises, I must remember this soiree. 

So, I know I promised a bunch of you the appetizer recipe, after teasing you with a photo on the FB page. It's easy and everyone loved it, so I hope you do too... 

White Bean-Bacon-Rosemary Dip
(makes about 3 cups)

two 15 oz can cannelloni (white) beans, drained and rinsed
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed from stem
1 lemon, zested and juiced
6 pieces of bacon, cooked 
3-4 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper

In a Cuisinart, combine all ingredients and pulse until desired consistency. Serve with veggies, crackers or chips of your choice.

To assemble 36 phyllo cups of dip (pictured above and below):
about 2 cups of dip (save the rest for after school snacks...)
3 packages of Athenos phyllo cups (heated 5 minutes at 350 to crisp them up)
2-3 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves removed
3-4 strips cooked bacon, rough chopped

Place a dollop of dip in each phyllo shell and top with a piece of bacon and a sprig of rosemary. 

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