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Appetizers & Sides

Raspberry & Blackberry Goat Cheese Crostini with Fresh Mint & Thyme

A simple, elegant summer appetizer that everyone will love
Filed Under > Appetizers & Sides

Raspberry & Blackberry Goat Cheese Crostini recipe on Waiting on Martha Berry Goat Cheese Crostini recipe on Waiting on Martha

I have this love affair with toast.  There’s just something about the crisp crunch and delectable mix of toppings that gets me every time.  And crostini is just a fancy way to call it.  So like nachos—because you know how much I love nachos by now—the possibilities for your toasts and your crostinis are truly endless.  Today, without further adieu, I proudly give you a sure-hit Memorial Day appetizer: my Raspberry & Blackberry Goat Cheese Crostini recipe. 

With spring’s bounty of fresh berries, this is the perfect dish that fools your guests into thinking it’s a lot fancier than it is.  To create the berry “shmear”, simply put your berries in a bowl, lightly smash some of them with the back of the spoon.  You’ll want some full berries for presentation sake when serving, but you’ll also want the smashed juice as part of the shmear.  I love mixing in the gourmet herb goat cheese from the store, but you can of course blend your own fresh herbs in goat cheese too.  

In order, you’ll be happier if you spread the herb goat cheese first, then the berry “shmear”.  Next, top with the whole berries, and lastly garnish with your chopped mint.  You’ll toast on a cookie sheet in the oven until they’re golden brown.  These crostinis toast fast, so you’ll need to watch them closely so they don’t burn.  Voila!  Take those beauties out of the oven and serve on a marble board to hungry guests.  

It’s simple.  It’s elegant.  And it’s downright irresistible when served up on a bright, sunny summer day!  We’re sharing this recipe as part of Shipt‘s Memorial Day virtual potluck, so be sure to check out the rest of the menu!  Truly, MKR

P.S.  Looking for more Memorial Day menu inspiration?  Try our best ever veggie burgers and beef burgers, all of the side fixin’s for your BBQ, boozy strawberry basil lemonade, and classic root beer floats.  xo 

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Raspberry & Blackberry Goat Cheese Crostini
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Ingredients
  1. French bread, cut into thin slices
  2. OR pre-sliced crostini slices from the store
  3. 1 pint blackberries
  4. 1 pint raspberries
  5. herb goat cheese or regular goat cheese with fresh thyme
  6. fresh mint, chopped
  7. additional mint leaves, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Spread the herb goat cheese first on crostini or thin slices of bread.
  2. Lightly smash your berries to create a jam-like spread or “shmear”, leaving some berries whole for topping.
  3. Top the crostinis with your berry “shmear” and garnish with chopped fresh mint.
  4. Toast in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes until golden brown. Be sure to watch closely so they don’t burn.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha | This post is in collaboration with Shipt, a brand we love and adore.  All opinions are 100% our own. 

How To Easily Pack For a Picnic; Plus Homemade Pimento Cheese & Mediterranean Mason Jar Salads

My go-to's for an afternoon in the park
Filed Under > Appetizers & Sides

How to pack for a picnic, waitingonmartha.comPicnic outfit inspiration on waitingonmartha.comMason Jar Salads on a Picnic with @waitingonmarthaHow to plan a picnic in the park, waitingonmartha.comEasy pimento cheese recipe for a picnic, waitingonmartha.com How to make mason jar salads for a picnic, waitingonmartha.com Mason Jar Salads for a Picnic in the Park, Waiting on Martha How to pack for a picnic in the park, Waiting on Martha

Friday I shared a picnic-ready outfit, along with peek at my ideal day off: an afternoon visit to the farmers market, followed by a picnic in the park.  It’s one of my favorite things to do when I have a little free time with the Mr., and always a sign that spring is finally upon us. As promised, I’m sharing a few of my go-to picnic essentials, along with two super simple recipes that I like to pack in my picnic basket, neither that sacrifice flavor or a gourmet effect: my Homemade Pimento Cheese & Mediterranean-inspired Mason Jar Salads.

Whenever I’m packing for a picnic, I always make sure I have the following: a big blanket, a great picnic basket, portable tunes and easy food.  Nobody has time to deal with messy, high-maintenance bites when you’re camped out on your favorite blanket in the grass!  So today I’m dishing on the recipes for said easy food. 

First off, with your pimento cheese, and I’m just going to come out and say it: don’t ever use the pre-shredded cheese for your homemade pimento cheese. It’s just not ever going to taste as good as the stuff you buy by the block and shred yourself.  You’ll get a much creamier and more satisfying spread when you do it the right way. And I like my pimento cheese a bit chunkier, so I stay away from processing/blending it so that I can see the cheese and peppers with each bite.  Of course, if you like yours creamier (which is just as heavenly), take it a step further and throw the mixture into a food processor until you reach your desired consistency. I also love to use Vegenaise (vegan mayo) in place of traditional mayo, though I know all southerners will tell you that Duke’s is the only way to go. 

For the Mason Jar Salads, I went with a Mediterranean vibe; a tangy balsamic vinaigrette (I used store-bought, but you definitely can make your own) with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, cooked orzo, greens & more. The trick with any good Mason Jar Salad is to layer the ingredients in your jars (I love this set with clamp lids) so that the salad doesn’t’ get soggy or begin to wilt when in transit.  You do that by always, always putting the salad dressing at the bottom of the jar. Then, you’ll put whatever ingredients won’t get soggy from being in contact with the dressing (think tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, etc.)…bottom line is you don’t want the greens to be next to the dressing. 

You can have fun with Mason Jar Salads; the possibilities are truly endless!  Find my current go-to combination, along with my recipe for the best homemade pimento cheese below.  I’d love to know how you’re shaping up your picnic plans in the comments below!  Truly, MKR

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Homemade Pimento Cheese & Mediterranean Mason Jar Salad

Ingredients

  • Pimento Cheese
  • 1 block of yellow sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 block of white mont jack, shredded
  • 3 large spoonfuls of mayonnaise, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 chopped jalapeno (optional)
  • dash of cayenne (optional) 
  • Mediterranean Mason Jar Salad
  • balsamic vinaigrette, to taste
  • cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • red onions, sliced thinly
  • cucumbers, sliced thinly
  • edamame, cooked and shelled
  • almonds, raw and unsalted
  • cranberries
  • cooked orzo
  • lettuce (I used baby kale, mixed greens mix)
  • micro green mix

Instructions

  1. Pimento Cheese
  2. Add all ingredients in mixing bowl. When adding the jar of pimentos, eyeball this with how creamy/chunky you want it.
  3. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, and serve!
  4. Mediterranean Mason Jar Salad
  5. Stack your ingredients inside the Mason jar in the following order:
  6. balsamic vinaigrette
  7. cherry tomatoes
  8. red onions
  9. cucumbers
  10. edamame
  11. almonds
  12. cranberries
  13. cooked orzo
  14. lettuce
  15. micro green mix
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Cajun Inspired Jambalaya Nachos with Kielbasa, Rice, Peppers & Pickled Okra

An Irresistible Take on Layered Nachos
Filed Under > Appetizers & Sides

Blog-Jambalaya-Nachos-Recipe
Blog-Jambalaya-Nachos

Last week I shared my must-try One Pot Cajun Jambalaya, which I hope you’ve had a chance to try.  The recipe left me for an itch for more jambalaya, and I began to brainstorm a few ways I could make it happen.  By now you know about my love for great layered nachos (I take the art of layering very, very seriously as you can see in my vegetarian queso nachos, vegetarian breakfast nachos, and sweet potato nachos), so you won’t be surprised with what’s on the lineup today.

Friends, today I give you my Cajun Inspired Jambalaya Nachos.  Here I stacked layers of tortilla chips with savory Kielbasa sausage, white rice, green and red peppers, and of course ooey-gooey Monterey Jack and mild cheddar cheese.  To top it all off (and I’m quite proud of this addition), I included spicy pickled okra wheels in place of traditional jalapenos.  

The beauty of this recipe, of course like all of my nachos, is in the layering and by cooking each relative ingredient separately before layering. Check out the step-by-step tutorial in the recipe below, and tell me if you’re going to be enjoying these anytime soon!  Truly, MKR 

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Jambalaya Nachos

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. of shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1 large chicken breast, cooked & shredded shredded
  • 1 package sausage or turkey kielbasa, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups vegetable stock (with ratio to liquid for the rice)
  • 3-4 cups of cheese (I used a mix of Monterrey Jack and Mild Cheddar)
  • Tortilla chips
  • Pickled spicy okra, diced and set aside for garnish

Instructions

  1. Sautee the shrimp and kielbasa separately, each with Slap Yo Mama or Old Bay Seasoning. Once cooked, set aside.
  2. To cook the rice, use half of the diced tomatoes along with the rest vegetable stock (to make the ratio of liquid:rice). This will keep the rice from getting soupy or soggy on the nachos.
  3. Spread the tortilla chips evenly on the pan. Layer first with spoonfulls of rice, 1/2 of your peppers, and cheese.
  4. Next layer the cooked kielbasa, shrimp and chicken and then add remaining cheese, spread evenly.
  5. Broil or bake until the cheese melts (less than 5 minutes).
  6. Remove the nachos from the oven and garnish with the rest of your red and green peppers and hot pickled okra.
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