Community Recipe

3 Simple Appetizers For Developing Community

Put these together for your next girls night! | thefreewoman.com

I’m a foodie – have always loved gathering people together around a table and enjoy good food and deep conversations. I love to host others and I think there’s something that comes from sharing your table that gives people the encouragement to share their authentic self.

In a world of Pinterest perfect and Instagram worthy, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the presentation instead of the gift that gathering is. I’ve gotten caught up in the lie that my space isn’t big enough or clean enough or “finished” and ready for everyone to see it. Or that I don’t have time to prepare the kind of spread that would be worth a double tap.

If you’ve put off hosting a gathering, starting that study or catching up with that friend who’s going through something because you’re feeling the comparison curse, I want to let you know that it truly takes only three things to foster connection. It’s not a reclaimed wooden farm table or an all white kitchen, it’s you, somewhere to sit and a snack.

You and somewhere to sit are pretty self explanatory – this could be at your house, down at the coffee shop or in a park. I think a snack helps bring focus in fostering connection – it gives people more to do with their hands other than scroll on their phone, allows for non-awkward pauses in important conversations and is a small, shared experience. Snacks don’t have to be special or expensive or time consuming.

I’m sharing my three go-tos for three-ingredient appetizers you can put together for your next girls night.

Three 3-Ingredient Appetizers

1. Petite Caprese Salad

This is a good appetizer for a group.

I simply buy fresh basil, cherry tomatoes and small mozzarella balls. Use toothpicks and assemble them so that they each have half a cherry tomato on the bottom that acts as a stand and then layer the cheese and a small basil leaf on top. Then drizzle olive oil and balsamic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. It’s easy to assemble and I love all the colors.

2. Bacon wrapped Dates

This one is pretty easy to put together, but seems a little fancy.

All you need is a package of bacon, a bit of goat cheese and a package of pitted dates. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit (175 C). Cut slices of bacon in half. Open up each date and fill with goat cheese. Close it, wrap with bacon and use a toothpick to hold it together. I fill up a baking sheet of these and pop them in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, until the bacon is cooked. Serve warm.

3. Grapes, Cheese and Crackers

Short on time? This one is by far the easiest to put together.

If I’m heading over to a friend’s or I’m on a time crunch, I’ll stop by the store and pick up grapes, a cheese I like and some crackers. I love this one because it fills up a plate and there’s just something about the sweet, creamy and salty that go so well together.

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Enjoy!

What are your go-to appetizers? Share below, we’d love to know!

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  • Joni Leimgruber

    How often have I fallen into this trap? I recently realised that I had close friends whose houses I’d never seen in any condition other than perfect. This made me think – had they ever seen my house in disarray? The answer was yes – I’m not super great at housework (!) – but I made a decision then and there that I was going to stop trying to have a ‘perfect’ house when people came over. Sure, it makes me feel better about myself when the house is (on the rare occasion) spotless but I began to wonder – how does it make my guests feel? I know that when I go to someone’s house and find it spotless, I automatically compare to my own home and housekeeping and something inside shrinks, just that little bit. Some people are gifted in keeping a beautiful, clean and tidy home which is so great, but I’m not gifted in this. I guess for me, it’s about accepting my own strengths and weakness, instead of trying to be like others. It’s hard (and humbling) but I’m trying it out – also saves on housekeeping hours (win/win!)