An easy-to-make marinated cheese appetizer that is perfect for entertaining small and big crowds alike.
To say I have masses amount of new recipes I want to try would be an understatement.
Which may or may not explain my penchant for risking new recipes on new dinner guests.
So it’s safe to say that whenever company comes calling, whether new friends or old, there will be new recipes on the table.
And heck, even when company isn’t calling too.
The only difference is that entertaining allows me to try three or four new recipes, and when it’s just me and the kids, it’s likely one or two.
A few weeks ago, my friend Cathy and her family came over for dinner. A casual affair, kids playing, grown-ups chatting, a perfectly chill vibe hung in the air.
Which, if you need to know, is kind of my favorite vibe.
And appetizers? Pretty much my favorite part of the meal.
I bet you thought it was dessert.
Nope, that course is relegated to my eat-all-the-sweets six year old.
Who lives for dessert.
For this dinner party, we went Southern with a marinated cheese appetizer.
I had seen this recipe floating around for years. Years and years and years. I had clipped the original when I first saw it in Southern Living magazine, and then recently I spotted it on Pinterest. Gotta love a virtual recipe box … all in the name of reducing paper in my house.
It makes for such a pretty presentation, how can you not be intrigued by this one? I’ve gotta say, though, I was a little leery of eating straight-up cream cheese. I mean, it’s just not something you do.
Smear it on a bagel?
Use it as an ingredient in a recipe?
But all but its lonesome?
The jury was out.
The recipe comes together in nothing flat and has just a handful of easy-to-find ingredients. The most challenging part is cutting the cream cheese in small squares. And it’s not like that’s rocket science. Although the recipe suggested freezing the cream cheese to make it easier to cut neatly, well, ain’t nobody got time for that. All was ok, albeit a little messier, without the freezing.
And, I mean, look at the finished product.
Total party pleasing fare.
The finished cheese stacks have a garlicky vinaigrette-type dressing poured over it and that is just a total game changer.
Especially when it comes to the cream cheese portions.
Just take a little fork and put a cream cheese and cheddar square on a good cracker and pop it in your mouth.
This, folks, is good stuff.
And even better the next day after it got a chance to marinate even longer in that awesome garlicky dressing.
Spring has officially sprung and outdoor entertaining can begin, in earnest, soon! She says with great hope in her voice. Whether you’re having some girlfriends over, entertaining a small group, or just want something a little special to perk up a ho-hum weekend dinner with your fam, give this one a whirl.
It’s a keeper.
Recipe courtesy of Southern Living magazine, 2006, adapted by The Kitchen is My Playground
1 (8 oz.) block Monterey Jack cheese