I think the world would be a better place if what-nots were an official afternoon snack.
When my friend Susie and I get together, things happen. A quiet afternoon chat transforms into change the world moments, brand-new, never-been-done-before ideas, and how-awesome-would-that-be plans. While she is a great person to let me share what’s on my heart and to inspire me to dream big God dreams, I think the secret ingredient in our creativity is what’s on the table as we talk and laugh and scribble. It’s the what-nots. OK, it could be that we share a birthday (September 27th), so we’re a little like kin. But really, it’s the what-nots.
So, what’s a what-not? Well, the beauty of the answer is that they are whatever you’d like them to be. What-nots are fun, creative little treats. Start with simple crostini (make them yourself in less than 10 minutes), and top it with whatever you like. Go sweet or savory or a combination of the two. Let that what-not make a statement about your beautiful imagination. And always arrange them artfully on a plate – it’s also part of the beauty of a what-not.
Here are a few of my favorite crostini toppers:
Port Salut cheese spread with fig preserves (Loveless Cafe has the absolute best, and since it’s also National Biscuit Month is only seems right that I should celebrate my favorite biscuit restaurant), and topped with a thin slice of Granny Smith apple
A great mild goat cheese and a dollop of incredible Cherry Butter (you can buy it at Rustlin’ Robs)
A shard of Parmesan and fresh tomato chutney
Thinly sliced poached chicken breast topped with baby spinach and a little tarragon mayonnaise
And my list keeps growing. So, what brand-new, never-been-done-before ideas are in your head, just waiting to be shared? Invite a friend – and some what-nots – to the table. And just see what happens. In fact, since September is a celebration month for me, I think I’ll give some gifts away. I’ve never done this before – but what-nots inspire. So in the comment section, share your idea for a great what-not. I’ll share a couple of jars of my super-special fig preserves and cherry butter.
Food is discovery; finding an untried spice or cuisine is for me like uncovering a new element. Food is evolution; how we interpret it remains ever fluid. Food is humanitarian: sharing it bridges cultures, making friends of strangers pleasantly surprised to learn how much common ground they ultimately share.” ~Anthony Beal
Simple Crostini (makes about 20 crostini per baguette)
1 thin French Baguette (from the bakery section at your store)
Italian Herbs or Herbes des Provence (optional)
Using a serrated blade, cut baguette into 1″ slices and place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. If you’d like some great flavor (for toppings like bruschetta), top with a spice. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until bread is crispy. Serve with great what-not toppings, or crumble and serve on a yummy salad.