What is it about a little piece of toast loaded with crunchy, salty, creamy and herbaceous goodies? It is the dance that your mouth has along with your stomach being extremely happy. I absolutely love creating new flavor profiles and tasty bites for my Friday Night Bites weekly series here. I just hit my one year anniversary at my new job and I can’t believe how time flies by so quickly. I absolutely LOVE my new role and company. After 18 years with one organization and 8 promotions later, it was time for a change. Change is good. Change is empowering. Change is what we need to invigorate our careers and life.
With my new role, I actually work 4 miles from my house and I don’t have to be a road warrior like I was for the past 18 years. I would, on average, have a 3 hour daily commute. For any of you who live and work in the Bay Area, you know the traffic patterns and how challenging it can be. Hubby would always ask me in the AM while we were getting ready – “where are you going today?”. We now joke and he asks me the same question – I simply stall for a few minutes chanting …. hummm and smile. We both laugh.
I use LinkedIn daily for my job and find a lot of inspirational articles embedded in the daily feed. One of my favorite sites is “Thrive Global” by Arianna Huffington. The site is thought provoking along with touching on well-being, wisdom and purpose. I believe we go through life on a journey to determine our purpose and passion. We meet people along the way – some come into our lives for a reason. They all have a reason, season or a lifetime. Thought I would share a few tips from the article – “10 Dumb Mistakes Smart People Make When It Comes To Finding Their Purpose” that struck a chord with me.
- Passion doesn’t come first. Take your natural talents and strengths and build on them. Competence and confidence spurs passion.
- Set one goal. Make a timeframe to complete it. Once you reach it, you can press forward with the next on.
- Patience is key. Once you find your passion and commit to it – stick to it. Don’t wait on silly signs. Go for it.
- Be positive not negative. When combined with diligent and deliberate effort, positive thinking works and is transformational.
- Keep a notebook. Write down your ideas, hopes and dreams, the things that inspire you.
- Be grateful for each day. You don’t know what tomorrow brings.
- Be optimistic but mindful that you will face obstacles. Know how to overcome them and be stronger.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Finding your purpose in life takes a lot of self-awareness and experimentation. The most important part is to get started.
I have many passions and I have yet to discover new ones. My blog has been a passion since 2009 and despite taking breaks from it, I still get charged to share my passion for food, wine and entertaining with all you. One of my goals for 2018 is to share a Friday Night Bite recipe every Friday this year. This week I have a tasty and easy flavor packed toast that is easy and will be a crowd pleaser for sure.
CRISPY PROSCIUTTO, APPLE & STILTON TOASTS
Makes 12 Toasts
12 slices of sourdough baguette, cut on the diagonal
2 Granny Smith Apples
6 Prosciutto Slices
1/2 Cup Stilton Cheese, crumbled
1/2 Cup White Cheddar Cheese, grated
2 Tablespoon Rosemary Leaves, finely minced
Fleur de Sel
1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
To prepare the toasts:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a large baking sheet to lay out the 12 slices of baguette. Lightly brush each side with olive oil. Sprinkle with a touch of salt on one side. Bake for approximately 7 minutes and flip each toast halfway through to ensure both sides are toasted. Remove and let cool.
To prepare prosciutto:
Remove the prosciutto from the package and cut 6 slices in half. Over medium heat, add about a teaspoon of olive oil to a medium sauce pan. Cook 2 to 4 slices of the prosciutto at a time. Watch them carefully and have tongs handy to flip. Cook until crispy. Remove and set onto a paper towel to remove any excess oil. Once cool, break each one into 3 to 4 pieces.
To prepare apples:
Prepare a medium bowl with 2 cups of ice cold water and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Stir. Peel and core both apples. Cut both into 1/4 inch 1 inch long matchstick pieces. Add to the ice cold lemon water bath to keep from browning.
To prepare toast mixture:
In a medium bowl, add the stilton, half of the grated cheddar cheese, crispy prosciutto. Take the apples from the water bath and dry over a paper towel then add to the bowl. Mix gently not to break the prosciutto or apples.
Divide evenly over the 12 toasts, top each one with the remaining grated cheddar and bake in a 350 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly brown. Remove and assemble on your serving platter. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil on each then a touch of honey on each. Garnish with a sprinkle of the minced rosemary and a touch of fleur de sel. Enjoy!