- This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville. The opinions and text are all mine.
Hello, friends! I am so excited about today’s post! I was asked by Johnsonville Summer Sausage to create some appetizer recipes and use them at a New Year’s Eve Party which I would then share with you, complete with my top three tip for throwing a great party. Fun, right?! So here goes nothing!
Are you familiar with Johnsonville Summer Sausage? I wasn’t. In fact, when I was invited to put together this post, I wasn’t even familiar with summer sausage at all! Summer sausage is a type of dried, smoke sausage that is similar to salami in preparation. A fabulous thing about summer sausage, however, is that it can be kept without refrigeration! Convenient! Gotta love conveniences, especially when preparing for a party! Johnsonville has been using the same recipe for their summer sausage for the last 70 years, and it takes 24-48 hours to perfect. If you’re curious, you can learn more about the process and see videos and other recipes on their website HERE.
My hubby is the gourmet chef around here, and he was pretty excited to come up with some appetizer recipes using summer sausage. He landed on a charcuterie board full of summer sausage, crackers, and a fabulous variety of cheeses (more on this later), as well as a variety of appetizer skewers that utilized the summer sausage. Let’s take a look . . .
First up: the Teriyaki Summer Sausage Appetizer Skewers.
Don’t they look gooooood?! I think they were my favorite of the three. YUM.
Ok, to make them you will need some little skewers (duh!), Johnsonville Summer Sausage, pineapple, water chesnuts, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and cilantro. You will also need to broil them, so you will need an oven. You could get away with not broiling them, but it really does make them better if you do it!
Set your oven to broil so that it can preheat and be ready. Now start by soaking the water chestnuts in soy sauce for 15 minutes and then drain. Cut up the Johnsonville Summer Sausage and the pineapple and put together the skewers in the other shown: pineapple bit, pre-soaked water chestnut, and summer sausage. Arrange the skewers on a rimmed baking tray lined with aluminum foil (it makes cleanup much simpler). Brush the skewers with teriyaki sauce and broil until they begin to brown. (2-3 minutes — watch them carefully!) Arrange the broiled skewers on a party platter and sprinkle finely chopped cilantro over the top of them. Serve immediately. (These could be assembled, wrapped and stored prior to the party and not broiled until the last moment if possible.)
Next up: Summer Sausage Caprese Appetizer Skewers!
These were the runner up for my fav. Very fresh and refreshing.
These Summer Sausage Caprese Appetizer Skewers were obviously inspired by the traditional caprese salad served at Italian restaurants. I love those salads, so it is no surprise that I chowed these down as well!
To make them you will need skewers, Johnsonville Summer Sausage, grape tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh whole milk mozzarella balls (perlin sized), olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and freshly ground salt and pepper. (If possible. Regular salt and pepper could be substituted, obviously.)
Chop up the summer sausage and the fresh basil. Assemble the skewers in the order shown – a piece of summer sausage, a piece of mozzarella, half a leaf of basil, and a grape tomato, cut in half if it is too large. Arrange on a platter, drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper and serve. These can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for hours beforehand if needed.
Finally, we made a Summer Sausage, Apple, and Cheddar Honey Appetizer Skewer.
These were also tasty and very refreshing. They also had more of a sweet twist thanks to the honey, which I always love. I am a total sweet-tooth. True story.
To make the Summer Sausage, Apple, and Cheddar Honey Appetizer Skewer you will need skewers, Johnsonville Summer Sausage, apples (we used honeycrisp), extra sharp cheddar cheese, fresh rosemary, honey, and apple cider vinegar. Chop the summer sausage, apples, and cheese into small cubes. Assemble the skewers by placing the ingredients in the order shown – apple, summer sausage, and then cheese. Put about a cup of honey and 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds (to thin the honey). Stir to mix together. Brush this honey mixture onto the skewers and sprinkle with finely chopped rosemary. Serve. These may also be wrapped and stored in the refrigerator prior to the party.
There you go, our three original Johnsonville Summer Sausage Appetizer Recipes! YUM!
Finally, we put together a charcuterie board of Johnsonville Summer Sausage, crackers, and a variety of fine cheeses.
The cheeses that we chose were chipotle jack, smoked gouda, extra sharp cheddar, and butterkase cheese. The board was a hit, along with the appetizer skewers!
Our New Year’s Eve party was fairly low key . . . just some good friends over to chat, eat, and play games all night while the kids ran wild, and then we all made a great deal of noise to celebrate the ringing in of the New Year. I was so busy taking pictures of my food that I forgot to take many pictures of my guests, but here are the cutest two. I did manage to get a pic of these little besties.
I have always been a bit of a party animal. I am a social butterfly by nature, as is my little blondie shown above to the left. My hubby is most definitely not a social butterfly, but he IS a lover of cooking and recipes, so this was a great assignment for us from Johnsonville Summer Sausage. He made all of the food and I decorated, invited, chatted up everyone who came through the door, and snapped pics galore. As the designated party host of this and many other events through the years, I have my three best tips for you to help throw the ultimate holiday party without it being a huge hassle or disaster!
- Have FABULOUS FOOD (DUH!), preferably that you can prepare ahead of time! The Johnsonville Summer Sausage appetizer recipes above are designed to help you with this goal. We also included candy on our table to add a little bit of sweetness. (Again, I’m a sweet-tooth.) 😉
2. Have a great drink station with cups that can be labeled! This does NOT have to be alcoholic! If you are an alcohol drinker that’s totally fine, but we aren’t, so our stations usually include things like coolers full of soda or Italian Cream Soda making stations. (The ICS station is what we did this time, along with sparkling cider, of course. NYE . . . duh!)
As for labeling cups, there is nothing more annoying than setting down and losing your cup 100 times at a party. (ESPECIALLY if they run out of cups! Oy!) I usually solve this problem by having several permanent markers out next to my stack of plastic cups. A friend of mine keeps out a baskets of various washi tapes. Then you choose one, wrap your cup with it, and you’re the star washi tape cup for the rest of the night. Much cuter idea, I must admit.
3. Use disposable/paper decor and serving supplies! (Sorry, environmentalists!) Look, I know it’s not the best for the environments, like, at all, but if you’re aiming for ease of clean up after your party then disposable is the way to go.
That’s it, folks! My tips for a great, simple holiday party, and our ideas for fabulous, easy-to-make appetizers using the astonishingly convenient Johnsonville Summer Sausage! I hope that this post helps you and inspires you as you prep for your next party! Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here is to a fantastic 2017!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville. The opinions and text are all mine.