Build-Your-Own Crostini Bar

I call this a "Party on a Tray!" One of the nicest things about it is that it's comprised entirely of "pick up" items from the grocery store. Do I call this "cooking?" Well, no...but that doesn't mean you can't take credit for assembling this Girls' Night All-Star! Be creative with your ingredients. The tray can be prepared in the kitchen and then transported anywhere. I place a tiny vase of fresh flowers and some votive candles directly on the tray. I then arrange the crostini ingredients and let my guests assemble their own delectable creations. You will need the following:

* Purchased or homemade crostini ("crostini" literally means "little toasts" and can be easily made in the oven. Slice a fresh loaf of French or Italian bread into 1/2" slices, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake in the oven at 375 degrees until slightly golden, turning once.

* 2 or 3 Cheese selections: Stilton, Brie, Goat Cheese, and cream cheese are great choices.

* Fruit Jam/Preserves or Dried Fruit: pepper jelly, fig preserves, raspberry jam or the flavor of your choice. Dried mango, figs, and cherries are nice.

* Salted Nuts

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