Here’s a little something simple to treat yourself on New Year’s Eve – a delicious appetizer that is deceptively impressive, and a surprising and refreshing cocktail.

Ingredients:
Toasted, sliced baguette
Garlic cloves
Mozzarella
Grape tomatoes
Pesto sauce

The bruschetta here is made with homemade mozzarella (impressive, but easy), sliced grape tomatoes and pesto sauce. Luckily, Elaine had some frozen from over the summer – but even store bought could suffice in this situation. The real star here is the cheese – I found the recipe here – she provides such great instructions that I’ll not repeat them here – I will only say that you NEED TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS! For example, when she says to heat the curds until they start to get stringy, you should really do that. Or how she recommends using rubber gloves to handle the hot cheese? YES! Do that! Lastly, you will need some special ingredients, but I had no problem finding them online and they were very inexpensive, so completely worth it.

Elaine and I like to brush our baguette slices with olive oil, toast them, and then rub the cut side of a garlic clove all over them.

Place a slice of mozzarella on your toasts, then top with sliced grape tomatoes. Drizzle pesto over top. Consume with abandon.

Fizzy Cocktail Ingredients:
1 1/2 oz. Campari
Prosecco
Champagne flutes or wine glasses

Campari is a wonderfully bitter apertif with herby citrusy flavors – you will find it most commonly in a Negroni (equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari) or the Americano (equal parts sweet vermouth, Campari and soda water). It pairs wonderfully with a sweet prosecco. Add 1 1/2 ounces of Campari to a champagne flute or wine glass, top with prosecco. So easy!

Happy New Year everyone – we hope you have a safe, peaceful and prosperous 2013!