Summer snack: ricotta crostini

We're finally getting around to working on the landscaping in the front yard so hopefully I'll have an update on those goings-on sooner rather than later.  I'm also realizing I never blogged about the new stoop's stain color so once I can find a shade plant that will be happy living on the stoop, maybe I can show some decent photos of that.  

Meanwhile we're doing what you all are probably doing....squeezing every last ounce of fun out of this all too fleeting summer.  I'm trying to ignore the back-to-school supplies & fall decor that have cropped up in stores.  We've been to the pool regularly, slurping popsicles & ice cream cones, chomping on watermelon, riding bikes downtown for dinner, & listening to live music in the park.  Spending so much time outdoors that we're no longer fazed by the mosquitoes & once-pressing matters like home improvements have been pushed further down the list.

What is it about summer that makes me want to throw quick dishes together with minimal stove time involved?  I mean, we're fortunate to have central air conditioning so it's not like I'm suffering in the kitchen ;-)  Recently, I threw together an appetizer platter of crostini, ricotta, & various accoutrements for a 'happy hour' when friends dropped by for an afternoon visit.  Everyone just grabbed a crostini, topped it with ricotta, & adorned it with whatever he/she pleased.  I've since stocked the fridge with these 'staples' for a quick lunch or snack that doesn't involve heat.  Bonus points for the easy prep since my little firecracker lady has been keeping me on my toes even more so lately.

I'm not a food snob nor have I ever done a Whole30 Challenge, but for the past 5 years we've tried to eat whole/organic/non GMO when possible because honestly?  It just tastes better & we feel better.  So it's why I suggest using the good organic ricotta that's most affordable (oxymoron).  Ricotta is a mild Italian cheese, slightly sweet & creamy, that complements practically every topping. 

{L to R crostinis}
ricotta, tomato trio, minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, freshly cracked black pepper, sea salt
ricotta, extra virgin olive oil, freshly cracked black pepper, sea salt
ricotta, arugula, prosciutto, freshly cracked black pepper
You know how there are rules like drink certain white wines with seafood & certain reds with meats/pasta dishes?  I have one rule: if you have a favorite wine who cares about food pair it with whatever you like.  We discovered Dreaming Tree cabernet sauvignon a couple years ago & it's an all-around favorite, affordable red.  One that we're not embarrassed to bring as a hostess gift or for occasions.  It's robust & fruity, with notes of vanilla (& epic-ness).  And yes, that Dave Matthews is the co-winemaker.  A sip might take one back to those halcyon college days of rocking/swaying to his music, singing every word to his songs because omg you totally have every CD & went to see him live at Red Rocks.  I'm just saying this might've happened to a friend...

I obviously cracked into this bottle before remembering I needed to snap a pic:
If you're a wine drinker, I hope you try it!  My guess is a lot of people already have.  Linking up to my favorite wine blog buddy Amanda & her fun series Wino Wednesday.  Hop over for more delicious & unpretentious wine recs ;-) Link up to your own wine-related post to share the wine love! 

Kids and Cabernet