Serrano ham, goats cheese & honey crostini for a housewarming

by Jeanne on June 29, 2009

in Starters & canapés, Waiter, there's something in my...


Housewarming.  Isn’t it a lovely word? Apparently the term is related to the ancient practice of taking embers from the fire of an old house to start the first fire in the new house.  These days, however, it’s more a case of your friends wishing you a warm welcome into your new home.  Either way, seeing as one of my major life goals is not to move home too often (!), I have not had the opportunity of throwing too many housewarming parties.  My last one was over ten years ago back in Port Elizabeth, and I remember very little about it, other than Bronwyn and me mixing a lethal batch of punch in a cooler box, and one guest bringing along his Jack Russel terrier and her puppies. As you do.

The housewarming party we had last weekend was slightly more organised, but also more fraught.  For a start, we had only been in the house for five days.  Secondly, we only had the carpets fitted the day before, so until 24 hours before the guetss arrived, most of my worldly possesions were stacked up in the conservatory – where I pictured the guests sipping cocktails!  Oh, and did I mention we had two houseguests staying with us, and that I went to see the Pet Shop Boys in concert the night before the party?  It all made for an interesting couple of days…

But I my friends are forgiving bunch and that, coupled with a Herculean effort from Nick to clear the conservatory while I was at the concert, meant that the party was a roaring success.  I had decided to keep things simple and restrict the canapés on offer, so what we had was:

To drink, I offered Kir Royale and Bucks Fizz cocktails, plus some beer for the boys, and soon the party was well under way.  Sadly I took very few photographs of the catering as I was too busy socialising and walking around with canapés, but here are a couple for your viewing pleasure:




No matter how crazy my off-blog life has become, I would not dream of missing out on the event that I co-founded, Waiter, There’s Something in My… and I was thrilled that the theme of tapas, chosen by Andrew this month, roughtly fitted in with the food for my party.  The inspiration for these came from our fabulous chalet hosts when we went skiing in Morzine earlier this year, and I figured that the addition of Spanish Serrano ham and their bite-sized nature brought them firmly under the umbrella of tapas ;-)  Call them what you like, I do encourage you to try them as the flavours are just marvellous.  Salut!


For printable recipe, click here.


About 20 baguette slices
3-4 slices of Serrano ham (or similar cured ham)
1 small log of goats cheese with a rind
runny honey
parsley and/or black pepper to garnish


Toast the baguettes slowly in a medium oven, turning once, until they are crisp through.

Slice the ham into pieces so that each slice of bread gets enough to nearly cover it.  Slice the goats cheese very thinly so that there is a slice for each piece of bread.  Cover the ham with the cheese.

Place the toasts onto a baking sheet and pop them under a medium grill for 5 minutes or until the cheese is begnning to melt.

Transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with honey and garnish with parsley and black pepper.  Serve hot.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kerri June 30, 2009 at 10:34 pm

How lovely, you seem to really be settling in now. Those crostini look very good, a wonderful combination.


courtney July 1, 2009 at 3:02 am

The party and spread looks so wonderful and you look radiant. Congrats.


Johanna July 1, 2009 at 3:26 am

happy housewarming – I think these days housewarmings often occur when people are settled enough in the house – hope that is the case with you – and I love the photo of your crostini!


Ashley July 1, 2009 at 4:55 am

WOW!! These look fabulous! What a great appetizer!


nina July 1, 2009 at 6:23 am

Aaahhh, finally, Jeanne! I am happy for you guys that you are finally in and semi-settled!!!


Bellini Valli July 1, 2009 at 11:12 am

So glad you are all settled and life is resembling something normal. ENJOY Jeanne!!!!!


johanna July 1, 2009 at 12:46 pm

I am gutted that I had to miss the party… but I am sure paul wouldn’t have appreciated me sharing his mattress ;-)
while many might say that crostini are not tapas, the basque have a “tapas” tradition where almost everything comes on a bread base… they call pintxos and they can get quite elaborate these days i hear (from my friend sonia who you know and who’s from the region). i was actually planning to go for these, but ended up making a tortilla just now – in the roaring heat. i really feel quite authentically spanish ;-)


grace July 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm

what a terrific little nosh! you’ve a real knack for combining flavors in a great way, jeanne–nice work!


abby July 1, 2009 at 1:13 pm

congratulations on finally getting in jeanne. perfect timing too with all this glorious sunshine.


browniegirl July 1, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Sjoe! You were brave to have a housewarming so soon after moving in. Congrats again to you both. May you enjoy many happy years and memories in your lovely home. Such happy photos…and those killer crostinis look and sound so yummy!!! Mind you I am so stuffed right now….my 31st wedding anniversary today and we have had so much fun wandering around the nooks and crannies in Kalk Bay, lunch at Olympia Cafe and dinner at Brads Bistro….so ja…how can I possibly be looking at more fooooood????? Pigglet that I are hehe…and that PE housewarming sounds like it was a doozie :o) Hugs xxx


Anita July 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Ohh… that’s a bit stressful, moving in and renovating so close to a house-warming. You’ve done a heaps better than I could have done :)


Manggy July 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Aww, even if you scaled it down, I still wish I could’ve been there! Love the sweet-salty flavors of this canape :)


Katie July 2, 2009 at 7:45 pm

It was the Serrano and Goat Cheese that got my attention… Glad I read carefully – congrats on the house! Woohoo!!!!!!
Nice party, too.


herschelian July 3, 2009 at 12:22 pm

It sounds as if your house is well and truly warmed now! May that be just the first of many memorable parties – my very best wishes for happy times living in your new home.


myfrenchkitchen July 6, 2009 at 9:46 am

I’m always a bit dazed when I come back after an absence and try to catch up…you’ve moved home? Still in the UK, it seems? By the looks of the pics and the food, it is going to be fun! Enjoy your new home!


Juno July 7, 2009 at 9:59 am

Lovely recipe – looks delicious! Good luck in your new house Jeanne.


Anne Skoogh July 7, 2009 at 10:39 am

That is just so very much up my alley :) I hope you’ll be very happy in your new house!


Niamh July 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Fantastic! Congrats on the move. These look delicious.


la petite chef July 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm

YUM! I like the sound of this!! Thanks for the recipe! Great site! :)


Annemarie July 8, 2009 at 9:43 pm

I loved the house welcome in It’s a Wonderful Life: Bread, so your home may never know hunger; Salt, so your life always has flavor; Wine, that joy and prosperity may reign. That film always brings a (good) tear to the eye! Congrats on the move and the housewarming happiness.


Jan July 11, 2009 at 5:45 am

Wow I’m loving these goats cheese and honey crostini! Love the rest of the food you did too and glad you all had a great time. ‘Housewarming’ it is a nice word.


Kalyn July 17, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I’m seriously behind on blog reading so these wishes are late, but congratulations on the new house, and love seeing you smiling in these photos!

Reply July 29, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Happy-happy housewarming! You looks o cute :)


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