I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – possibly the very best thing that has come of my time blogging are the many friendships I have made in the process. It never ceases to amaze me, how lucky we are to connect with people who share similar interests even when they live thousands of miles away. One such friend is Joanne of the superb blog Joanne Eats Well with Others. I first met Joanne a little over a year ago when we attended a small blogging retreat at the same time, but by then I felt like I had already known her for some time after following her witty writing and drool-worthy recipes. She was just as awesome in person as I had imagined. Now I’m happy to say that Joanne is getting married in just a few weeks and, as we do in the blogging world, we’re throwing her a virtual bridal shower since we can’t all be there to throw one in person. (Huge thanks to Audra of The Baker Chick for coordinating the whole thing!)

My contribution are these roasted pumpkin hazelnut crostini. Crostini are one of my favorite appetizer options for any party, so this version with a spread of soft cheese, roasted pumpkin and hazelnuts, and a touch of fresh thyme seemed a perfect fit for a fall-themed shower. This combination worked so incredibly well together and we found them irresistible. The roasted hazelnuts are especially delicious so don’t skimp on them! Andrew was helping me make these and decided to drizzle a tiny bit of honey onto his crostini. That was a lovely addition as well. In fact, we loved them so much that we ended up calling them dinner. After all, the best party foods are those worth ruining dinner for, am I right? Congrats Joanne! Wishing you and The Boy all the best in the future.

Check out the full list below to see all of the other contributions to Joanne’s shower from so many wonderful bloggers!


Pumpkin Spice White Russian – Nutmeg Nanny

Warm Apple Pie Cocktail – Miss In The Kitchen

Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail– Cook Like A Champion


Baked Brie with Honey and Sliced Almonds – The Lemon Bowl

Butternut Squash and Apple Galette – Warm Vanilla Sugar

Roasted Pumpkin Crostini – Annie’s Eats

Kale Salad with Maple Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Dressing – Blahnik Baker

Lemony-Pasta Stuffed Zucchini – Very Culinary

Pumpkin Dip with Apple Chips– Meadows Cooks


Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake – The Baker Chick

Peanut Butter Fudge Pie with Salted Peanut Butter Caramel– Taste and Tell

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake – The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake – Chocolate and Carrots

Roasted Butternut Squash Pie with Brown Sugar Marshmallow Topping – Keep It Sweet

Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies – The Cooking Actress

Caramel Cranberry Apple Galette – Bakeaholic Mama

Coconut Pecan Tarts – Bake or Break

Cranberry Margarita Cupcakes – Baker by Nature

Gingerbread Truffles – Dinners Dishes and Desserts

  • Yield about 12 servings


  • ½ cup hazelnuts
  • 2 cups sugar pumpkin, seeded, peeled and diced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 whole wheat baguette, thinly sliced on the bias
  • Soft mild cheese, such as Saint André
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat. Place the hazelnuts on the baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, wrap in a clean kitchen towel and let cool about 5 minutes. (The towel will trap in the steam and loosen the skins of the hazelnuts.) Keeping the towel wrapped around the hazelnuts, rub your hands over the top of the nuts, rolling them around gently. This will remove the majority of the skins. The others should come off easily when rubbed. Coarsely chop the nuts and set aside.

  • 02

    Place the pumpkin on the now empty baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and mix the cubes of pumpkin with the hazelnuts.

  • 03

    Heat the broiler to high. Lightly brush the baguette slices with olive oil and place on a baking sheet (no silicone baking mats under the broiler) in a single layer. Toast just a minute or two, until browned and crisp. Remove from the oven. Spread each baguette slice with some of the cheese, top with a spoonful of the pumpkin mixture and sprinkle a few thyme leaves over the top. Serve immediately.