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Lidia Bastianich knows how to shortcut even the simplest of recipes.

When I asked the popular PBS cooking personality for holiday cocktail party tips during a Chow Town Facebook Live, she chose a trio of bruschetta from her latest cookbook “Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian.”

Bruschetta is the Italian word for is a popular appetizer served in restaurants. It’s a deceptively simple appetizer — one even non-cooks can prepare.

“It looks like you’ve worked all day, and you can use leftovers,” she says. “Even the bread can be from yesterday. It will revive.”

Bruschetta (pronounced broo-SKEH-tah) is Italian meaning “to roast over coals.” Simply toast bread, rub each slice with a garlic clove and then brush each slice with olive oil (you don’t want to change the fresh flavor of the olive oil by exposing it to heat) and top.

Lidia provided the following recipes, and she also shared time-saving tips that went beyond the printed recipe.

Finally, add a signature beverage — a single cocktail or punch that guests can make on their own — and this holiday season you’re ready to toast your way to health and happiness surrounded by friends and family.

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