'Tis the Season--To Go To a Party
- lulubelle Dec 8, 2009 12:48 AM
I just looked at my calender and I have 8 events in the next two weeks. Everything from a formal dinner for 150 at my boss's house to a Christmas carols and dessert party. I have to bring something to at least half of them (Not my boss's house), but because I will either be at work, or at another party, I will have almost no time to make anything. Plus, I am supposed to be a "good cook" and people kind of expect something a little fancy and fussy when I show up.
So, what are some FAST, no-last-minute-fuss treats, either sweet or savoy, that I can whip out to impress people? Ideally these can be prepared at midnight, while slightly tipsy, for serving the next day.
Festive, healthy and not overly processed are all pluses!
Spiced nuts are about the quickest to do, pretty healthy...topics and ideas abound here on CH...personally, I love Epi's Sweet and Spicy Pecans...there's a cashew with rosemary recipe somewhere on the 'net ... many interesting recipes for nuts! Perhaps mini-quick breads? Also, would wine or dark chocolate not be a consideration? Both are somewhat healthy if not over-consumed unless you're trying to keep to something homemade.
smoked salmon and cream cheese spread would be my vote.
my latest brushetta love is: hummus and roasted eggplant diced(salt, pepper, oil, cumin)
I'm in big favor of seasoned nuts too - chowhound has a great one on here for rosemary walnuts but there might also be a thread dedicated to them as well
Smoked salmon spread is one of my go-to recipes and will certainly make an appearance in the next two weeks. My recipe calls for a big brick of cream cheese, about 4 oz of lox, plus one of the tinfoil packets of smoked salmon that are sold in the canned fish section (it's thicker and moister than regular smoked salmon). lemon juice, red onion, a dollop of horse radish (the creamy style) mix it all the night before, (I like to blend the foil packet of salmon in completely, and then roughly chop the lox for a little texture. Sprinkle with capers or more red onions and serve with fancy crackers.
the nice thing about the salmon spread is you really don't have to mix up anything - let people fix their own, I'm a purest when it comes to my salmon and just like to do my own bread or cracker with plain cr cheese, then salmon slice, then the rest on it. I think it's a nicer presentation than what might look like a dip or spread - but might be less messy with a crowd to mix ahead of time. Great Taste is still there.
is baking ahead and freezing an option?
how about making chocolate bark or toffee ahead of time so you don't have to cook at midnight? i'd do the bark w/exotic add-ins
If you're considering the nuts, Ina Garten's rosemary cashews are really good.
This fall I had dried apricots to use up, scouted around here on chowhound, and made a bastardized version of an appetizer that pikawicca made. I chopped the apricots in the food processor, then added the other ingredients and spread it on crackers or baguette, i can't remember which. Her version has you split the apricot and pipe the cheese mixture on, no cracker required. It was delicious, and could not have been any easier. Read down a few posts as she and Candy discuss it.
This led me to using up the rest by mixing them with blue cheese and walnuts. Delicious.
You certainly will be busy these days! Have fun and remember to get your water. I think it helps alot during party season.
No, they don't have to be served warm. As a matter of fact, the last time I made them I used the foodsaver to seal them up and kept a bag in the fridge for months. When I finally opened and served them they were delicious, just fine. Room temp might be fine, I don't know why not, but the fridge certainly worked well for me. I hope you try them, they're really good. I just bought cashews so that I can make some next week. I'll seal some up to have on New Year's Eve, too.
one of my never fail fall backs that everyone devours.
All-Purpose Cheese Spread
1 (6-ounce) jar cheese spread
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Place all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Mix well with a handheld electric mixer for about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until completely combined. Store in a plastic container with a snap-on lid in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.
Cook's Note: Try serving spread with celery sticks, crackers, crusty French bread or baked potatoes.
I saw this done recently on tv and loved the idea - it's called italian spring rolls.
You take a slice of proscutto and lay some arugula, a sliver of parmesan cheese and green onion on top, roll it up like a cigar and serve with a balsamic vinegar for dipping. It looked so fresh, healthy and good, can't wait to try it myself.