A friend asked me if I would make cocktail hour food for her parents' surprise 30th anniversary party. I made food for the cocktail hour of her wedding last year, and she said her mom had been raving about it all year... I was only too happy to do it! Making food for people who let me cook what I have been wanting to cook for a while, and give me pretty much free reign over what I make? Sounds like heaven to me.
So, I delved through the wonderful world of Pinterest. I asked friends for suggestions. I spoke with my friend who hired me (of course). I checked what was available at the store and fresh.
It went over swimmingly, although I probably made twice as much food as I really needed to... better too much than too little, though, right?
I wanted to share with you the dishes I made.
Here's the menu:
Sundried tomato spread
- This is originally a recipe from a friend of my sister's, and it has become one of my staples. It was specifically requested by my friend.
Caramelized peach and brie quesadillas with gingered honey
- I modified this recipe a bit, mostly in the use of gingered honey, something that a coworker told me about. If you put some peeled fresh ginger in honey and let it sit, the honey will absorb water from the ginger and turn it into a less viscous liquid, and also infuse it with flavor. I knew that the ginger would be a delicious addition to the peaches, thyme, red onion, and brie in this recipe.... and now I have a nice jar of gingered honey, which will be amazing in tea, or used to soothe a sore throat!
Potatoes with sour cream, bacon, and chives
- For this recipe, I omitted the cheese and added in delicious bacon. I also used a medley of red, blue, and yellow potatoes. The blue potatoes were such a bright blue after boiling, they added a festive air to the platter!
Dates with chevre and pecans
- Instead of spicing up my own pecans, I used some spicy & sweet pecans from Trader Joe's. I admit, I'm a little obsessed with these.
Stuffed brussells sprouts
- AMAZING!!! I can't stop talking about these... such a fun way to serve a highly under-appreciated vegetable.
Caprese pops - So simple and so beautiful - simply skewer a cherry tomato, a leaf of basil, and marinated mini mozzerella balls, and drizzle with a balsamic glaze.
Mini burger skewers - I spread little squares of sandwich thins with bruschetta topping, then skewered with half a small meatball, a small slice of cheddar cheese, and then the other half of the "bun." They are inspired by this picture.
Garlic stuffed olives with sharp cheddar cheese - This is a very simple appetizer. I got some garlic stuffed green olives, and then skewered them onto little cubes of cheese.
Gorgonzola and walnut spread - I'm not sure if I would make this again, as it was not a huge hit at the party, and I bet it would have been nicer hot - gorgonzola cheese mixed with a little cream cheese and chopped walnuts.
And last but not least -
Rainbow Carrot Leek Tart with Almond Parmesan Crust- this one deserves a post all of it's own. (I'll link here when I get the recipe written up)