There will come a day when you will be forced to throw a party. You will not be prepared. You will have no idea how you’re going to pull it off. You will put on a happy face and do it anyway. Thankfully, I have some tricks up my sheer sleeves that will help you out of this little conundrum. There is no need to panic. To be the hostess with the mostess, you only need a few things: wine, snacks, games, good music, good company. I can’t help you with the “good company.” You’re on your own for that. However, I can provide aid in the snack department.
For many of us, we aren’t able (or willing for that matter) to spend all day slaving over cute little puff pastries for our guests. That’s why having just a few easy crowd pleasing recipes can save the day. These don’t include any exotic ingredients that you’ll have to scavenge the shelves in an overpriced hard to locate grocery store for. They aren’t going to land you on the next season of Top Chef. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here. I’m trying to save your ass in a bind.
You’ve probably ordered this a time or two at an Italian restaurant. If not, you’re missing out. I like to use this little magical basil paste. You can draw pretty patterns with it and I prefer not eating an entire basil leaf. Call me crazy.
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Slice the tomato into about 1/4 thick slices.
- Slice mozzarella into similar 1/4 thick slices and place on top of tomato slices.
- Add either basil leaf or drizzle magical basil paste on top of mozzarella.
- Drizzle balsamic over basil.
- Serve and wow!
This one is a real crowd pleaser. I don’t know why people are so amazed by deviled eggs, but they are. My fiance thought I was a freaking genius when he saw me squeezing out the filling through a plastic bag, but he forgets that Martha Stewart follows The Golden Girls.
- 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
- ¼ cup Light Mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon dry ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Place eggs in cold water, bring to a boil. When at a rolling boil, remove from heat and let sit for 10 mins.
- Cool eggs with ice or cold water.
- Peel eggs (do this under cold water to ensure all of the shell fragments are gone)
- Cut eggs in half, putting the yolks into a separate mixing bowl.
- Mix yolk, mayonnaise, vinegar
- Using a ziplock bag, dispense “filling” into halved eggs.
- Top with paprika and place in refrigerator to cool until ready to serve.
Bacon Wrapped Dates
When in doubt, go with bacon. No one can turn down delicious bacon. If your guests turn up their noses to this delightful dish, you may want to re-evaluate those friendships.
- 18 (1 by 1/4-inch) pieces cream cheese
- 18 pitted dates
- 18 salted and roasted whole almonds
- 6 slices bacon cut crosswise into thirds
- 18 wooden picks (also known as toothpicks)
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Stuff 1 piece of cheese and 1 almond into each date, then wrap one piece of bacon around each date and secure bacon with a toothpick if desired.
- Arrange dates, bacon seam down and 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan.
- Bake 5 minutes, then turn dates over with tongs and bake until bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes more.
- Drain on a paper towel or parchment.
- Serve immediately.
Now that you’re through in the kitchen, go put on something fancy, pour yourself a glass of wine and wait for your guests to arrive.