The menu. This is normally something that I pre-occupy myself with when I’m throwing one of my infamous dinner parties. In those instances I have my standard menu items that never fail me (eg. roast chicken, roasted squash and winter vegetable soup, burgers for summer, perfectly balanced salads…etc.) and that I can always do without thinking twice about it. Not to say that they’re boring, I’ve just become so accustomed to making full dinners for said parties that I understand what/when/where/how.
The cocktail party however, as the challenge stands, is a little more about timing and preparation. I’m also juggling an onion allergy on the guest list, hence a balancing items that can be consumed is a bonus challenge. I’m fairly sure that I’m defecting to Clinton Kelly and the world of Freakin’ Fabulous on almost all accounts for this.
Issue #1 is quantity. Recommended number of appetizers per person? 10 – given that I’m not planning on feeding them anything remotely resembling a full dinner. Now, if one recalls the number of people that are going to be at said event that would be about 20. Mental math anyone? That equates to about 200 individual items. I have from now until about 6pm to have this all done.
Solution #1? Call in the reinforcements. Even before I did that mental math I’d decided that reinforcements were necessary. Obvious solution, my best friend. I’m fairly sure I booked off his entire afternoon for today only moments after deciding to do this.
Issue #2 is what to serve. Items need to be small – two bites maximum is the general rule. Items need to have variety – vegetable, animal, carbohydrate, sweet.
Solution #2? I’ve gotten all the ideas down to 6 savoury at the moment. I also opted for items that I know are a) good, and b) easy to create. Should I have had more time to fully create and prep the menu prior to starting this morning, then perhaps it would all be completely made from scratch. On occasion (as I have learned with previous dinner parties) it is alright to defect to something mildly pre-prepared in the world of sauces or dips, and I blame this on my lack of a food processor.
Therefore the menu is as follows:
- Caprese Skewers – grape tomato/bocchini/basil leaf
- Cheese Straws – puff pastry/cheddar cheese/parmesan cheese
- Pita & Hummus – olive oil toasted pita/roasted red pepper hummus/veggies
- Meatballs & Marinara – turkey meatballs with homemade marinara sauce
- Baked Brie – brie baked with roasted red pepper jelly/honey-balsamic toasts
- Chicken Skewers – marinated in honey, balsamic, and herbs/thai peanut dipping sauce
- Chocolate Dipped Strawberries – heaven. No description necessary.
- Miniature Cupcakes – from one of my favourite cupcake shops!
Alright…off to grocery shop…debrief entry to be addressed later this weekend.