Sunday afternoon we had a get together of some of our new friends we have made in the last years time. It has been such a long journey to get to the point of being able to entertain and do it right. It was a real blessing to finally get to do so! We had decided on sharing some wine we had libraried from our favorite winery, a lovely trio of Syrah's...to go with the wine, as always we choose to make a variety of "small bites" or tapas to go along with our sampling of the wine. I thought I might just share some photos of what we served, and perhaps a few tips and recipes on how to put together your own small bites & sips party.
|First, thought I would share my hair(decided|
to go with a few waves & curls),
make up and what I wore....
|Yes those are my cute little bunny slippers.|
Above are dates with pitted, stuffed with cream cheese and then wrapped in bacon strips and baked till crispy..it is a go to for me, as is puff pastry with some kind of filling, this time olive tapenade, both so very easy and quick to put together,always a hit and impressive!
On the above platter, green beans wrapped in Italian squash, then baked till tender, and drizzled with a reduction of fig with cinnamon and ginger added balsamic vinegar. Mini caprese skewers...again both are very easy, not pricey to make and great finger foods.
Potato slices, we used red and golden, thick sliced, baked day before with olive oil, salt and fresh thyme. The day of the party, mini wells in the center are made with a small spoon,then a dab of filling, in this case artichoke pesto and topped with a thin slice of hard cheese...your choice. Pop in the oven to re-warm and wala, yummy goodness!
Sweet & spicy meatballs, were brought by our middle daughter, and our youngest made up a lovely fruit and cheese platter.
This fun and easy dish is made with french bread rounds...mini's , and a hole was made in the bread, the filling a mix of cream cheese and buffalo wing sauce! Then we made celery match sticks and stuck them in....was like having hot wings without the wings!
Our youngest daughter bought the chocolate cups, though we now have molds to reproduce them, it did save some time to buy them. She filled them with a mix of two cream cheese mixes. The first melted chocolate with cream cheese making the base for what we normally make truffles with , but instead piped spooned in to the bottom, then cream cheese with marshmallow fluff, YES! Fluff...makes a to die for fruit dip, that was piped on top...add some sliced fruit and berries, a chocolate straw ( bought from the bakery at the grocery store) and chocolate pearls bought in the bulk bins from our local store and all came together to be an easy, but impressive dessert!
Store bought salted chocolate caramel candies lade out on a pretty cake stand makes for nice touch and wonderful with that sip of Syrah!
Of course the wine was also the star of the day! Alapay Cellers out of Avila Beach California and m2 out of Lodi California was what we served. This was of no immediate cost as we had this wine in our collection for a few years now as it aged....perfect to share with those we knew would appreciate it.
A few tips...I adore service dishes, but we live in an apartment with no real storage, so I bought dollar Tree platters, I also bought small clear plates, the napkins and silverware there, it cost me very little, and clean up was a breeze. Plus at the end of the day, you can just relax and not have to worry about a mess. I bought inexpensive parsley, green onions, chives and red leaf lettuce to decorate the platters...and used spare fruit from the desserts to fill in blanks as well. Do as much prep and pre-cooking as you can the day before and warm it back up before the party starts, it will make it so if you time it right you can relax and enjoy your guests company with no stress. I also bought take home containers at the Dollar Tree and so could send home extras, if there was any with our guests, because though it was yummy, I had spent two days with the food, I just wanted to get back to my normal eating habits.
So there you have it, a few recipes, a few tips and all on a small budget! Hope you will share your own tips and recipes with me, I am always looking for new ideas.