perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress

Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on December 27, 2022 by Sandy Bergsten

How about a little mangia trois to ring in the new year? It’s easy to make a splash with this trio.

Whether you’re hosting a crowd, being a gracious guest, or ringing in the new year by yourselves these three recipes are super simple and never cease to impress. For each recipe you can make the components a day before, assemble them earlier in the day and even bake and reheat later if need be. 

If you are bringing them to someone else’s home, bring a your own pretty serving platter. And if you need to use the oven, be sure to ask before. As an added courtesy place your hors d'oeuvres on the disposable foil baking sheets that you find hanging in the baking aisle at the grocery store (and no worries they don’t need to be discarded, they are easily washed for repeat uses- save your new year’s resolution for something more substantial!).

Everyone loves bacon wrapped dates. The trick is to use thin center cut bacon. Save the thick slabs for your French toast. This oldie but goodie never fails. An added bonus is that because they do not need to be hot (and should not unless you want to scorch your guests’ mouths). Pop them in the oven 15 minutes prior to arrival time. They will be out of the oven and on their platter before the first ring of your bell.

And this is a crazy easy canape that I made up decades ago. It’s one of those recipes that you’re embarrassed to share, so much so that I gave it a fancy French name- “croute au fromage”. Essentially a fresh take on onion/mayo/cheese dip baked atop naan bread. Spread the cheese herb mixture onto Naan middle eastern bread.

Cut into bite size triangles. And bake until golden and bubbly

The last is a teeny showstopper but essentially just another deconstructed dip. For peppadew and goat cheese on crackers simply combine chopped sweet peppadew peppers and creamy goat cheese with a splash of peppadew juice. The “dip” and the crackers below can be made earlier in the day and assembled before the guests arrive. The secret here is the homemade wonton cracker. Wonton wrappers cut into quarters, brushed with butter and carefully baked (they burn in a flash).

Top with a dollop of the pepper/goat cheese mixture and a sprinkle of slivered peppadew.

Wishing you and yours much happiness in 2023!

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