Party Palate Pleasers : What We Ate
Everyone seemed to quite enjoy what I served at a recent Ladies’ Get Together.
I prepared a lot of the food the evening before the party, partially because it would be easier on party-day, but mostly because it was good to let the flavours develop overnight. Then all I had to do was assemble the separate elements right before the party started.
The fruit and the vegetables, which, of course, are better served fresh, were washed and cut about an hour before the party began, and kept in the fridge, stored in resealable bags, until it was time to put them out. Note, if you’re including raw broccoli, store the pre-cut pieces in their own bag or container, so the green bits don’t get all over the other veggies.
Let’s start with something that is always a big hit … I made some Olive and Cream Cheese Spread.
When I originally published the recipe, I mentioned that it is always really liked by whoever tastes it, even people who supposedly hate olives. As my friend Julie put it, at this particular party “people were hoovering it up”!
Also on the menu was another hors d’oeuvre, Marinated Cheese, Grape Tomatoes and Olives, served on a skewer.
The piece-de-resistance is the grated lemon peel in the marinade. There’s no garlic, so these also make a nice portable snack to bring to work or school.
I used Mozzarella but these can be made with White Cheddar or Havarti, as well. (Recipe below.)
I also made three kinds of Crostini, the recipes for which I found in June’s Canadian Living Magazine, that I read at my parent’s place the week before the party. The topic of an article was coincidentally what to serve at an outdoor patio party, similar to the one I was planning. So, I just went ahead and made the Crostini exactly how they suggested except I didn’t rub the toasted baguette with garlic.
Also I changed the White Bean one, as we didn’t have the pesto the recipe called for. So I skipped it and made the Bean Spread more flavourful by adding a tablespoon of finely chopped white onion, a clove of minced fresh garlic, 2 teaspoons olive oil, juice of 1/2 a lemon and about 1/4 teaspoon salt. Then I topped those ones with arugula and pieces of grape tomatoes, as per the original recipe.
And everyone loves raw vegetables and dip, right? I followed a recipe for this dip, except that it calls for something called Lowry’s Seasoned Salt, which I didn’t have, so I replaced it with a bit of regular salt, to taste. It was really good. I’ll be using that recipe again.
For dippers we had mini carrots, red pepper, raw broccoli (my favourite), celery, and cucumber slices.
There was also a fruit plate with fresh pineapple and local strawberries but I didn’t get a picture of it. It was decorated with the crown of the pineapple to give it a tiki look.
In addition to these things, my friend Vicki brought some homemade spring-rolls, which she heated up here and then served.
As I mentioned when I first talked about this party, many of the ladies were coming over directly from work so I wanted to make sure I had plenty of tasty things for them to eat.
This might seem like a lot of different kinds of things to prepare, but really it was quite easy, and I had all the spreads, dip, and marinating prep done in a couple of hours, using my food processor. It was really fun to do, as I sipped a glass of red wine and listened to the playlist of music I had selected for the party.
So that wraps up the posts about my Ladies’ Get Together. Thank you very much for taking a look.
Edit January 2014 : Below is a picture of a double batch of these that I brought to a party last week, where people really went for them. The hostess told me later that she had heard many rave reviews from her guests! To make a double batch do everything the same just doubling all the ingredients.