I love a party!
It’s my mama’s fault. She would come home from work around 3 am, shake the bed to wake me up and whisper, “Let’s Have A Party!” I know I’ve told y’all about our “parties” before, but it’s one of my all time favorite memories of her.
I would get out of bed and we would go to the kitchen. She would make banana sandwiches cut into triangles, cheese cubes and Gherkins sweet pickles. I would have milk. She would have vodka. I would have joined her in the vodka, except I was seven. They were simple parties but those were the best banana sandwiches I have ever had.
I still love a good party! Granted, mine are a little more elaborate these days. And I’m old enough to drink vodka 🙂 My favorite parties to host are Tapas or Meze Parties. Hosting these are simple, yet both fun and elegant. They are designed around serving several small plates or appetizers. Let’s get started!
First, fix yourself an adult beverage of choice 🙂
I like to start with a Charcuterie tray similar to these.
Your local deli can assist you with selections of meats, olives, pates and peppers. I usually include Prosciutto, Salami, Soppressata, Salumi, Mortadella or Capicola. I add a selection of both green and black olives, sliced vegetables, roasted vegetables, caper berries, peppers and sometimes shredded beets or red cabbage.
The Charcuterie is accompanied by a great selection of cheese and cheese condiments.
Ideally, you want a nice selection of both hard and soft cheese. Aged and Smoked choices are also nice to offer. My favorite “go-to” cheeses are Rogue Creamery Smoky Blue, and Spanish Drunken Goat. If you don’t venture out any more than that with cheese, try these. You will not be sorry. I also add a goat cheese, a nice aged cheddar and sometimes brie. I like to offer crackers, breads and various mustards, jams, jellies and Quince paste which are all excellent pairs with cheese.
At this point, we’ve served both sweet and salty foods, and I like to cleanse the palate with a plate of fresh herbs and Balsamic Blistered Cherry Tomatoes with homemade Ricotta Cheese and Pesto toast points.
Time for another adult beverage?
Now that we have a clean palate, I like to remain along the tart vinegar lines with a nice Shrimp & Lobster Ceviche.
Seafood makes excellent small plates and as a Ceviche uses so many fresh vegetables along with the seafood, it allows it to be a very cost effective appetizer. A little seafood goes a long way in this offering.
Now, I like to add a little sweetness to the mix with Proscuitto Wrapped Pears drizzled with Bourbon Honey and topped with a little fresh cracked pepper.
Did you enjoy our party? Now the deal is, you can’t have one without me. So make sure you put my invitation in the mail. I’ll be glad to help in the kitchen 😉
People frequently ask, “What is your favorite thing to cook?” That’s kinda like asking Van Gogh his favorite color. I can’t really answer that in just one dish. So my response is always the same. “My absolute favorite thing to cook… is a party!”
Life is too short to eat ugly food y’all.