You’ve set the date and you’ve made your list of what you are going to serve at the party. You’ve already stocked your pantry, refrigerator and freezer with the items listed in Tip #1, right? Excellent – you are half way done!! Now is the time though to take a minute to think through a few other things you might need for your soiree. Here’s a list to get you started!!
1. Do you have the right sized platters and bowls for each thing you are going to serve? Check your supply of these items – use post it notes to label “what goes in what” – this will save scrambling at the last minute only to find that your bowl isn’t large enough to hold your always in demand crab dip!
2. How about serving utensils – do you need any for what you are serving? If you do, do you have enough? If not, add these to your shopping list!
3. What about serving – will guests need napkins, toothpicks, appetizer plates, forks, spoons? If so, check your supply of these items and if you don’t have enough, add these to your shopping list.
4. What about table decor? Planning on using plants, holiday decorations, candles? If so, look them out now!!
5. Last, but certainly not least… the bar. Decide what beverages you are going to serve and then check your glassware supply. Do you need more wineglasses, champagne flutes, etc.? If so, now is the time to pick more up. What about garnishes like lemon twists and pickled onions? If you don’t have these, you know what to do.. ADD THEM TO THE LIST!!!
Remember, at this time of year it isn’t just Santa who should be “making a list and checking it twice”!!!
Alright, now on to the food!!
Appetizer parties are my favorite. I love hosting them and I love catering them – a sentiment that isn’t shared by everyone. You might think that these types of parties are hard or complicated. The truth is though, I think they are easier to do than dinner parties – you can accommodate numerous dietary considerations, timing dishes isn’t as critical and you can really let your inner artist have free reign – small bites lend themselves to fun and creative presentations!!
Endive with blue cheese and pecans is a perfect party appetizer. It goes together in minutes, serves a crowd and requires little in the way of garnishes to look gorgeous – and of course it’s delicious!
Endive, Pear, Blue Cheese and Pecan Dippers
(Serves 10 – 15)
4 head endive, white and red
1 cup good quality blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1 large red anjou pear, cut into 1/4 inch dice
3 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
1. Separate leaves from 1 head of the white endive and 1 head of the red endive. Set aside.
2. Slice the remaining endive into 1/4 inch wide slices and place into a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the cheese, pecans and pears. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and the thyme. Toss gently to combine.
4. Place endive and cheese mixture into an attractive serving bowl. Surround with the separated endive leaves.
NOTES: For those who are avoiding dairy, omit the blue cheese and pecans and substitute chopped, smoked almonds.
For a fun presentation, fill a large martini glass (or glasses!) with the endive and cheese mixture and arrange endive leaves around the bottom or fill individual shot glasses with the mixture and garnish with endive leaves for a hand held salad.
15 Poppy House Road
Rio Vista, California 94571