Party on a Whim
The ‘Puter Hub and I threw a shower for one of his classmates the other day. The menu included a few simple items that we were able to whip up within two hours of throwing the party. We’re professionals, mind you (or so we think). We had already purchased libations a few days before as beer and wine don’t sour that quickly. We also maintain a fairly well-stocked bar at our place. You never know when you’ll get a visitor, wanted or not. Whether it’s your scotch-drinking Uncle Frank or that crazy vodka-lovin’ Auntie Mildred, stock your bar. It makes it easy to entertain on a whim.
On to the menu portion of our program:
- Antipasto platter with assorted meats, cheeses, crackers and olives
- Chips and salsa: you can never go wrong here.
- Smoked peppery salmon and cucumber crackers: Spread cream cheese on Melba toast crackers. Top it with a sliced cucumber and smoked salmon. Garnish with a sprig of dill and you’ve got yourself one party in your palate.
- Tortellini Skewers: You know how I like to trick out my tortellini (Part I and II)? So I basically created my Greek Pasta Salad by way of tortellini. Then, I skewered the marinated salad alternating tomatoes, tortellini, olives and peppers. Salad on a stick!
- Sparkling Pink Lemonade: Country Time lemonade mix with club soda. Easy breezy.
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Who doesn’t love fruit smothered in chocolate? Using a double boiler*, in the top pot, melt a bag of milk chocolate morsels over boiling water in the bottom pot. Stir until it is a bowl full of creamy goodness. Dip strawberries and refrigerate until your guests arrive.
*For a do-it-yourself double boiler, place a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water.
All-in-all, I’d say it was a great tag team effort given the time crunch. However, I did not have enough time to prepare the tastefully exquisite mushroom crostini which I am more than happy to share with you. These tasty treats would have really popped the cork off this party. They put the Chandler in Monica and Chandler. They put the Donna in Donna Martin Graduates. They put the crooked pigtails in Pippy Longstocking. They put the chandelier swingin’ in that crazy Aunt Mildred.
Adapted from the Martha Steward Living Cookbook: The New Classics
- 1 baguette
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of basil
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 1 container of mini Portobello mushrooms, pre-sliced and then coarsely chopped
- 3 ounces of goat cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice baguette into ¼ inch thick slices. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and next three seasonings. Place baguette slices on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Using a paint brush, lightly brush the bread with olive oil mixture. Toast into the middle of the oven until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium. Add chopped scallions Add mushrooms and sauté for 7 to 10 minutes. Add goat cheese into the skillet and let it melt.
Place about a tablespoon of mushroom mixture onto each crostini. Garnish with chives if you wish. You can also freeze these puppies for a few days and reheat in the oven for later.