Welcome to my 15 Minutes to Fabulous series! I’ve been featuring some fantastic guest writers sharing ways to be fabulous in just 15 minutes. Let’s face it, give a busy woman 15 minutes of uninterrupted time and she can conquer the world…or at least 15 minutes of it! Today’s guest blogger is Nashville foodie extraordinaire Beth Sachan from Eat. Drink. Smile.
In my circle of friends, I was once known for being a hostess with the mostess. I say “was” because I just had a baby 6 months ago. In the months prior to giving birth, and the months since, entertaining at my home hasn’t really been high on my priority list.
But times are a-changin’. I’m starting to feel somewhat human again and I’ve got the itch to socialize. As much as I love going out to a good restaurant, I love even more inviting friends into my home for a fun little cocktail party.
Sure, it’s not going to be like old times when I slaved away in the kitchen for days (Yes, days. How did I ever have that much time?!?) before hosting a soiree. This has to be quick and relatively painless.
Typically, in the past, when I created a menu for a party, the list would be a mixture of labor intensive, medium difficulty and easy-peasy finger foods. Now that I’m living in this new L.A.B. world, that list is going to have only one column: easy-peasy. (FYI: in case you’re curious, L.A.B. = Life After Baby)
So here are a few of my tried and true tips/tricks and recipes that all take around 15 minutes to pull off but still make you look absolutely fabulous when it’s all said and done!
Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers - This is one of my personal favorites and an appetizer I’ve served many times to rave reviews.
Strawberry Brie Ginger Crisps - Just 3 ingredients: ginger snaps, brie, and strawberries. Enough said.
Spiced Macadamia Nuts – Technically this one takes longer than 30 minutes, but only because it has to bake in the oven. The prep part is less than 10! Make good use or your time by making another dish while these are baking 😉
Pimento Cheese in Purple Endive Boats – We have a local market near us that makes the best pimento cheese – way better than I can even make myself. All I have to do is scoop a little into some purple endive boats, arrange on a round platter, and they make such a pretty, vibrant display!
Melon, fresh pineapple or dates wrapped with thinly sliced ham. - SO simple. Just skewer with some heavy duty toothpicks and voila!
Blanched Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto – I advise using the thinnest spears you can find for this. You want them to still have a slight snap to them, but not be crunchy raw. I’ve even added Boursin cheese to these too. Just wrap the prosciutto once, then smear some of the cheese spread, then wrap the prosciutto some more.
TRICK: Use unusual ingredients in your appetizers- things that people might never have tried before, or at least don’t see often at parties.
TIP: It’s okay to buy premade, but make sure it’s good quality. Taste it before you serve it!
I’ve even found a few items in Trader Joe’s frozen section that are really great:
Lemongrass Chicken Stix
Pastry Bites with Feta Cheese and Caramelized Onions
TIP: Sparkly drinks are always fun!
Buy a few flavored sparkling juices and waters, and a few bottles of prosecco. Have some fruit like raspberries and strawberries on hand to drop into the glasses or use as garnish. Ever tried Sparkling Shiraz? It’s one of my favorite go-to drinks to serve with cheese and chocolate!
So there are a few ideas to get you started. Just remember – a fabulous party doesn’t require a lot of blood, sweat and tears. All you need are a few tasty treats and libations, and the laughter of friends to make the party a success!