I have a habit of excess. The more the merrier. The bigger the better. Honestly, it has become a problem from my closet to my pantry. I love to indulge and to indulge those that I love. Parties tend to be exhaustive affairs with plates of food and drinks overflowing – it’s something I love doing so don’t think I am holding a grudge. But this year, I am holding to my holiday promise of keeping it simple. However, simple doesn’t mean boring!
I plan on making the three signature champagne cocktails I shared yesterday for my gathering, but otherwise I am going to keep things low-key when it comes to my nibbles. I turned to my good friend and professional chef Alejandra Ramos of the famed food blog Always Order Dessert for some guidance. Alejandra agreed with me that since guests are coming after their respective dinners, there was no need for heavy finger food. “The drinks are the stars of the evening so make everything else easy, quick and delicious. NO COOKING!” She suggested that I stick with the tried and true cheese plate….
But Alejandra stressed that while the snacks can be simple, they shouldn’t be boring……
Taking her advice one step further, I wanted to up the “wow”factor and do something as easy but even tastier…..herbed truffled popcorn! Aside from being super easy to make in large quantities, the popcorn is a delicious and unexpected pairing to accompany the cheese Alejandra recommended….
Last, Alejandra said I should think about presentation when it came to planning my menu…..
I interpreted Alejandra’s advice as why not have your drink garnish be an appetizer? Rather than simply dropping one or two raspberries into my drink as a garnish, I skewered them onto rosemary to create fruit garnishes that could also double as an appetizer….
Thanks to Alejandra I am now fully prepared for my party and not nearly as stressed. With these quick and simple tips, I can now focus on enjoying my party rather than worrying about running it. Which in turn gives me more time to drink….and oh…hang out with my guests too!
Wish each of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
[Credits] Styling: Courtney Lake// Photography: Adrienne Aubry