The idea for this soiree came to me at the Summer Solstice Party. While we were sitting in the garden, having drinks and appetizers, someone said, “These appetizers are so good, we could just make a dinner of appetizers”.
I thought, what a great idea, a dinner of all appetizers, drinks and of course desserts. My mind started spinning with tasty choices. I thought of all the appetizers I had eaten that I couldn’t get enough of, all the appetizers I had made friends always requested and all the appetizers I’d never made but longed to try.
So the list began. As you know, if you’ve been following my blog, I’m a big believer in lists. The problem was eliminating anything from the list. Everything sounded amazing and I knew my friends would be wowed with the spectacular presentation and delighted with the variety of flavors and choices.
My final menu is, to say the least, extremely ambitious. I don’t recommend you make everything on this menu unless you are a very experienced home cook and have a good friend or, like me, have a daughter to help out.
The recipes are, as always, easy. But there are a lot of them. You don’t need to make everything to have a great Apps & Alcohol party. You can pick a few things as long as you create a balanced menu. Remember the vegetarians and the carnivores. You can also add readymade and store bought items to round out the menu. You don’t have to make your own gravlax, you can buy it.
Because the menu was so extensive, this was the perfect party to include a larger number of guests. I had 25 people so I got some help with bar tending and someone in the kitchen to keep the platters replenished. This way I could spend time with each of my guests.
There were gorgeous peaches in the market when I created the menu. So you’ll see peaches used in several different ways. Take advantage of seasonal fruit and incorporate it in your menu. I always do.
Please don’t make yourself crazy or stressed making too many things. One of my dear friends looked at the menu the week before the party and said, “This is incredible and a little crazy”. He was right on both counts but oh what fun it was!
People arrived at 7:00 p.m. and didn’t leave until 1:30 a.m., and then only because it was past the puppies’ bedtime. The party was such a success that I’ve decided to make it an annual event. Of course, my mind is spinning with the new appetizers to try and the list has already begun.
Photography by Krista Bates