Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012 Everyone!

Well, New Year's Eve has come and gone with little or no damage to life, limb, or property. The "Come See The Tree Before It Dies" Party here at Sanctuary was a great success (except for those who missed it…you know who you are!). One might say that Tod and Scott had a little too much to drink once we got up to The Lodge, but it certainly wouldn't be me. Imagine that, I was the DD last night. That almost never happens!

Anyway, back to the party. This time I decided I wanted to make things that I had never made before. No Puke Dip or Fabulous Meatballs this time. I went with a "Create Your Own Canape" idea. I had seen a graphic in a New York Times article showing the many possibilities for Canape creation and it got me to thinking. Why not let my guests play with their food?

Signage! How cool is that?
That way I didn't have to do a lot of assembly. I could create pieces and then let the guests put it together in whatever fashion they chose.

For the bases, I purchased an assortment of crackers, mini-toasts, toasted french bread, and was given some hearty bread made by some Bosnian friends of my sister.

Those Wasa Crisps look like you could build a house with them. Sturdy!
The spreads are where I got to have my fun. I made a Chicken Liver Pate, a Salmon Mousse, and what I am calling, "Sort of Aunt Carol's Pimento Cheese Spread" (that will get a post all to itself at some point). I also had some Homemade Pesto in the freezer that I defrosted and a Roasted Veggie Bruschetta that my sister had given me for Christmas.

Mmmmmmm, goodness at the end of a knife.
Once a guest had chosen a spreadable (to my delight someone decided to mix the pate with the mousse and came up with a Surf & Turf canape!) they could either pop it in their mouth at that point, or move on to the toppings area. Here, I got to chop, grate and open lots of jars. Very little cooking involved.

Thyme, Dill, Capers & Spicy Pomegranate Sauce
Dry-Roasted Walnuts, Black Olives, Parmesan & Maple Roasted Apples
I didn't actually do the math, but given the number of ingredients, there were quite a few ways all of these various bases, spreads and toppings could have been combined. I enjoyed the Pate on mini-toasts with a caper or 2 on top. The Salmon Mousse was delicious with a black olive or 2 and some parmesan. The cheese spread went well with the Thyme (Who knew?) and dry-roasted walnuts gave the Pesto a nice little kick. I saw guests putting together all kinds of combinations. I wish at the end of the line I had made them all "Show & Tell" their creations with everyone.

The Assembly Line Party!
In addition to the "Create Your Own Canape" line I also provided some "more typical" party fare.

On the dining table are Chips & Dips and Crudite with a delicious Lemon Dill Dip. My mother brought a couple plates of her Christmas Cookies and some of her Homemade Peanut Brittle.

Oh! I almost forgot. At the last moment I came up with a cocktail for the party. I was just going to retread The Poisoned Apple since very few people got to sample it at the Halloween Party (thanks snow!) But it really didn't fit the theme of the party. So with a little browsing around (thank you interwebs) I came up with this.

Crappy art, but I had time constraints!
My apologizes to Dick Clark. I did not ask his representation if I could use his name on the party cocktail. They can sue me later. Basically, it's a Cosmo constructed a little on the light side and then Prosecco Bubbly is added once all of the other ingredients are shaken and poured into the martini glass. I also can't take credit for the cocktail recipe. I found it over here and only modified it slightly. All I can take credit for is the combination of the two. Both if which will probably get me sued. Not to mention the art I stole to create the graphic to display on my bar. Ryan Seacrest will also probably not be happy with me for blocking out his name in the above art with the word "Cosmopolitan".

Apparently, my New Year's Resolution is to be sued by one or more parties for various incursions. What's your New Year's Resolution???


  1. I enjoyed one of the large base crackers with the cheese spread and a variety of toppings. And now I know what a caper is and what it tastes like!

    Sadly, the Dick Clark cocktail was a more natural color than he was last night. (And thanks for my new fav - the poisoned apple!!)

  2. Thanks for the party. Those canapes were tasty. Happy New Year! :)