My step-sister is an amazingly creative and talented jewelry designer. This weekend, her mother is hosting a trunk show and asked me to make the food. She sent out the invitations 3 weeks ago. The party starts at 11.30 am and will showcase her beautiful jewelry. I am preparing some delicious appetizers to go with what promises to be a very enjoyable party!
I began planning my menu about a week and a half ago. I knew that I wanted to have “easy to eat while looking at jewelry” food and so I looked through my extensive collection of recipes in hopes to be inspired by a few.
Here is the menu I came up with:
- Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Pineapple
- Carrot Roulades with Radish and Herb Goat Cheese
- Portabella and Brie Cups
- “That’s What Little Girls Are Made Of” Roasted Pecans
- Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Rustic French Bread
I wanted to make sure that I had a mixture of both hot and cool choices, some vegetarian, and some a little lighter than the others. Of course they all have to be delicious too! I am going to post the recipes over the next week because I will not be making most of the food until Saturday but later today, I will write about my special roasted pecans.
Back to the party planning… Once you develop a menu, write a list of all the ingredients you will need for all the recipes. If one calls for a half a cup of sugar and another calls for a cup, write down that you will need a cup and a half of sugar. That way, you will know how much you need for your whole menu. Sometimes, when I look at recipes, I automatically think that I have enough butter (or some other ingredient) for all of them but then when I get down to making the food, I am a stick short! It is best to avoid all kinds of kitchen mishaps!
I categorize the ingredients into groups so that when I go to the market, I will not have to run around the store three times. For this menu, I used the categories: fruits and veggies, breads, herbs and spices, cheese, meat, and other. You can tailor your list to suit your menu specifically. Then, I go through my cupboards and cross off all the ingredients that I already have, making sure that I have enough of each for the entire menu. Now it is time to go to the market!
I mapped out the four days before the party to make sure that all that could be made ahead of time was and that I did not leave too much for the hour before the party. I bought all of my ingredients yesterday (three days before the party), except for the bread because I want that to be fresh.
Today, (two days before the party) I made the roasted pecans and prepared the bacon wrapped dates because that can stay in the fridge until ready to bake.
Tomorrow (the day before the party) I will make the carrot roulades and prepare the spinach and artichoke dip (but not bake it) and keep them in the fridge until the day of the party. I will also make the place cards I will put in front of the food that tells what each one is so people know what they are eating.
Sunday (the day of the party) all I will have to make are the portabella and brie cups and bake the spinach and artichoke dip, and bacon wrapped dates. My step-mother is making mimosas and a delicious cake for dessert to complete the trunk show. Since the party is at the house of a friend (and Oh Lovely Lolo reader!), we will bring the food to her house and set up there.
With a bit of organization and thinking ahead, a quick holiday party does not have to be stressful! Make sure to leave time to get dressed before the party. Our party promises to be full of good food, beautiful jewelry, and fun! What will your holiday party entail? Happy hostessing!