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Posts tagged as “cocktail party”

Menu Idea: Tapas Tonight

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In my house, warm weather, when nobody feels like looking or standing over a stove, calls for something quick and easy to eat. If the last thing that you can imagine doing is turning on the stove and you're craving something easy to nosh on that doesn't take a lot of time to assemble, try tapas.

Tapas are Spanish-style appetizers or small bites that are really fun to eat. It's one of my favorite things to enjoy at a restaurant—and going to restaurants that serve tapas is probably one of the things I've missed the most lately about "normal" life—where typically 2-4 per person makes for a good main course meal. And it's more fun when you have a variety to share with your partner or a group: some seafood, cheese and fruit; some hot and some cold.

Try these ideas a spread of Mediterranean-style tapas that you can make at home for a quick lunch or dinner.

Menu Inspiration: Summer cocktail party

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Believe it or not, it's August. If you're gearing up for the long Labor Day weekend already or planning a casual end-of-summer party, here are some quick and easy entertaining ideas that will help you send the summer season off right.

Fresh, Mediterranean-inspired flavors highlight this menu, and for something sweet at the end that's still light: easy to make grilled peaches with honey-sweetened whipped cream. As a bonus, there's something for everyone: several recipes are vegetarian-friendly and could be made vegan with a few omissions or easy swaps.

Tropical Mango-Lime Party Punch

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For anyone who has ever attended a college party or two in their time, flashbacks of overly sweetened "jungle juice" might instantly come to mind (along with memories of some crazy hangovers the next day after drinking the stuff, perhaps.)

The recipe? It was always simple: combine assorted liquor with assorted juices to end up with a concoction that was potent to drink and seemed to always vary in color—sometimes orange if a lot of pineapple or orange juice was added to the mix, othertimes a greenish color from what had to be a healthy dose (a whole bottle?) of melon liqueur.

Whatever you call it, it's was a great idea to serve for big, casual parties—and it's still a good idea today, with some modifications, of course.

These days, I pair back the juices and booze so it's not a base of "everything and the kitchen sink" anymore. I also generally make mine with better ingredients, like organic juices and seltzer instead of soda which adds fizz without extra sugar. A base of mango and pineapple with a touch of lime juice make it tropical and flavored vodka provides extra kick of flavor.

World Gin Day: Lemongrass-Ginger and Cucumber-Lime Gin Infusions

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[caption id="attachment_379" align="alignright" width="200"]Logo from World Gin Day (worldginday.com) Logo from World Gin Day (worldginday.com)[/caption]

Not to turn my back on bourbon, which many know is a favorite spirit of mine, but the Gin and Tonic is one of my absolute favorite drinks. For World Gin Day, I'm excited to share recipes for two gin infusions that are perfect choices to use in my favorite cocktail.

I tend to stick with other herbs and spices or citrus when I infuse gin because it's already herbal to begin with; it's not neutral and open to most ingredients, like its cousin vodka. In this case, cucumber-lime and lemongrass-ginger are two flavor pairings that really work well and I enjoy drinking in a Gin and Tonic.