Sunday, December 13, 2009

Caroling Cocktail Party

I had the pleasure of catering a holiday caroling cocktail party last night for one of my very favorite clients. She hired a talented pianist to accompany the carolers, and recruited a guest to tend the well stocked bar. Friends help decorate the tree, wrapped the front door like a large package, and decked the piano out in full holiday splendor.

These pretty veggie and pasta skewers were dressed in a mustard vinaigrette with fresh baby dill.

Six pounds of buttery shrimp were marinated in wine vinegar, lemon juice and zest, garlic, honey, fresh ginger, and tomato paste, with a touch of cayenne, then garnished with slivered red onions and cucumber ribbons.

Pork tenderloin was given a sweet and spicy dry rub, then roasted and finished with spicy red pepper jelly glaze. The BBQ ranch sauce provided the finishing touch, with mini yeast rolls offered for those who preferred to make a mini sandwich.

The prize winning Sweet and Spicy Cheeseball with Bacon and Apples made an appearance.

The cheese platter featured White Stilton with Dates and Oranges, Mushroom Brie, White Truffle Cheese, with crackers, pickled red grapes, and a fruit paste.

Mini Tartlets with warm brie, toasted walnuts, were finished with balsamic grape relish.

Not pictured, but hugely popular - Mini Corn Pudding Nacho Bites (cream and hot pepper cheeses, with fresh corn, green onion and egg baked in Tostito Scoops). Cranberry and Chili Sauced Meatballs with a touch of orange marmalade were served bubbling hot in a slow cooker.

Toasted nuts with fresh rosemary were on the punch table for guests to nibble before the main event.

Desserts were Pumpkin Pie Dip with Gingersnaps, Two Bite Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting and holiday sprinkles, and a guest provided a beautiful pound cake that I garnished with fresh roses and holiday greens.

My sister volunteered to assist and was an excellent dishwasher.

Best of all, the assembled guests were talented singers, including an outstanding soprano who sang an beautiful rendition of Ave Maria.

One the best parties I've had the privilege of being a part of. And I just got a thank you call from the hostess letting me know how much she loved everything, and at the suggestion of a guest, was now planning on making this an annual event.

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