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April 6th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune
I guess you know by now I love to plan a party. My mother’s 80th birthday party was so much fun to plan that I have committed to the 85th birthday as well. I am hoping I will not have to supply quite as much wine at the next one but who knows? I got through labor twice by focusing on the next Christmas party I had to plan. It is an obsession but a fun one!! My next venture is to host a Stock the Bar shower for a favorite neighbor’s daughter and her fiancé.
I decided that an old- fashioned cocktail party would be fun and I love a theme to help me with ideas. Now I am not talking corny and no games please but just an ambience to make a party feel special.
My plan for drinks will be to have the usual wine and beer but to also set up a martini bar to honor Dean Martin and his “pack”. I am creating four different recipe cards for a variety of martinis and I will have all the ingredients needed for each concoction. One of the recipes will be for a favorite chocolate martini for the dessert part of the evening, in hopes we can draw the men into the den when it is time to open the gifts. There are so many flavors for the martini now but I definitely plan to have a regular dirty martini to satisfy those not into the fruity taste.
I turned to my mother for the food ideas since she was always the queen of parties in the 50’s and 60’s. Yes, she still does quite well with entertaining but I needed the recipes from her “prime”! We decided to utilize the chafing dish for sweet and sour meatballs, a recipe I shared in an earlier article. We are going to put together the traditional spinach balls, cheese dip, and salmon platter. I do intend to serve a hot dish I had last weekend at a party just because it was such a hit.
2 pkg. cream cheese (1/3 less fat works fine), softened
1 jar apricot preserves
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
1 to 2 Tbls. soy sauce
Spread your cream cheese in a serving dish about the size of a 2 quart casserole. Mix your soy sauce and apricot preserves. Use as much soy as you prefer. Spread this mixture over the cream cheese. I toasted the pecans in a bit of butter and I think it adds a great deal of flavor, as butter always does!! Sprinkle the pecans over the dish and next a layer of your crumbled bacon. Warn the mixture slightly in the oven. This goes the best with Wheat Thins or a similar cracker.
We were competing for the last bite of this dish and begged the men not to cook steaks for us because we were stuffed with apricot delight, along with a few martinis. Never put the women at the table of appetizers.
My party is in a few weeks but be sure I am planning Easter lunch too and will report on my tried and true spring casseroles next week. Please share some party dishes with us on the blog this week. Memorial Day is on the horizon too!
By Deborah Ann Neely
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