Recipes & Inspiration: Cocktail Party Goodies

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We're addicted to kitschy trays and dishes that are definitely not for everyday use.

Since there's no sense in collecting stuff and leaving it in a drawer, and these dishes are perfect for appetizers, we like to throw a drinks party once a year that lets us pull out our collection of dishes and serve nothing but hors d'oeuvre. It's not too late to plan an impromptu New Years Party!

Mix and match. Pick and choose. Just try to balance the offerings with foods of different textures and flavors. Make sure there are vegetarian options and everything doesn't have cheese in it. Click through for a collection of fun and easy cocktail food ideas we've gathered over the years.Topping crackers & crostini

Sliced rare beef with truffle oil
Sliced roast beef with horseradish cream and red onion
Caviar and hardboiled egg
A slice of ripe pear with soft goat cheese, drizzled with honey
Pepper jelly & cream cheese
Chopped dried figs mixed with cream cheese and honey
Smoked salmon & tobiko
Curried chicken salad
Thin slice of spice-rubbed pork tenderloin topped with chutney
Thinly sliced ham & crisp apple with melted Gruyere
Oil packed tuna, chopped olives and hard-boiled egg
Caramelized onions with bacon & crumbled blue cheese
Sautéed mushrooms and shallots with fresh goat cheese
Smoked salmon, creme fraiche and cucumber
Fresh chevre and Spanish piquillo peppers

Endive leaves make great portable vehicles for flavor.

10 things to serve in endive leaves:

Crab or shrimp salad
Smoked fish spread
Creme fraiche and caviar
Chutney mixed with cream cheese
Chopped olives mixed with cream cheese
Bought or homemade Vegetable pate
Guacamole
Egg salad
Chicken salad
Hummus

A smattering of other ideas:

• Slice Manchego cheese into triangles and top with thin slices of quince paste. Serve on a tray strewn with toasted walnuts.

• Cut little pockets into dried figs and stuff with nuggets of blue cheese

• Make frittata and serve it bite-sized

• Get some soft farmer's cheese or young Teleme and marinate it in olive oil, fancy salt, pepper and herbs or make a quick Italian salsa verde as a marinade

Cheers!
Anyone out there having a New Year's Eve Party? What are you serving?

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