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A New Year’s Eve Culinary Smackdown
The holidays are officially here, much too early thanks to retailers who have decided to mash all the holidays together in the name of boosting consumerism. For busy professionals, the holidays also mean squeezing in more billing hours in time for the last quarter or in preparation of taking off to visit family. With the lack of time, I suggest the tapas themed party as a perfectly low-key way to have a last hurrah with your friends before the end of 2011.
Everyone loves tapas. Well, except maybe the guys with a hearty appetite who find mini-dishes to be mildly offensive. Tapas can fill even the big boys’ stomachs, however, provided that there are enough to go around. Ask each guest to prepare an appetizer or tapas and bring enough servings for three or four times the number of guests. Serve the tapas buffet style or gather people around the table for family style. Provide an array of beer and wine that will complement the gastronomic delights. Now you’re ready to rock the party.
A sure crowd pleaser, the mini-tacos and mini-margaritas pictured above require as minimal preparation as they are mini. I like the Kitchen Daily’s recipe for mini taco cups but prefer to use Tostitos Scoops chips to hold the taco contents. As a vegetarian option, the stuffed mushrooms by Giada De Laurentiis have been favored by both my vegetarian and meat-loving friends. Lastly, for bacon lovers such as myself, the bacon wrapped green beans by Paula Deen are incredibly simple to prepare.
Other suggestions – tortellini skewers with pesto dipping sauce, prosciutto wrapped melon, and strawberry cheesecake bites for a pop of dessert. The possibilities are endless and your guests will be happy to exercise their culinary creativity in a season filled with turkey and gravy.
Happy holidays from doB!
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