Day 44 – One Sad Cocktail Party

13 02 2010

On the eve of St. Valentines day I was invited to a cocktail and canape party by a friend of mine. Each person is asked to bring a cocktail of their choosing with an appetizer to pair. I love this concept! And, being the perfectionist who hates to fail, I spent all day looking for drinks and recipes. I wanted to find something that wouldn’t be too complicated to prepare, or too expensive (after all, it wasn’t my party!).

I finally settled on a Canadian Club and Ginger recipe for the cocktail, in honor of the Olympics, plus the host if originally from Canada, so I thought that worked well! It only took me 2 stores before I found Canadian Whiskey – apparently it’s not that common here in SF… For an appetizer I varied between Roasted Almonds with Rosemary and Caprese Salad on skewers (both recipes below). So, I made both to test them, because who wants to show up with an appetizer that even you won’t eat?! Both were FABULOUS! In the end, I opted for the Caprese not just because they tasted and looked wonderful, but also because if I didn’t bring that dish, I would be left with a large quantity of fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese that I would have to eat myself.

After spending another hour trying on a variety of outfits, I packed my car with the drink ingredients and my Caprese skewers and headed over about an hour after the start of the event… and I was first, not counting my friends boyfriend. About 10 minutes later one additional person showed up. That was it. It was not only a let down for me as I was hoping a few specific people would show up, I’m sure it was also a disappointment to the host as she had been cooking all day!

Anyhow… here are the recipes:

CC and Ginger

CC and Ginger with Lime

CC and Ginger

  • 1½ parts Canadian Club Whisky
  • 4 parts Ginger Ale
  • Lime

Caprese Skewers

Caprese Skewers

Caprese Skewers

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Fresh Mozzarella balls (roughly the same size as the Cherry Tomatoes)
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Basil
  • Balsamic Vinegar (optional – I omitted)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Skewers

Warm Almonds with Rosemary

Almonds with Rosemary - serve warm - they are so addictive!

Roasted Almonds with Rosemary

Adapted from “My Own Sweet Thyme” blog.

  • 2 cups unskinned whole almonds (or plain marcona almonds)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat.

Add the almonds and rosemary. Cook, stirring constantly, until they are fragrant and toasted, approximately 1-2 minutes.

Remove from heat and sprinkle with sea salt.

Breathe in. Smile.

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