Christmas Appetizers

How about a party with sparkling wine and a velvet dress?  Get as many strands of lights as you can carry to the checkout and string them around your living room.  Hang pine cones from red ribbons tacked to the ceiling and some kind of fancy glittery earrings from your ears.  I am sick of my jeans.  I want red lips and “Ella Wishes you a Swinging Christmas” playing (it’s on sale for $8.97 on amazon or for 86 cents you can get a CD of the entire “Nutcracker” slightly used.)  Forget dinner and feast on food you can eat with your fingers.
A cheese ball made from mascarpone and gorgonzola packed around the outside with toasted walnuts

A platter of quartered pears and Pienza pecorino to dip in pots of aged balsamic or honey

Slivers of bread topped with a little pate and a dab of cranberry chutney

Spicey almonds

chunks of sauteed lardon (smoked bacon)

a bowl of fresh clementines
Baby cream biscuits



For the truffles, just watch the chocolate soup video below and repurpose it.  Instead of eating right away (or make it again) let it sit in the fridge until it hardens.  Scoop out bits with a teaspoon and roll around in Droste cocoa. Refrigerate them until you are ready to serve.  If you like booze, add a little cognac or Gran Marnier to the cream right before it gets stirred into the chocolate.

Cranberry Chutney

This is also good on turkey sandwiches, which is a whole other kind of party.  Bring 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup of water to a simmer with 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of honey.  Stir until sugar dissolves.  Add 1 bag of fresh cranberries, 1 cup of golden raisins, the zest from one orange, 3/4 cup of orange juice, 2 large granny smith apples, peeled and cubed,  2 tablespoons of crystallized ginger, and bundled in a piece of cheesecloth, a cinnamon stick,one knob of fresh ginger (remove before serving) and a few pieces of clove.  Bring to a boil and stir until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.  If you need a drop more of water before the cranberries soften, go ahead and add it.  Taste for sugar or orange juice, balancing the flavors of the two.

3 thoughts on “Christmas Appetizers

  1. I just started reading your blog today and I haven’t stopped. Im almost done with 2009! You are a great writer and now have a fan in Mexico City!

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