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04 January, 2006

Holiday Bash

My boyfriend D. and I didn't want to squeeze ourselves into crowded clubs around town on New Year's Eve, so we threw a cocktail party for a small group of friends.

I laid out a buffet of appetizers and hors d'oeuvres: curried crab salad with crackers and crudités, bruschetta with chèvre cheese, polenta with grilled portobello mushrooms and smoked cocktail sausages with olives.

There was mesclun salad with pear slices and pignoli as well as scampi which I served in bowls with lots of french bread for dipping in the fragrant broth. Our friend N. who went to bartending school mixed the drinks: excellent martinis and piña coladas to our hearts' content. There were brownies and cookies for dessert.


Crab Salad Dip

1/2 pound cooked crab meat
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/4 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 medium stalks celery, diced
3 stalks green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Mix mayo, curry powder and parmesan cheese until well blended. Fold in crab, celery and green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with crackers or toast rounds.


Tomato Basil Bruschetta

3 tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
5 medium roman tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 small jar kalamata olives, drained and coarsely chopped
5-6 leaves fresh basil, julienned
1/3 c. roasted pignoli1 tsp.
Italian seasoning
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut a loaf of Italian bread in thin, diagonal slices, brush with virgin olive oil and toast until golden.

While the bread is toasting, warm a saute pan over medium/high heat until very hot.

Add olive oil and saute in quick succession the garlic, roma tomatoes and olives. Add Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar. Continue cooking until just heated through.

Remove pan from heat. Top with roasted pine nuts and fresh basil right before serving with toasted bread rounds.

Serves 5-6.

Since we all spent Christmas with our respective families and relatives, we also did our holiday gift exchange at the party. Everybody loved their gifts: books, DVDs, CDs, pretty jewelry, a makeup kit, a ladies' brief case, even a label maker.

The best one, however, was the adorable teeny weeny pandabot you see here, a stocking stuffer D. bought for our friend K.M. who's a panda groupie like me. Notice the baby panda sitting at the controls on the pandabot's head. Too cute.

Here's wishing everyone a bright and happy New Year!

posted at 9:49 PM by City Muse

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I'm a curious dilettante
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