I had an opportunity to visit a lifestyle expert and celebrity party planner Colin Cowie in his amazing Manhattan penthouse last fall. I admired his impeccable decorating taste, and loved the way he hosted a simple, elegant and such a classy cocktail party – and he said it was very easy. He shared some of his easy recipe ideas for winter cocktail party.
RECIPES & EASY FOOD IDEAS
Some easy quick tips what to serve if you have a last minute party and need to get things together fast for a party. I have added few easy and delicious recipes by Colin below, but here are a few other ideas.
– Shrimp cocktail – easy and always appropriate for any cocktail party.
– Cheese plate, mixture of 4-5 cheeses, grapes, fresh bread and salami – easy!
– Spiced roasted nuts
– Simple dessert.
This is one of the best cocktails I’ve had for a long time.. However… While I was at the party, the bartender did confess that they added “secret spice mix” instead just cinnamon, and I haven’t cracked the recipe yet. I think I’d add vanilla, allspice, cardamon… maybe ginger. A spice mix that says “holidays” to you. Also, with this one, I recommend good vodka, like Chopin or Grey Goose.
2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. pear liqueur
2 oz. pear puree or pear nectar
Combine ingredients in a shaker. Shake well and stain into a cocktail glass with or without ice. Add dash of cinnamon and a pear slice for garnish.
SAUSAGE ROLLS SERVED WITH WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
1 pound lean ground pork or veal
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup diced cooked potato
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons crushed dried sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 17-ounce package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl, combine the pork, onion, potato, parsley, sage, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Mix with a fork to combine.
3. Transfer the mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip.
4. Unfold the puff pastry sheets and, following the fold marks, cut each sheet into three rectangles. Roll out slightly.
5. Pipe the sausage mixture along one long edge of each of the pastry rectangles. Paint the opposite edges with some of the beaten egg. Starting at the edge with the sausage mixture, roll up each rectangle, gently pressing the egg-painted edge to seal.
6. Using a sharp knife, cut the rolls into slices about 1 1/2 inches thick. Arrange them on a broiler pan or a wire rack set on top of a baking sheet. Brush the slices with the remaining beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.
7. Serve the slices warm with the Worcestershire sauce on the side for dipping.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I was invited to a party and received Colin Cowie’s latest book and a product from his line sold at HSN.
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