What could be a better way to celebrate summer than with cocktails and appetizers on your patio, deck, porch or balcony? Come with me, the More is More Mom®, as we take a walk on the wild side….
Always and forever, the very best parties start with a cohesive theme. Celebrating the holidays is a total gimme because the theme is readily defined; the food and décor fairly expected. Throwing a soiree just for fun however offers an opportunity that is completely open to interpretation. Inspiration is everywhere. It can be as simple as food from a favorite region or country or a combination of colors for your menu or décor. My best advice is that you immerse yourself in your theme to make it as authentic as possible.
The extreme summer heat was perfectly relevant to a Safari inspired party. I set up my bar at my cocktail table on my deck. In a round, zebra skin tray I placed tortoise wine goblets, highball glasses and a monkey statue in the center to kick off my theme. Behind the glassware, to add height and gentle softness, I placed a large pot of impatiens. To the right, I offered a variety of spirits and placed chartreuse and brown zebra print beverage napkins. Be inventive. I borrowed a brown metal dragonfly that sits in my Powder Room as a decorative weight to keep the napkins from flying away. To the left I showcased a tall African mask, various cocktail making implements and two crystals bowls, one with mixed nuts for snacking and the other with wedges of lemons and limes. On the ground, next to my cocktail table, I filled a tall footed, metal plant stand with ice and nestled bottles of white wine, beer, soda and water to round out my beverage offerings.
The warm weather beckoned a selection of delicious, cold appetizers;
- Prosciutto Wrapped Mango Slices
- Shrimp Cocktail in a tangy homemade sauce
- Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Spears
- Greek Salsa and Pita Chips
I set up my hors d’oeuvres buffet on my dining table outdoors. Setting up a pleasing arrangement is really quite simple; it should be bountiful and beautiful. I select platters and trays that compliment each other and my theme. I consider the number of serving pieces needed and how best to configure them for optimal reach. As a general rule, I like to use pedestals of varying height to create a display that is both user friendly and attractive.
In the center of the arrangement I anchored a pedestal on which I placed a glass cheetah patterned platter, which just screams Giorgio Armani, for the Prosciutto Wrapped Mango Slices. On an angle to the right, I used a leopard print tray to carry the martini glasses filled with the Shrimp Cocktail. To the left I filled an animal skin patterned platter with the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Spears. On the outskirts of the tablescape, you will find a cheetah planter filled with Pita Chips and a crystal bowl filled with the Greek Salsa. The rest of the buffet is filled in with potted flowers, pillar candles atop banana leaf holders, brown and cream zebra plates, more of the fun napkins from the bar and an urn holding utensils. The various heights and textures create a harmonious, gorgeous and generous feast.
The Prosciutto Wrapped Mango Slices couldn’t be easier and more delicious!
6 thinly sliced pieces of prosciutto, cut into 2-3 strips
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and sliced into spears
Handful of tender greens such as arugula or baby spinach
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Cracked black pepper
Stack 2 large tender green stems along with a 1 large, or a few small, basil leaves
Place a mango slice on top
Wrap a strip of prosciutto around the mango and greens
Artfully arrange on your platter
Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and serve
Your guests will be delighted with the sweet and salty freshness!
The remainder of the appetizer recipes can be found on July 29th at Trib Local on-line. For additional step by step photographs, please visit me at my website http://moreismoremom.com If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org