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 Post subject: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:20 pm 
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Now that biker boy and I are pretty much settled into cohabitating, we'd like to have an open house, mainly for his friends and family so that they can come see where he's living now. He's decided that he wants to get a little dressed up and have a cocktail party theme; we were brainstorming yesterday and decided to have a fixed drink menu. We're going to get a bunch of (probably plastic unless we can source super cheap glass) martini glasses and mix:

- a straightforward, traditional gin martini
- a pumpkin spice vodka martini
- a lemon drop or a cosmopolitan
- a manhattan

So new we're looking for four or five appetizers to go with. I'd like something a little fancy-schmancier than hummus and whatnot. I really like the tempeh sausage puff pastry things in Vegan Brunch so we'll definitely do those, just smaller so they are a bite or two. Biker boy will probably get a meaty idea or two from his step-mom and take care of those himself. So I need at least two, maybe three more knockout ideas. Neither of us is a big fan of mushrooms, but I'd do a mushroom-based one if it's a crowdpleaser. If it can be made a day ahead, so much the better. So, what would make you think, "Wow, you really pulled out all the stops..." and be all impressed with our grown-upedness? ;)

(We'll also have wine and non-alcoholic beverages, and the fruity one can be made virgin easily, so we're covered on drinks.)

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:49 pm 
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The mushroom-walnut pate in Veganomincon is pretty awesome. Even for people that don't care for mushrooms!

Bonus: It is super easy to make.


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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:55 pm 
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Chicki wrote:
The mushroom-walnut pate in Veganomincon is pretty awesome. Even for people that don't care for mushrooms!

Bonus: It is super easy to make.
Seconded. I've brought that to multiple cocktail party type things and it always gets gobbled up. If you really want to paint the lily, make some toasted baguette slices with herbed olive oil to go alongside.

Mini quiches are nice, too; I made these for an all hors d'oeuvres NYE party and they also disappeared.

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2006/12/mi ... iches.html

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Last edited by Desdemona on Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:56 pm 
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the easiest and best appetizer that everyone always goes batso for is foccaccia. i'm a fan of traditional, but i have also had huge success with a "hong kong fusion" foccaccia that i think came out of tropical vegan, it used sesame oil instead of olive, lots of red pepper or cayenne powder, razor slices of raw garlic, and black sesame seeds. it was hot as hell and delicious.

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:57 pm 
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Are you opposed to doing a tofu cheese? Because fig and Brie phyllo things are always hugely popular at these types of parties, and you could probably do similar with a tofu cheese and fruit compote

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:00 pm 
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mini quiches or mini spinach tarts would look fancy but not be a ton of work, because you could make one giant batch of filling, and you could make them in advance. veggie burger sliders or sushi might be a lot of work if you're expecting more than a handful of guests, but i'd be impressed if someone offered me a tray of them. homemade crackers or bagel chips with a flavorful cashew cheese/spread would be yummy and not loads of trouble to prepare.

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:43 pm 
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I love cocktail parties and dressing up. We had a black tie one last year, everyone dressed up and it was fab.

The thing that consistently gets the most raves from everyone (omnis esp) is a tofu pocket/purse filled with minted broad bean pâté type filling (I don't know how to make it cos we get someone to cater but I'm sure you could find a pâté recipe which would work). If you tie the top closed with a chive in a bow it looks so fancy too!

When I have to cook things myself for parties I find this Vegan Barbeques & Buffets book full of great ideas and recipes. http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Barbecues-B ... 1897766556

One thing to consider when having a party in your home is choosing food that isn't going to drip onto clothes, furniture and carpets if people don't use a plate (tempting with finger food esp after the initial eating part, where they just pick at the food plates later) or eat it in two bites rather than one.


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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:01 pm 
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The mushroom pate is amazing. Someone made it for my baby shower and it was amazeballs.

A friend of mine made this the other day, and I could not stop eating it. It was incredible. The harissa gives it just enough kick to counterbalance the sweetness of the carrots.
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012 ... t-dip.html

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:23 pm 
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I love doing pizza patate for fancy cocktail-type things. It's good warm or room temp, and you make it in big slabs so you can cut it into small pieces. My favorite recipe is Jim Lahey's, you can find it here: http://www.chewswise.com/chews/potato-pizza-recipe.html

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:57 am 
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Oh, how fun! You should check out your local second hand store for fun glasses - it can look really amazing with different types of cocktail glasses. I also love this type of spanish red wine glasses for cocktails - they can be found pretty cheaply. They're good for drinking red wine too, and oh so pretty! (and they go in the dishwasher, which is awesome!).


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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:39 am 
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Ooooh, love making cocktail party food! My suggestion is little blinis or sweet corn fritters topped with sour cream and maybe a garnish of some of that Ikea vegan caviar on the blinis or fresh coriander/cilantro on the corn fritters.

Baked almond feta with red onion and cranberry jam served with some crispy little baguette croutons.

Little squares of grilled polenta topped with chargrilled eggplant or zucchini and pesto.

French bean and hazelnut pate with crusty French bread.

Little squares of baked artichoke frittata topped with semi-dried tomato pate.

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:26 am 
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Wow you guys, so many droolworthy ideas! This is going to be fun. I think I am going to see if there is somewhere I can rent glasses. We don't really have space to add much to our glassware collection but I really don't want to do plastic either.

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:29 am 
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ask around for lenders? we had a big brunch a few years ago and i had to ask people to bring silverware and coffee mugs (because I don't have service for 20, how shameful!). it was embarrassing but kind of cute too. people often have all sorts of things stashed away.

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:43 am 
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over on the food porn thread deearess just posted some lovely apps....even one for the little cheese and fig pinwheels mentioned above. they all look FAB!


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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:23 am 
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Chicki wrote:
The mushroom-walnut pate in Veganomincon is pretty awesome. Even for people that don't care for mushrooms!

Bonus: It is super easy to make.

If you really want to be fancy, get one of those little loves of cocktail rye bread. Cut each slice on a diagonal into two triangles. Top each slice with an arugula leaf or thin sliver of sweet onion (glue it down with a tiny bit of the pate or some EB or mayo) and then pipe the pate on with a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. You can then sprinkle just the tinyest bit of very finely minced fresh herbs on top if you like.

You could do this with another pate if you really don't want to do mushrooms, but this one is so sophisticated and fancy shmancy tasting!

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:30 am 
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I've said this in like 8000 threads but pesto pinwheels. Puff pastry with homemade pesto rolled up, sliced, and baked. It seems way too easy and simple but when I make fancy appies I always go all out with a huge amount of stuff, but for whatever reason every single person keeps going back for and raving about those pesto pinwheels.

Also, if you have the book Extraveganza (or can find it at the library!), the appetizer section is awesome. The Shiitake Sake pate is my favourite. The tostones or patacones from Viva Vegan would also be great!


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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:31 am 
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I've said this in like 8000 threads but pesto pinwheels. Puff pastry with homemade pesto rolled up, sliced, and baked. It seems way too easy and simple but when I make fancy appies I always go all out with a huge amount of stuff, but for whatever reason every single person keeps going back for and raving about those pesto pinwheels.

Also, if you have the book Extraveganza (or can find it at the library!), the appetizer section is awesome. The Shiitake Sake pate is my favourite. The tostones or patacones from Viva Vegan would also be great!


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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:34 am 
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The pesto pinwheels sounds awesome. I know MT is anti-mushroom but maybe a walnut pate?

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:28 am 
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You guys are awesome! Keep the ideas coming... I want it to be as hard as possible to choose. ;)

I looked into renting glasses. Super cheap, a cut above plastic and no waste so it's totally the way to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:31 am 
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torque wrote:
ask around for lenders? we had a big brunch a few years ago and i had to ask people to bring silverware and coffee mugs (because I don't have service for 20, how shameful!). it was embarrassing but kind of cute too. people often have all sorts of things stashed away.

When I had my mad tea birthday party I had all the guests bring their own tea cups - it was kind of awesome to see everyone's different tastes (of course I had enough spares to cover the few who didn't have their own).

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:53 am 
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Oh, make something sweet! Petit fours, mini cupcakes, mini tarts, or some sort of fancy cookies.

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:03 am 
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Vegan deviled eggs! Almost disturbingly like the genuine article if you do them right: http://lagustasluscious.wordpress.com/2 ... like-eggs/


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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:16 am 
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Definitely something sweet. I was thinking of the brownie bottom peanut butter cheesecake from VPITS cut into small squares and partly dipped in chocolate. Maybe as a cake pop.

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:06 pm 
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Oooh I was also going to suggest deviled eggs. The deviled potatoes recipe on the ppk blog is so good and if you use a fancy piping tip to add the filing back in they look super impressive!

They're a lot of work but I also really liked the macaron recipe in Vegan Desserts. Delicate and delicious!

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 Post subject: Re: Swanky cocktail party hors d'oeuvres
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:11 pm 
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- stuffed cherry tomatoes instead of stuffed mushrooms
- grilled flat bread with pesto for sauce and topped with fancy toppings (arugula, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, etc.)
- Veg-in-Training's artichoke arancini - they looked so awesome!

edited to add: if you make deviled eggs you could fancy them up with wasabi or something fun!


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