Our idea of a good time: having people over and eating great food.
I’ll take any excuse to have a get-together. For me, it’s all about the everyday occasions, whether it’s popping champagne to toast good weather, inviting the girls for brunch to rehash a night out, or just making snacks and watching a movie.
Keep it easy — no need for fancy, complicated stuff. For a low-key but chic gathering, try these recipes.
Cranberry-Lime Rosé Spritzer
Spritzers are festive yet economical. By adding seltzer and juice, you stretch the number of people a bottle of wine serves.
1 bottle rosé wine
2 cups seltzer water
1 cup no-sugar-added cranberry juice
Juice of 1 lime
1⁄4 cup superfine sugar
Thin lime slices for garnish
Pour all ingredients into a pitcher. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then chill until serving.
Spiced Pepitas and Pecans
A homemade version of bar nuts!
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon cumin
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon water
2 cups pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 cups pecans
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt, and spices. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat egg whites and water until frothy. Stir in pepitas and nuts, then add sugar mixture. Toss until all are completely coated. Evenly spread pepitas and nuts onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until crispy
Wild Mushroom Soup “Cappuccino”
I like to serve this in espresso cups with whipped cream so they look like a mini frothy cappuccino.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
3 cups finely diced mixed wild mushrooms
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
Whipped cream and flat-leaf parsley for garnish
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, garlic, and bay leaf. Cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, and cook until tender and any moisture has evaporated. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper, and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add vegetable broth, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 20 minutes. Stir in cream, and cook 10 more minutes, stirring often. Serve in espresso cups garnished with whipped cream and a parsley leaf.
Smoked Salmon With Dijon Crème Fraîche Canapes
These look so elegant yet take no time to whip up.
3 tablespoons crème fraîche
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced dill (plus sprigs for garnish)
1⁄2 pound sliced smoked salmon
6 slices pumpernickel bread
In a small bowl, combine crème fraîche, Dijon, honey, lemon juice, and dill. Chill at least 4 hours. Use a 1½-inch round cookie cutter to cut the pumpernickel bread into circles. Lightly toast. Spread Dijon mixture onto bread, top with a piece of salmon, and garnish with a sprig of dill.