Friday, March 2, 2012

Girls' Night In Tasting Party

I preface all of this by saying that I have no real idea how to put together a menu. Well, at least, not the way you're supposed to where all the flavors complement each other. I just kind of make what I want to make but being sure that there's a meat, something that can be considered a side, probably some "appetizer" and a dessert. So all the things are tasty, but that's where I stop.

That being said, I had a girls night in party. I busted out all the new tasting dishes and made little many portions of everything.

Doesn't my refrigerator look healthy?!! Ignore the cool whip
 I was amazed at how many fresh ingredients I had to buy. I'm now pretty stocked on green leafy things. Might need to go do some research on what else I can use basil, cilantro and mint to make. I also have tons of leftover limes, those are gonna get used nightly to make the kitchen smell awesome!

Supplies for cocktails. Some ended up not being used but were available.
Since I was trying new cocktails, that meant acquiring more than my standard supplies (which is pretty much vodka or whiskey, the state drink of Alabama,...cue the more you know music).

All the stuff that has to "chill" overnight.
Inevitably, I end up making a bunch of stuff that has to chill overnight to set. So I always end up having to clear out a lot of space in my fridge. This time I needed 2 shelves worth thanks to tiny containers.

SO MANY DISHES, My dishwasher has gotten TONS of use this week
 Most of the recipes are from the Just Tasting/Just Mini Desserts/Just Mini Cocktails books. However, it seemed that the favorites typically didn't come from that.

Caprese salad....but without the vinaigrette that no one wanted.
Caprese salad in tasting spoons, easy peasy. Grape tomato + basil leaf + mozzarella. Done.  Especially because no one wanted vinaigrette on it.

Stuffed Mushrooms
 These are the same mushrooms I made on Halloween just without the olives. And the breading was mixed in.

This is somewhat from the books. Instead of buying french bread, buttering it and putting garlic salt on it, I just bought garlic bread. Diced tomatoes, onions and chopped cilantro on top of pesto sauce. I had to cut the bread in half to fit on the plates.

Observation from the book, it mentions using olive oil but it doesn't have it in the ingredients list. No one seemed to miss it though.

Soup in shot glasses
 Tomato basil soup from Earth Fare in ceramic shot glasses. I intended to put grilled cheese sandwiches on these for a garnish, but decided we had enough food. Have you noticed the cute little signs yet?

 I used the tall shooter glasses to hold the meatballs which got put on skewers. Bonus, they are turkey and were baked. Sauce was vinegar + brown sugar + pineapple juice. I thought from the smell of the sauce it wouldn't taste good, but it was delicious enough to only have 4 shooters left. (Well, 2 after the dog found them while I was cleaning.)

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Added bonus to these, my trainer can't complain on this! Turkey's pretty lean, pineapple's good and green bell pepper's good. The sauce was drizzled on, so you're splitting less than a cup of brown sugar across 20 skewers!

 And now for the things the trainer will hate! DESERT!

This is a family recipe for lemon pie, not lemon meringue pie! Except I put it in wine glasses. Overall, it was cute. And it would definitely keep better track of how much of it my sister eats, individual portions and all. But it was a lot more work to make it and will be more work to clean it. Although, if you take into account that you would have plates to clean, it's probably even on the cleaning. Graham crackers + pie filling + whipped cream.

Work enjoyed the leftovers of these.
Tiramisu!  Except not. It's like tiramisu trifle. It was tasty but pretty rich. This was straight from the book. Lessons learned: those decorating kits are worth it on the whipped "topping" (cool whip) and would have probably done well on the pie filling. But that's only if you care about pretty and well, I did. Also, shaving chocolate for that much stuff is messy. It's also tasty. And well, my house needs a "lick the beater" type person. If it's not brownie batter, that's not me.

 I figured this was a good time to test out some new cocktails. Each of the mini glasses are a shot or 2 worth of drink. Top is cotton candy martinis from the book. Bottom is strawberry mojitos, not from the book. The mojitos were the bigger hit.

Recipe for the mohito:

I agree with commenter that it had WAY too much sugar. I also don't think that's enough strawberries. But it was tasty none the less.

Everyone went for the martinis first as they were pretty but was seriously surprised when they were as strong as they were.

And no one was really surprised when they didn't taste at ALL like cotton candy. I couldn't find blue raspberry mix, so I grabbed blue raspberry vodka, which may have made them stronger than even a normal martini.

The template for the labels is on HGTV's website. It says "Thank You" on them all, but a little photoshop will do the trick to turn it into whatever you like.I printed them on regular paper and then cut up an 8.5" x 11" piece of cardstock into 12 pieces, folded them in half and glued the facing on.

If you are wanting some of the dishes here are links to them all. I bought mine from a mix of JC Penny (flares), Kroger (pilsner, shooters, brandy), Bed Bath and Beyond (most of the rest including the decorating set) and Pier 1 (spoons, white shooters, platter in the back, 2 of the 3 pedestals and the martini glasses). So check all over.
Mini bowls
Mini flares
Mini Martini Glasses
Mini Wine Glasses
Mini brandy glasses (in the back with nothing in them)
Appetizer Plates
The spoons and white shooters are from Pier 1 but were clearanced out.

So that's all the food and drinks! Back to the leftovers!!!

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  1. Found a link to your blog via Pinterest. I'm impressed! I've bought so many of these tasting type dishes but have yet to try them! It just seems like a lot of work to make all those TINY food items and I don't know what to make. You've given me some great ideas and I really enjoyed seeing a "real life" situation where you used them. The only thing better would have been if I could have attended your party!

    Dining Delight

    1. Thanks! It was probably more work to get them all clean than it was to cook it all. It felt like my dishwasher was going non stop for a week.

      I tried to simplify the cooking by buying as much premade that could be split as possible. Like the soup. The pound cake for the tiramisu was store bought. There were a few things that still had to be mixed (chocolate cream cheese mixture, pie filling) but it was mostly assembly. The decorating kit really helped a bunch!