Party Girl

If there’s one thing we WASPs know and love, it’s cocktail parties.

Give us social patter, hors d’oeuvres, and something to sip on — we’ll take it from there.
Little soirees like this are so easy to host. You can even throw one on a school night!
A few haute tips:
1. Stock the bar, but don’t go overboard. Serve wine, beer, vodka, and mixers. (And hey, if your friend who drinks bourbon asks what he can bring, say, “How about a bottle of Makers?”)
2. The night before the bash, set out a couple of silver serving trays, glasses, an ice bucket, and your monogrammed linen cocktail napkins.
3. On the day of the party, run to the market at lunchtime and grab provisional nibbles. Shamelessly use the fridge at work to house those treats until you’re ready to bolt at 5:00 p.m.
4. For weeknight partying, I suggest making one killer appetizer and buying everything else. For example, you might serve Prosciutto, Fig & Mascarpone Bruchetta (see recipe below). Supplement with crackers, a couple of different cheeses, olives, and those fabulous salt-and-pepper cashews from Trader Joe’s.
5. Dim the lights, crank up the iPod, and have a Thursday night blast!
Note: This recipe is adapted from a wonderful blog last updated in 2008. Kirsten, if you’re reading this, I hope it’s OK to use this photo. I miss your delectable posts!
  • Ciabatta bread (or any crusty bread)
  • Prosciutto
  • Black mission figs (though any dried fig will do)
  • Mascarpone cheese (there’s no substitute for this)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • One clove of garlic, peeled and sliced in half
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Slice the bread into bruschetta-sized pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and toast at 350 until warm and slightly crisp. (Note: If you have a grill or a grill pan, use it as a tasty alternative to toasting in the oven.)
Remove the toasts from the oven or grill and rub them with the garlic clove (as Kirsten says, just to scent the bread). Spread each piece with mascarpone. Top with sliced figs, prosciutto, another tiny drizzle of olive oil, and freshly ground pepper.
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