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appetizers and small dishes

garlic-kick mashed sweet potatoes

Serves 6–8 This sweet and savory side dish is healthy and comforting. The garlic cloves cook with the sweet potatoes, and if you wait until they’re cooked to peel the potatoes, you’ll find the skins come off as easy as pie. 3 pounds sweet potatoes 3 garlic cloves, peeled 1 teaspoon nutmeg 2 tablespoons butter 3⁄4 cup evaporated milk Salt and pepper Quarter ...

gruyère-stuffed dinner rolls

Makes 8 If you don’t have gruyère, you can use cheddar, goat cheese, or any cheese you like. Also, feel free to add olives, roasted peppers, or crispy bacon. . . . Use your imagination! (The photo to the right shows the rolls with olives and roasted peppers.) 8 dinner rolls (sourdough or whole grain) 4 ...

tarragon chicken tea sandwiches

Makes 10 sandwiches The secret to these dainty sandwiches is to buy prepackaged miniature sliced bread, which is available in most good grocery stores and generally comes in white, wheat, rye, and pumpernickel. You can make the sandwiches early in the day and keep them in the refrigerator, covered with a moist paper towel and plastic ...

smoked salmon roll-ups

Makes 18 pieces These are fancy looking and easy to make, and there’s no cooking required! 8 ounces smoked salmon, thinly sliced 4 ounces cream cheese with chives Juice of 1 lemon 32 capers 18 chives, each at least 5 inches long Cut salmon slices into pieces roughly 3 inches long by 1 inch wide. Dice up any salmon scraps and ...

bacon-wrapped dates

Makes 20 dates Make the bundles ahead, and reheat before the party. 20 dates, pitted 20 almonds, shelled 10 slices bacon Preheat oven to 400°F. To pit dates, run a knife down one side lengthwise and split open. Pull out the nutlike pit and discard, then replace pit with an almond and press the date back together. Cut the bacon slices in ...

hot wings with pineapple glaze & creamy blue cheese dip

Makes 16 pieces These are a staple for parties at my house. I like drumettes because they are so meaty, but you could substitute wings, with the tips removed, if you prefer. You can make the pineapple glaze and the blue cheese dip ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for a day or ...

nutty goatcheese morsels

Makes approximately 16 morsels Work in small batches, keeping the remaining cheese refrigerated: colder cheese makes for easier rolling. 1⁄2 cup salted walnuts or hazelnuts 8 ounces goat cheese Grind the nuts in a food processor until medium-fine, and transfer onto a flat, wide plate. Form the goat cheese into 1-inch round balls, then roll the balls in the ...

baby arugula salad with grapefruit & avocado

Serves 6 as a side salad I love the creaminess of avocado combined with the bright flavors of grapefruit and tender baby arugula. This salad would also work well with baby spinach. 6-ounce package baby arugula 1/2 cup fresh or canned grapefruit sections, cut into small pieces 1 Hass avocado 1 lemon, halved 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper Rinse and ...

lemongrass shrimp skewers

Makes 12 skewers Transform ordinary shrimp into a wedding shower–worthy dish! The presentation of this dish on lemongrass skewers makes an instant appetizer look stylish and fancy, and the lemongrass adds a light, exotic flavor. Two important tips: First, buy lemongrass stalks that are thick and strong, so they’ll work well as skewers. Second, select medium ...

emmentaler & gruyère fondue

Serves 6 1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled, and cut in half 1 1/2 cups crisp white wine 1/2 pound Gruyère, grated roughly 1/2 pound Emmentaler, grated roughly 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 tablespoon kirsch, a cherry brandy (optional) 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg Grapes, pears, apples, and other fruits, cut into cubes, if needed Cooked baby potatoes, vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers, cut ...