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Come Party With Me: Housewarming Party - Menu I

While you may be tempted to bring out all of the stops for your housewarming party, I suggest that you take it easy in the kitchen. The house and decor should be the shining star - not the food. Still, delicious tasty bites are absolutely necessary. Start by purchasing a few of your favorite grocery store appetizers (I like marinated olives, nuts, and dips that can be jazzed up with fresh herbs) and throw in a few homemade appetizers. Small bites that can be eaten quickly and placed around the house are ideal. Blue cheese and chive celery canapes sound elegant, but are simple to prepare and popcorn shrimp with lemon aioli dipping sauce are irresistibly delicious. For these yummy recipes all you have to do is

Blue Cheese & Chive Celery Canapes
From Instyle magazine

1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
salt and pepper
6 stalks celery, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
minced chives for garnish

  1. In a bowl mash together blue cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, chives, salt and pepper.
  2. Spoon into celery pieces; garnish with chives.

Serves 20.

Note: The image is the dip before it is placed inside the celery bowls.

Popcorn Shrimp
From Instyle magazine

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
½ tsp dried thyme
1½ cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
1½ cups unseasoned bread crumbs
2 cups vegetable oil (if frying)

  1. In medium bowl combine first 8 ingredients.
  2. Make a well in the center and gradually whisk in milk and eggs. Let stand 30 min.
  3. Working in batches, stir shrimp into batter; remove with slotted spoon, letting excess batter drip back into bowl.
  4. Coat shrimp with bread crumbs.
  5. If you want to fry the shrimp: Heat oil to 350°F in deep saucepan. Working in batches, add shrimp to hot oil. Fry 2-3 min., or until golden. Remove with slotted spoon to baking sheet lined with paper towels. Repeat until done.
  6. If you want to bake the shrimp: Heat oven to 450°F. Place wire rack on baking sheet; lightly spray with nonstick vegetable spray. Put shrimp on rack in single layer. Bake 12-15 min., or until golden.
  7. Serve hot with lemon aioli dip: In small bowl combine 2 cups mayonnaise, 5 cloves minced garlic, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 12.

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