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Come Party With Me: My Birthday Party - Menu

I'm planning my birthday party and everything down to the last little detail must be perfect. Although it doesn't start until after dinner, it's a cocktail party and therefore I want to provide my guests with something to nibble on during the course of the night. I'll put together some delectable bites that can be made well in advance and taste fabulous at room temperature. The hors d'oeurves will be some of my favorite snack foods: Marinated olives, candied walnuts, cheese straws, and bacon wrapped dates. All of this will pair perfectly with most types of cocktails, beer or wine. To serve these simple and classic appetizers at your next party,

Marinated Olives
Candied Nuts
From Food Network
Image Source

6 cups sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups whole pecans or walnuts
Vegetable oil, for frying

  1. In a large bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
  2. Blanch nuts in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and dry them off in a kitchen towel. Lightly toss them into the sugar mixture until coated. Remove nuts, and set aside the sugar spice mixture.
  3. Bring the oil in a deep fryer or a heavy-bottomed pan to 330 to 350 degrees-F (do not let the oil burn). Place 1 nut in the oil and when it starts to sizzle, add the rest of the nuts.
  4. Fry approximately 1 minute, the nuts will turn golden in color, and float. Remove from the oil and add directly to the sugar mixture and toss again.
  5. Carefully remove nuts and shake off excess sugar, let cool and serve.

Serves 12-15.

Cheese Straws
From Rachael Ray

1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter, grated
1 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese (4 ounces)
1/4 cup ice water, plus more for sprinkling
Coarse salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter a large baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and grated butter. Add the cheeses and mix, using your hands, until well combined. Stir in the water. On a clean, floured work surface, knead the dough until smooth, sprinkling in a few drops of ice water if the dough is too dry. Shape into a disk.
  3. Roll out the disk to form a large rectangle (about 9 by 12 inches and 1/4 inch thick). Cut 1/2-inch strips from the longer side, then cut those in half to form 6-inch strips.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese straws with salt, transfer to the baking sheet with a spatula and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Makes 3 dozen straws.

Bacon Wrapped Dates
From Martha Stewart
Image Source

24 large dates, pitted
12 slices bacon, halved crosswise
1/3 cup crumbled Stilton cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 24 toothpicks in a small bowl filled with water; let soak 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and fit with a wire rack; set aside.
  2. Halve dates lengthwise being careful not to cut all the way through. Place a small amount of cheese in the center of each date. Wrap a piece of bacon around each date. Secure bacon with a toothpick.
  3. Place dates on prepared baking sheet. Bake until bacon is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 24.

Join The Conversation
longhorn_sugar longhorn_sugar 9 years
okay, bacon wrapped dates sound gross but everyone seems to be raving about them, so i must try them!
lexichloe lexichloe 10 years
Those all sound wonderful, and accompany each other well. I have a great recipe for you that is my standby...
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 10 years
Who would have thought that dates and bacon would be a match. I will try them and let you know.
chynablue chynablue 10 years
I'm going to try the cheese straws and bacon wrapped dates! Yummeee!
BethS BethS 10 years
Goat cheese and cashews and bacon. Three of my fave things (I don't eat a lot of dates, but they could soon be on my list). Outta control! You must go to some nice bbq's Molly, the one's I got to have hotdogs, burgers and 15 different onion dips. Not that I don't like those things either!
Molly Molly 10 years
I heart bacon wrapped dates! I had some at a bbq this weekend where instead of stilton they were stuffed with a goat cheese/cashew mixture. They were delicious and traveled surprisingly well.
BethS BethS 10 years
Must have bacon wrapped dates, now! Those sound sooooo incredibly good!
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
okay those candied nuts sound DELICIOUS!
7kimba7 7kimba7 10 years
Bacon wrapped dates... mmmmm... someone made me eat those in Spain on a business trip... hot god they were unexpectedly delicious.
ALSW ALSW 10 years
The bacon wrapped dates sound really good!
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