Party season ahead: office dos will stumble out of restaurants early Monday or Wednesday evenings in the coming weeks. You can’t bump into neighbours without the ‘get together for drinks next week’ promise. New jobs and house extensions are competing to be celebrated and long unseen friends are coming home for Christmas from the US – impossible not to have them round.
Whether you entertain with a full-on dinner party or drinks and nibbles, you might be in need of ideas. Nibbles are easy: completely irresistible glazed bacon has the potential to make vegetarians waver. Their saving grace will be the cheese biscuits – homemade and completely moreish.
Talking about cheese – for cheese and wine parties the olive and seaweed crackers are going to be so much nicer than shop-bought water biscuits. And the blue cheese and oats biscuits are unique nibbles that actually look healthy.
Now if you're willing to feed your crowd with something more substantial or are looking for your dinner party first course: as appetizers with a twist I’ll suggest grilled mussels with black pudding. And spinach and mozzarella balls will do well for a veggie option.
Main course could be roast pork loin with blueberry sauce, frozen blueberries are good for the recipe. Served with roast potatoes of course – perfect roasties include copious quantities of garlic cloves and they will be your dry run for Christmas lunch; I don't believe anyone cooks proper roast potatoes during the year. Another suggestion for a main, and easy one too, is a salmon and potato bake. Just multiply the ingredients and get a really large baking tray – it’s a sheet pan dish recipe.
Dessert could be the hazelnut and ricotta torte, but it’s the festive season after all. Fruit mince pies. Yes – it's that time of year.