How good (or bad) a party is is often defined by the food you serve, as well as the company you invite. The people I can’t help you with, but as for the food, you might want to consider serving cheeses as part of the appetizers and possibly even the desserts.
Cheese is easy to serve and by getting a wide variety you’ll be able to tempt the palate of just about everyone. Forget about the cheddar you use for mac and cheese and the mozzarella you top your pizza with. Open your mind (and wallet) to cheeses from around the world.
The following appetizer recipes will allow you to add just enough other ingredients to keep the cheeses front and center.
Pull Apart Cheese Sticks
1 (11 ounce) can breadstick dough
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, provolone or smoky Gouda
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 cups marinara sauce (heated)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Arrange the breadstick dough in single layer lengthwise on the parchment paper but don’t separate the dough into individual breadsticks. Sprinkle the cheese, basil and oregano over the top of the dough. Bake 10 to 11 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Remove the breadsticks from the oven. Let the breadsticks cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes. Pull apart the breadsticks and serve them with the heated marinara sauce. Makes 12. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.
1 (2 1/2 pound) round of ripe Brie
2/3 to 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat oven to broil and place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Remove the rind from the top of the cheese. Place the Brie cheese on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle the chopped pecans over on the top. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the pecans. Broil the coated cheese about 8 inches from broiler for 3 to 5 minutes until sugar starts bubbling. Serve immediately. Serves 12 to 14.
Note: As an attractive alternative you can substitute raspberry jam for the brown sugar.