Entertaining with Cheese for Your Party

Entertaining with CheeseIt is that time of year.  Entertaining and hosting Christmas parties.  Part of the fun of creating the menu is figuring ways to present your food masterpieces.  Here are three different presentations for your heavy appetizer holiday party and entertaining with cheese.

Everyone loves cheese and a cheese platter is typically served at most parties. This year, instead make a sun-dried tomato and pesto “cheesecake”.  The recipe is below.  To make this your centerpiece appetizer serve this “cheesecake” on a small pedestal plate.  No one will want to be the first one to dig in, so you might want to designate some one on your guest list to be the first one.

Entertaining with cheeseAnother fun presentation is to use paper cones and fill them with your favorite holiday treat.   Paper cones can be filled with popcorn, mini cookies, candy or Chex mix.  For our party, we filled each cone with cheese sticks.  That way each guest can grab a cone and continue mingling with the other guests.  Paper cones are a simple way to decorate your table.  Because there is an endless supply of paper designs at your local craft store, paper cones can be made for just about any themed party.

Entertaining with cheeseWho doesn’t like olives and cheese?  Instead of placing them on a platter, consider placing marinated olives and Feta cheese in shot glasses.  These olive shooters are super festive.  Your guests can grab and go.  The “shooter” concept can be applied to a number of foods.  Consider serving shrimp cocktail, roast beef bites or lobster in shot glasses.  They are also perfect for creating individual mini desserts. Entertaining with cheese this Christmas can be creative and delicious.  Merry Christmas.

Tomato and Pesto "Cheesecake"
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ pound feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 tablespoons vodka
  • black or white pepper to taste
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1 and ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (very well drained)
  • 1 cup pesto sauce
  • french bread, sliced
  • mini pita bread bread
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the butter, feta cheese, cream cheese, garlic, shallot and vodka. Add black or white pepper to your own taste. Blend until smooth.
  2. Using a small 6 inch spring form pan, cut out parchment paper and line bottom of pan.
  3. Begin to layer as follows: sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, pesto and cheese mixture. Repeat, pushing down gently after each layer.
  4. Refrigerate covered, overnight.
  5. Remove from pan and serve with french bread, pita bread or unsalted crackers.
  6. Tips: It is important to make sure your sun-dried tomatoes are well drained and most of the oil removed. When layering the sun-dried tomatoes and pesto make sure the edges of the pan are well covered. After your last cheese layer, carefully place the pine nuts around the top and then arrange the remaining sun-dried tomatoes in the middle of your "cheesecake".

 

Traveling with lipstick is Veronica’s blog on travel, beauty and living life beautifully organized. She has a brand new kitchen and has been taking full advantage of her new space and new appliances.  This Christmas Veronica has been entertaining a lot and these are some of the pictures from her recent party hosted for her husband’s work group.  Preparing yummy food is a priority, but just as important is presentation.

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