I like the ones that are good for catching up and remind us of old memories. Especially once the summer and the backyard cookouts are over, I’m also more interested in making things that require a little more attention to detail. That doesn’t have to mean they are more complicated, though. When I plan a “girls night” I’ve found that it’s always more fun to munch on finger food and drink a good glass of wine than eat a full meal. This allows everyone (including me) to gather around the table and catch up on life and not have to get up to serve.
Good friends are like a great meal – they should be savored.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Always serve a simple cheese plate with 2-3 different cheeses (pick a cow, goat and sheep perhaps, making sure there is one soft, one semi soft and one hard cheese), some loose nuts, dried fruit, fig spread (I use Dalmatia Dried Fig Spread) and of course some great crackers.
- If you are a meat eater, be sure to do a simple charcuterie board, as well. Use 3 or 4 meats that are all different. Perhaps a peppery salami, a country pâté and a good prosciutto. All of these can be found in the refrigerated section of a good grocery store and don’t have to be expensive. Simply choose your favorites.
- A small bowl of mixed olives are also a good thing to add to your table.
- If you like vinegary things (I do), add a small bowl of cornichon pickles.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, don’t put prosciutto on the charcuterie, but roll small asparagus spears (that you have blanched) in small pieces of prosciutto and cook them in a sauté pan until crisp. They look very fancy but are really easy to make.
- Swedish meatballs are always a good go-to for me on a cool fall evening. Many delis have them premade or you can use this recipe that I like.
- Last but not least – make sure you have several mini veggies on a plate with a simple sour cream dip.