Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cocktails & Carbs a Go-Go!

The gals came over last night and we all got our hands on some finger food.
Good Housekeeping's After 10 PM
book inspired these carb and mystery-meat laden eats:
Cube Crunchies
Toasted Olive Rolls*
& Party Ham Rolls
[the broiled tomatoes were a tasty add from Nicole: salt, pepper, parmesan topped on tomato halves & boiled for a few minutes in the oven range]
*if you want the recipes, post a note.

Olives prove to be a popular filler when it comes to 50s finger-foods. Perhaps they lend an exotic air, I'm sure it was a thrill for the lady of the house to find a little pitted piece of Italy canned and shelved at the local grocery. I know Amy, Nicole & I savored the salty slices infused in our deviled ham sandwiches and processed cheese pinwheels.

The daintiest appetizers were the "Cube Crunchies" - cubes of slightly under-ripe [my bad] avocado bathed in lime juice & French dressing before they shagged the potato chip crumbs and were speared by a frilly party pick. A poor man's nacho bite. A really, really poor man who dumpster dives.

After giving our taste buds a tour-de-carb we had to reach for a drink. Or two. Our cocktail of choice was "The Bennett". Presumably named after the crooner himself: a little boozy 1 1/2oz gin], schmoozy [the juice of 1/2 lime], bitter [3 shakes of bitters] and sweet [1 tsp powdered sugar].

After 10 PM - I pulled the piece-de-resistance from the icebox. And went after it with the back of a dinner knife. I'll admit, I feared its jelled release.

But soon enough, lo & behold THE MOLD!

The Orange-Ginger-Ale Ring wiggled its way onto our plates and into our recipe boxes. Granted, few molded salads are this refreshing, most are gag reflex-inducing, so I was glad to find something palatable to put on my friends' plates.

2 env unflavored gelatine [I opted for oranged flavored. Cheater.]
1/2 c fresh, frozen or canned lemon juice
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 t salt
1 1/4 c orange juice
2 c ginger ale
2 c orange sections [I used a lg can of mandarin oranges, drained.]
2/3 c chopped pecans
Cottage cheese
Crisp greens [I opted out. It was too late in the eve for lettuce.

Soften gelatine in lemon juice in glass measuring cup; set cup in pan of boiling water, stirring occasionally, til gelatine dissolved [yes, I did it old school, too]. Combine with sugar, salt, orange juice and ginger ale, stirring well. Refrigerate, stirring often til consistency of unbeaten egg white [yuk on that visual]. Fold in orange sections and nuts, pour into 1 1/4 qt ring mold. Refrigerate until firm. Unmold; fill center with cottage cheese, garnish with crisp greens.

At the end of the evening, it became obvious to Amy, Nicole & I over Bennetts and jello rings that the pre-diva ladies had the recipe for a good life: friends, cocktails and carbs.