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Jennifer Lee Quattrucci

Making everyday life more stylish, colorful, and delightful!
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Inspiring creativity and originality


Sequins Are Always A Good Idea...and So Are Hors D'oeuvres and Rum Punch 

Sequins Are Always A Good Idea...and So Are Hors D'oeuvres and Rum Punch 

A cocktail party in which the hors d'oeuvres become the meal is a great way to offer a nibble of everything on the menu, and it is a very easy way to entertain. You don't need a huge dining room table, matching set of dishes or room to seat all of your guests to pull off this festive cocktail dinner party. Foods that easliy go from hand to mouth without worry about spilling on a silk dress or pale rug are best. Also, appetizers that don't require silverware and can be hand-held in a napkin make it easier to juggle drinks. Design your appetizers as you would a dinner party-in courses. Serve a first course of cold appetizers, ready when guests arrive. Garlic shrimp, the blue cheese dip and chorizo on bread all taste best cold or at room temperature. The second course is the hot appetizers. Complete the meal with light, sweet nibbles for dessert. Count on about twelve to sixteen appetizer servings per person for a substantial appetizer dinner. Make your invitations specific. Tell your guests you plan to serve a meal of appetizers. This way guests will arrive on time and won't make dinner plans for later.  Thinking about what to wear ? Nowadays, anything goes when entertaining at home, but I think sequins and lots of sparkle are always a good idea. 

I found both of these Express brand dresses at www.thredup.com. The tassel bracelets are part of a stack available at www.candycourtboutique.com. I also found this Express Design Studio vest at thredUP. It's easy to build a wardrobe with lots of variety when shopping at thredUP because the prices are 70% off retail all the time. 

This dress is called "The Julia" and I was fortunate to receive it from Kayrana Nuzzolese. She runs her own LuLaRoe Clothing business and there is a giveaway going on now for her Facebook group. Join at www.facebook.com/groups/lularoekayrana and visit her boutique at www.lularoe.com. 

Now that we got some fashion inspiration out of the way, here are some great easy recipes to pull off your own cocktail dinner buffet. 

Garlic Shrimp

You will need:

1 1/2 pounds medium fresh shrimp, or 3/4 lbs. cleaned frozen 

1/4 cup olive oil 

2 T butter 

4 garlic cloves, sliced 

2 T minced onion 

1/4 tsp. Hot red pepper flakes 

3 T fresh lemon juice 

1/4 tsp. salt

2 T fresh parsley

Peel shrimp, leaving tails on, and devein. In larger skillet over low heat, heat oil and butter. Add garlic and onion and cook 3 minutes without browning garlic. Add shrimp and pepper flakes. Increase heat to medium and cook, tossing constantly 3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and begin to curl. Transfer shrimp and sauce to bowl. Add lemon juice, salt, and parsley; toss well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate shrimp for at least 2 hours before serving to blend flavors. Makes 45-50. 

Blue Cheese Dip 

You will need:

2 T olive oil

2 tsp. red wine vinegar 

1 large garlic clove 

2 tsp. grated onion 

1/4 lb. crumbled blue cheese 

1 cup sour cream 

Fresh fennel and Belgian endive for dipping 

In a small bowl combine oil, vinegar, garlic, and onion; mix well. Add cheese and beat until almost smooth. Stir in sour cream. Serve with fennel and endive for dipping. Makes 1 1/2 cups. 

Beef Kabobs

You will need:

2 to 2 1/2 lbs. London broil

1/2 c. Olive oil 

3 T. Vinegar

3 T honey

2 1/2 tsp. Ground cumin

1 tsp. Paprika 

1/4 cup minced scallions 

1/2 tsp. Salt 

Slice meat into 1/4 inch thick strips, place in large bowl. Combine oil and remaining ingredients. Pour over meat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator at least 3 hours, tossing occasionally. Skewer meat by placing on onto long bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for 20 minutes. Heat broiler. Place skewers on broiler pan. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, basting with marinade. Serve hot. Makes about 40. To reheat: Place on baking sheet, cover loosely with aluminum foil and heat in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or microwave for 1 minute. 

Spicy Chicken Wings 

You will need:

20 chicken wings

Vegetable oil for frying 

3 T fresh lime juice

3 T dry sherry 

1 T fresh chopped parsley 

1 tsp. grated onion 

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper 

1/8 tsp. salt

Cut chicken wings at joints. Cut off and discard wing tips. Pour 1/2 inch oil into a large skillet; heat over medium high heat until almost smoking, about 375 degrees on deep fat thermometer. Add as many chicken wings as will fit in the skillet without crowding. Fry until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes, turning once. Heat oven to 250 degrees. Keep chicken warm in oven while frying remaining wings. When all wings are cooked, transfer to serving platter. Combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Drizzle over warm wings. Makes 40 pieces. To reheat:microwave on HIGH for 1 minute or heat in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. 

Tuna Empanadas 

You will need:

2 T olive oil

1 small onion, chopped 

1/2 sweet green pepper, chopped 

1 -6 1/2 oz. can oil-packed tuna

1- 8 oz. can tomato sauce 

1 T chopped fresh parsley 

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 

1 hard cooked egg, chopped 


2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. shortening

5-6 T cold water 

In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and green pepper. Sauté 5 minutes and add tomato sauce, parsley, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer , uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chopped egg. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in water and mix with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half. On a floured surface roll each half out about 1/8 of an inch thick. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut 20 circles. Repeat with remaining dough. Spoon one teaspoon of tuna filling onto each dough circle. Using your finger, dab water around the edges of pastry. Fold over and press edges together with a fork. Pour 2 inches of oil into a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Heat to 375 degrees. Fry a few at a time, until golden brown. To reheat : 350 degrees in oven or 1 minute on HIGH in microwave. 

Chorizo On Bread 

Slice , brush with olive oil and assemble. Season as desired. 

Ginger Shortbreads 

You will need:

1 cup flour 

1/2 cup butter 

1/3 cup brown sugar 

1/4 cup candied ginger 

2 tablespoons cornstarch 

Pinch salt 

4 ounces semisweet  chocolate 

1 tablespoon shortening 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, brown sugar, ginger, cornstarch, and salt in food processor. Whirl about 25 seconds. Press mixture into 8 inch square baking pan. Bake for 26 minutes. Melt chocolate and shortening in small bowl. Dip cookies diagonally into chocolate and lay on wax paper. Refrigerate until firm. 

Mini Fruit Pizzas

Use prepared cookie dough, such as Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough,to make this extra easy. Roll 3/4 inch balls and bake in mini muffin pans at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. When they are cool, spread with cream cheese or cool whip and your choice of fruit. 

Rum Punch

You will need:

3 c. unsweetened pineapple juice 

2 c. fresh orange juice 

Juice of 4 limes 

1 cup dark rum 

1-1 1/2 c. grenadine 

Combine juices, rum, and grenadine and serve. For a layered effect, mix all ingredients except grenadine and pour into glasses, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons grenadine to each glass. The grenadine will sink to the bottom of the glass; juices will float on top. Makes 8 servings.

Hope you enjoyed this post and that it inspires you to have your own cocktail dinner buffet , or even just add a little sparkle to your style. 

Thank you so much for talking the time to check this out. Your time and attention is always greatly appreciated. 

Yours truly,



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