Little Black Dress Parties

Ever since Coco Chanel debuted the very first little black dress on the cover of Vogue in 1926, the fashion statement has exemplified simple elegance. Why not translate this statement into planning an elegant party? A little black dress, or a Breakfast at Tiffany’s, theme party is one of the latest trends for bridal showers, Oscar parties and even milestone birthdays. In my opinion, a sassy little black dress and some elegant hors d’oeuvres beats that tired “over the hill” theme any day.

Read more in the January issue of City Social. Online and in stores soon!

BloodyMarySoup Bloody Mary Soup Shots
4-5 ripe tomatoes, seeded
1 clove garlic
1 cup Bloody Mary mix
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons horseradish
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon Pickapeppa sauce
1 teaspoon Chipotle Tabasco Sauce
Pickled vegetables as desired

Quarter the tomatoes and take out the seeds. Chop the tomatoes and garlic in the food processor until the mixture is the consistency of a thick sauce. Pour into a large mixing bowl, preferably with a spout. Whisk in the other ingredients, adding more or less hot sauce and horseradish as desired. Pour into shot glasses or other small cups. Garnish with vegetables and serve. Makes 8 to 10 shooters depending on glass size.

Shrimp Summer Rolls with Sweet Soy Dipping SauceShrimpRoll
1 pound boiled shrimp
2 carrots
2 cucumbers
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
6 green onion tops
8 sheets rice paper or spring roll skin
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
4 teaspoons sugar

You can purchase boiled shrimp to save time or boil your own. Cut vegetables in half then slice into long, thin strips. In a large skillet, pour just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Cook the vegetables over medium heat about 8 to 10 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Season with sea salt and black pepper while cooking. Place vegetables on paper towels to drain and set aside to cool.

To assemble the rolls, fill a large bowl with warm water. Soak the rice papers one at a time in the water until they are pliable, but not too soft. Lay the sheet down on a paper towel and blot the water off the top with another towel. Place a few strips of the vegetables an inch or two from one corner or side of the paper. Then place about three shrimp, depending on their size, over the vegetables. Roll halfway diagonally, then fold in the top and bottom corners of the wrap over the vegetables, then continue rolling, tightly, but gently. Finally, with a very sharp knife, slice the roll diagonally across.

To make the sauce, whisk together the soy sauce, water, vinegar and sugar until sugar dissolves. Place in small, shallow dipping bowls and serve with the rolls.

Strawberry Champagne Floats
1 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh strawberries
2 pints strawberry ice cream
2 cups chilled sweet Prosecco or sparkling wine

Slice the strawberries and sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon of sugar. Cover tightly and chill at least one hour to overnight. Next, make a simple syrup. Bring to a boil 1 cup sugar with water in a small, heavy saucepan. Let boil for 2 minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Place a few strawberries in the bottom of each glass. Top with one small scoop of ice cream, then more strawberries. Add a second scoop of ice cream and top with more strawberries. Drizzle in the simple syrup into each glass. Top with one scoop ice cream, drizzle with additional simple syrup and pour chilled Prosecco into the glass. Serve immediately.


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