About a month after having our first baby, we were feeling a little stir-crazy and were determined to find a way to make an average weekend in a little more exciting. Then, we realized two things:
- The Oscars were this weekend
- We had this new ‘tasting party set’ that we had never used, and maybe this could be our excuse
If you have never heard of a tasting party, it is when you prepare little bite-sized portions of foods for guests to sample. The “tasting set” we had came from Pier 1 and included a cute little booklet of ‘tasting party’ ideas and recipes, and that gave us some ideas to run with. With a new baby at home, we decided we wanted to keep it simple but at the same time have a lot of fun.
The three-course tasting menu we ended up with was:
- Cucumber Salmon Bites
- Gazpacho Soup
- Cheesecake with Raspberry topping
The Salmon Cucumber bites didn’t take any effort at all! It basically just consisted of slicing the cucumbers, whipping some herbs into cream cheese, and topping the cucumbers with the cream cheese and salmon.
Here is a quick run-through of what we did for the Salmon Cucumber Bites:
- One 8oz pack of smoked Salmon
- Two Cucumbers, sliced into thin round bites (use a mandolin if you have one)
- One 8oz pack of cream cheese
- Fresh Dill
- Squeeze of lemon
Take your pack of cream cheese, place in a large bowl for mixing. Pull the dill off the stem, and toss in. Lightly squeeze about 1/2 a teaspoon of your lemon in. Mix the three ingredients together until well blended (I would use a hand mixer). Top your cucumber slices first with the cream cheese mix, then with the salmon. Garnish with any remaining sprigs of dill.
For the Gazpacho we found a recipe on Pinterest that only required dicing veggies and no cooking at all. It should be no surprise to you that my girl “The Pioneer Woman” is the creator and it is DELICIOUS. You basically take tomato juice and dump in a whole bunch of diced veggies and herbs. No brainer, guys! Click here to get the Pioneer Woman’s Recipe for the Gazpacho.
Lastly, for the dessert portion of our tasting party we used a Martha Stewart recipe for the No-Bake Cheesecake. Again, this choice of recipe should come as no surprise to you… please pinch me the day I talk about any recipe on my blog that didn’t come from either Ree Drummond or Martha Stewart… sorry but these women are just total bosses in the kitchen and everything they make comes out so delish. I topped the no-bake cheesecake with some raspberry preserves 🙂
If you are in search of your own tasting set, I am not sure that Pier 1 still sells the one we have, which is too bad. I did find this similar set on Bed Bath and Beyond‘s website.
These are just three easy recipe ideas, but I have seen so many more! I know that a whipped chocolate mousse is popular for dessert with this kind of party and should also be a quicker/easier thing to prepare. We had so much fun with this that we decided to turn an “Oscars Viewing/Tasting Party” into an annual thing! This year we are preparing homemade tomato basil soup with gourmet grilled cheese bites 🙂
Have fun tasting!