gab · manufacturer info

party munchies!!!

happy new year! well… almost.

although i have several {well, many) phobias as my friends and family can attest to, TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA, or the fear of the number 13 is NOT one of them. i have always considered the number 13 lucky, and have often asked my mom why couldn’t she have delayed my birth just a little bit longer, 1 hour and 50 minutes to be exact, so i could have been born on friday the 13th!  i’m hoping 2013 will be a good year!

i know i usually have paper based projects to share or show you, but today i have FOOD! most of you probably don’t know that i used to cater. i did events large and small, from a private anniversary picnic for 2 to weddings for 400 and many things in between. and although i’ve traded my oven mitts for scissors and glue, i still like to make party food.

recently, Quirk Books sent me 2 new cookbooks to review. i’ve reviewed several of their craft themed books before. so i was excited about getting to share a couple of their food themed books, especially right in time for one of the BIGGEST party nights… NEW YEARS EVE!

Quirk Books offers very unique books that usually seem to have a little twist or surprise, and these 2 books are no exception…


Tiny Food Party!, authored by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park, is subtitled “bite-size recipes for miniature meals”. and mini meals is a great way to describe the recipes inside. Teri and Jenny have taken many “traditional” dinner foods and reinvented them by shrinking them down to a single bite. foods like corn dogs, meatloaf and potato salad. foods that don’t usually find their way on appetizer menus have all been given makeovers so that they feel right at home on party platters.

how about bite-size chicken and waffles? mini shepherds pie? something slightly more exotic like lamb sliders? and that’s just some of the savory items. there are also sweets like pint sized homemade pop tarts, baby boston cream cakes or unique sweet corn ice cream tacos. and what party would be complete without drinks? think shot glass size servings of orange creamsicles, itty bitty bloody marys and coffeecake cocktails, you’ll be able to sample several for the “price” of 1 cocktail.

the book is nicely laid out as well, with extra recipes included for doughs, sauces and more. suggested menus also included to make it easy to plan a well rounded spread for your party. full index and conversion chart and supply lists too. the inside front and back covers have flaps so you can mark your recipes while working on them.

i selected mini crab cakes and bite-size caprese skewers to try at a holiday party with friends. i made the suggested balsamic glaze for the caprese skewers. but since i’m not a big red pepper fan, i wanted to pair the lemon-caper dipping sauce listed with another recipe with the crab cakes instead of the suggested roasted red pepper aioli. one friend, tinka, who DESPISES raw tomatoes {doesn’t like the “guts”} popped a caprese skewer in just to try the balsamic glaze. and although she didn’t want another tomato, she did scrape every last bit of the glaze from her plate {she did refrain from licking it clean}. i considered myself honored that she tried it! i thought the lemon-caper sauce went well with the crab cakes, although i’m sure the red pepper sauce would give the crab cake a more “traditional” flavor.

here’s some pics i took of my dishes…

first the caprese skewers; sweet petite tomatoes split in half and skewered with mozzarella and bits of basil in the center…

quirk - caprese (1024x683)

here’s a closeup; the tomatoes look so festive, like little ornaments…

quirk - caprese cu (1024x681)

and here’s the mini crab cakes, yummy with lump crab and sweet corn among the ingredients…

quirk - crab (1024x702)

and a closeup of their toasty goodness, the crab cake mix is layered over a buttery panko parmesan crumb…

quirk - crab cu (1024x683)

the other book… is entitled PURE VANILLA by Shauna Sever…

why should chocolate get all the attention? vanilla can be just as seductively delicious as chocolate in it’s own pure white, purely simple way.

the recipes make the most of the wonderful flavor of vanilla. put away your imitation vanilla, THIS is the time to break out your bestest madagascar vanilla and luscious vanilla beans.

the book takes the time to introduce you to vanilla, by way of a cleverly written intro, a brief history of how and where vanilla got its start up through where it is today, details about production, info about forms varieties and flavors as well as some FAQS about vanilla. all designed to help you understand how best to make use of this “standard” ingredient.

recipe categories include: breakfasts, cakes and pies, cookies and bars, candies and confections and drinks.

some recipes that caught my eye and the attention of my taste buds are: vanilla, brown sugar and black pepper bacon {YUM!}, twinkie bundt cake, salted vanilla chip oatmeal cookies, vanilla bean marshmallows, golden-pear vanilla jam and vanilla egg cream.

recipes include helpful hints and info to ensure your treats turn out great!

i chose to make the frosted vanilla almonds. i had trouble finding a bag of raw almonds – the nuts need to be raw since they are baked for awhile. i did find a raw mix of almonds, pistachios and pecans; which worked deliciously in the recipe!

i have had roasted sugared nuts before, and while they are yummy, the true flavors of the nuts are often muted by the sugar and spice coating. not true with these nuts, you could taste both the great roasted flavor of the nuts and the light fragrant taste of the vanilla. the coating stayed on well but was not so thick as to make the nuts hard to eat.

i served them in small foil cups on a tray to make them easier to grab and munch…

quirk - nuts (1024x682)

here’s a closeup shot…

quirk - nuts cu (1024x682)

if i’d had time, i would have made little paper cones from parchment to tuck the nuts in. i thought the groups of tiny cones would look nice nestled in a pretty decorative holiday piece.

if you are planning or will be planning a party – holiday or otherwise, keep these 2 books in mind. i think you will find the recipes as unique and imaginative as i did!

please leave a comment; i'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s