The challenge was to tell readers how to create a sophisticated cocktail hour without a terrible amount of cooking or bartending--all in 200 words or less.
Longtime readers will notice a different sort of voice--the suave, utterly in-the-know voice--that is seldom heard on The Slow Cook blog. All I can say is, it was a bit of a stretch for yours truly to match the production values at Martha Stewart Omnimedia. Let's just call this a miracle of modern publishing.
In fact, I am a secret fan of Martha's magazine. Does this come under the category of guilty pleasures? The recipes are tight and never too complicated, usually an update of one classic dish or another. People may rib Martha for being too much the busy perfectionist, but you can't say she doesn't have great taste. Too many food magazines are trying too hard to impress with trendy recipes that just fly right over the top. As you all know, we travel pretty much against the latest trends here at the Slow Cook. You might even call us anti-trend.
I can't take any credit for the recipes in this story for Martha. My job was to draw on some of my own experience entertaining and for me that means making the food ahead. Nobody likes to watch the host experience a meltdown while trying to greet guests, prepare food and play bartender simultaneously. In our house we like to keep things simple and, where possible, offer a featured cocktail so there isn't a traffic jam around the liquor cabinet.
The food and drink in this particular spread fit easily within that scheme. I think there just might be something good enough you'll want to give it a try.