“To share food is to share your heart.”
I believe there is nothing more true than that statement. Some of my most fond memories are ones with family when I was young. The food was cooked and served with love & usually consisted of something with a whole lot of butter or fried, which is how us “southerners” learn to eat at an early age.
For Drew & Anne’s engagement party we’ve decided to serve cocktails & light hors d’oeuvre’s for an early Saturday evening cocktail hour. We wanted to make sure our guests were able to enjoy Keeneland’s last race day for spring meet. Located in the heart of Lexington’s horse farms, Keeneland plays an important role in both Thoroughbred racing and breeding and hosts meets during April & October.
Keeneland Horse Track Lexington, Kentucky
For casual gatherings, try using small flowers or herbs in ice cubes to create beautiful additions to drinks. If you’re planning on serving a “signature” drink, coordinate your flowers with drink colors or use herbs to add some flare.
One of my favorite appetizers, is a cheese & meat platter. Investigate local cheese & wine stores for unique meats & cheeses. Follow these simple thoughts to have your guests coming back for more.
- Different types of cheeses. Everyone loves their cheese for a specific reason, so think about it this way: something classic, something spicy, something aged, and something goat. Place labels in each of the cheeses so it wont leave your guests guessing.
- Crunchies. Use a combination of pita chips, French bread, and crackers. My future daughter-in-law is gluten-free, so I would add mini rice cakes & gluten free crisps!
- Don’t forget the spreads. I really encourage you to use jams & preserves; they are absolutely yummy on crackers with cheese & meats. My favorite is apricot preserves…give it a try.
- Extra, extra. Always incorporate mixed and specialty nuts, fruits, and olives.
- Meat. Jazz up your platter with a fine selection of meats such as salami, pepperoni and prosciutto. Be sure to try something different.
Use shot glasses for fresh vegetables and creamy herb dressing. You can purchase small shot glasses at local grocery stores & places like Target, & Bed, Bath & Beyond. Make sure they are big enough to fit a good sized portion in each. Place on platters using different heights; I am a big believer of PRESENTATION, PRESENTATION, PRESENTATION!
We are true Kentuckians so we will use bourbon barrels to create food tables & bar tops located throughout the garden. I love the texture they add to our soft theme.
& DON’T forget the sweets! My husband is one of those people who looks at the desert menu before the rest of the menu so we will, without question, share a yummy treat with our guests. How precious are these cupcakes? A wonderful DIY! Pick up some miniature cupcakes at your local bakery, lightly spritz flowers with water, sprinkle with sugar & place on top of cupcakes…BAM! A beautiful addition to ANY party!