In April, I attended my dear friend Karri’s inaugural crafting event at her home. She held a seasonal wreath-making party where guests showed up to find all the tools and materials needed to build their pre-selected wreath (nautical, Fourth of July or spring floral). Naturally, she asked me and I simultaneously volunteered to make snacks so that she could focus on gathering all-the-things and guiding her guests with her glue gun warrior-skills.
Since it was a mid-morning gathering for 10-12 women, the food needed to be light and unfussy. So I made three kinds of chocolate truffles, berries with lemon-mascarpone whipped cream, and cheese and crackers. ;) Honestly, these are all quite low-maintenance snacks that require beginner skills, seasoned taste buds and an obsession with elevating simple, fresh foods. [Recipe for berries + cream follows]
Bailey’s truffles win every time, and this was no exception. The champagne recipe needs some work, and I will certainly embark on that mission full-throttle (I’ll keep you posted). And of course, classic chocolate truffles are the easiest elegant desserts on earth.
To identify the flavors, and let’s face it, to make them look appetizing, I decorated each variety differently: white chocolate drizzle for the Bailey’s; chocolate dipped and sugar sprinkle for the champagne; and powdered sugar and cocoa powder for the classic.
Cheese + Crackers
I know everyone can figure out how to serve cheese and crackers but it’s something that I am often asked about, so I’ll continue to share my tips and favorite ways of serving (which are always based on how I like to eat).
The simplest grab-and-go snack out there – and I kept this one way scaled down compared to my usual cheese board (I tend to go overboard because I like variety and want everyone to have something to graze on). I used two different crackers, three cheeses (extra sharp cheddar, pepper jack and brie), grapes for freshness and jam for sweetness.
Berries + Lemon Cream
[I’m sorry. This recipe was totally eye-balled, but I swear you can’t mess it up]
Seasonal berries (I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries because that’s what looked best at the market)
Lemon (zest and juice)
Graham Cracker crumbs
- Portion the berries into serving dishes or clear plastic cups.
- In a mixing bowl, whip heavy cream, powdered sugar (begin with 2 tablespoons, then add to taste), lemon zest and vanilla until you have soft peaks.
- In a separate bowl, combine mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, and about one tablespoon of lemon juice until fluffy.
- Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture to combine. Adjust as needed (more lemon, more sugar).
- Scoop lemon mascarpone cream evenly over berries.
- Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.
I absolutely love helping my friends out in whatever way I can when they’re hosting events or parties, and typically I am most helpful in the kitchen. It alleviates extra stress on the host and allows them to focus on their main tasks without worrying about the to-do’s of party food.