Birthday Cocktails

It was a special night at Crème de la Crème!  We were celebrating Ann. Yay! After feeling cooped up the last few days with the ice storm, it was such a treat to get together with girlfriends. What was on the menu?  Beef Filet Bites, Cracked Pepper Parmesan Dip with Kettle Chips, Buffalo Chicken Garlic Bread, Potato-tot Skewers, and a Beer Cocktail Station.

The mix-ins are simple to put together.  I love garnishing the drinks with fresh fruit.  Light beer + cocktail mix-ins are a crowd pleaser for entertaining.

Warm kettle chips with fresh grated parmesan cheese kicked off the night.  Pair it with my cool Cracked Pepper Parmesan Dip -- talk about addicting!

I planned this menu to be served at once.  So, this first thing I wanted to begin was the marinade and dipping sauce for the Beef Filet Bites.  I crafted the marinade and sauce recipes to compliment each other so they share similar ingredients.  One trick to save money on quality beef filet is to cube it yourself.

It is easy to get these homemade marinades and sauces out of the way the day before!  A no-stress party is the best kind of party.  While doing the prep for these recipes, I also started the ranch dressing inspired dry rub and the creamy drizzle for the Buffalo Chicken Garlic Bread.

We had one last thing to prepare before we started searing, baking, assembling, and drizzling...the Potato-tot Skewers!  Lucky for my students, I had a time-saving tip for cooking the potatoes.

Now the fun part ... wrap the beef filet in bacon -- I said it!  Schmear the bread with our buffalo spread, top with chicken, and get ready to bake.  And, last but not least, fry those tots.

And voila!  You can serve these recipes all at once.  I love being creative with the presentation!

Don't forget dessert...these dark chocolate strawberries aren't going to eat themselves!  Happy birthday Ann! Cheers! XOXO Paula