Murderous cupcake toppers! They happened because Halloween was celebrated at the MSV house this year with a Clue-themed party. Since the party was dreamed up based on the styling in the movie (though all costuming interpretations were welcome), that meant for planning purposes the year was 1954, and everyone had gathered for a fairly fancy dinner. Working with that theme for a casual home party, the spread:
Working front to back:
- Roots & Branches crackers (three varieties: plain, sesame, and black pepper)
- white wine-garlic almond paté
- mushroom-pecan paté
- tart apple, cream cheese, and dijon sandwiches on store-bought seeded wheat bread
- chocolate cupcakes a generous friend contributed
- smoky eggplant-wrapped dates
Scroll down for drink details. The cupcakes and frosting are Isa's recipes. The original plan for the sandwiches was to use brie, but our Whole Foods was out of the Kite Hill soft ripened. A simple swap for Kite Hill cream cheese still made for a really tasty sandwich.
To make the dates, prepare eggplant strips per the instructions in this post. When cool enough to handle, wrap the eggplant around pitted dates, heat them seam-down for 10 minutes in a 400-degree oven, apply toothpicks, and transfer to a serving dish. (You'll get about 25 dates.)
The recipe for the white wine-garlic almond paté is in this post. Served here is the shortcut version where there's no fooling with molding—the paté was served directly from the ramekins. The mushroom paté was only slightly tweaked (only for convenience, and this one is too close to the original for posting the recipe here to be cool) from New Vegetarian, landed a couple months back at a local second-hand bookstore. It's dead lovely. Portobello mushrooms, toasted pecans, shallots, thyme, black pepper, and brandy all team up to make one seriously flavorful, if gray, paté.
Because there's no lily that doesn't get gilded around here, cocktails started with a couple of great syrups made from the ingredients above. That's as close as you'll get to photos of drinks today.
The two main drinks were a ginger-sage sparkling wine cocktail to start, plus rye and ginger ale. The three things offered in dialogue in Clue are champagne, whiskey, and brandy, so that's where planning started. Additionally, there was a big batch of sparkling lavender lemonade, which could be enjoyed alone or combined with gin.
In the back there are the two Mrs. Peacocks chatting with each other.
Back next week with a new recipe.