Entries with tag food .

Appetizer Ideas for Your Cocktail Hour to Make Sure Everyone Tries Everything

We’ve all been to those cocktail parties with the same-old traditional finger food appetizers. You know them by heart: pigs in blankets, chips and dip, a fruit bowl, etcetera, etcetera. There’s nothing wrong with these dishes either—I myself am a huge pig-in-blanket fan and don’t plan on ever turning down one of those little, juicy bad boys—but they leave you bored and mindlessly munching until the main course is ready.

Your party should never have a dull moment, so here are some prepared foods to make sure it doesn’t:


Mini Grilled Cheeses
Ah an ole classic from childhood. Its an easy step-by-step, ready?: Take your regular-sized gilled cheese sandwich and shrink it down to finger-food size. Then, unless you’re a strict traditionalist, throw some bling on those ‘wiches with red chili flakes, mushrooms, basil, and/or arugula. Ta-da! A childhood classic thrown through puberty for your unforgettable reception!

Deviled Egg Sandwiches
Looking for something a bit lighter with fewer calories? Consider these tasty bites that give a more relaxed mood to your cocktail party. A pretty basic how-to: 4 eggs, 2 tbsp. mayo, ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce, ¼ tsp. paprika, chives, 1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, salt n pepper. Throw some of that between two slices of white bread and fin!

Deli Sandwiches
Here’s another classic. Deli meats with cheese and appropriate accessories provide a reliable fallback plan for potential guests who are looking for good old healthy protein basics. Of course, we’ve already established that we’re not about to have a boring cocktail hour, so keep these interesting by offering options with a multitude of options. Turkey, ham, salami—sure—hot pastrami, corned beef, grilled chicken, YES! American, cheddar—ok—Munster, swiss, provolone, GREAT! Be sure to have sauces and mayos on hand too for an extra perk.

Cups & Bites

Blue Cheese & Steak Bites
A personal favorite of mine—because steak—and it’s relatively quick to prep. Start with tiny, toasted, garlic breads sliced and topped with salty blue cheese and medium to medium-rare pieces of steak. Drizzle with a balsamic reduction and finito!

Stuffed Shells
A little messier but they pack a truckload of taste. You know those shell-shaped pastas? Find the jumbo ones and cook those to al dente. Fill ‘em with prosciutto, asparagus, garlic powder, and cheese (I suggest mozzarella, parmigiana, and ricotta). They’re SO worth some messy fingers after eating!

Cajun Shrimp & Guac Bites
Calling all avocado fans! I’ve never tried this one but I’ll be damned if I don’t go home and cook some tonight. All on a sweet potato cracker: your favorite guacamole recipe with a single large shrimp seasoned with chipotle chili, paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt. I mean, look how good that looks!:

Spinach Dip Bites
This is sure to get the kiddies to eat their vegetables. You’re making a dip out of artichoke hearts, garlic, spinach, peppers, cream cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Scoop that into a bunch of crescent dough cups. A cute and an easy way to sneak some healthiness into all the cake and cheese eating!


Teriyaki Salmon
To start of our section of finger-foods-you-can’t-really-eat-with-your-fingers, or “Forks” as I like to call it, we have salmon bites that look so good I’m jealous I’m writing about them instead of eating them but it’s fine. You can serve these alongside steamed vegetables to make this appetizer into a mini-meal. One word of caution though, the reviews on these bites are so good, you might want to make sure your guests don’t fill up entirely on them.

Mozzarella, pepperoni, and olive bites
This app will be a nice change from the one above, where it will be much more difficult to fill up on, but will keep your party guests busy and talking. You can change-up the order you stick these on a toothpick, but for simplicity’s sake we’ll stick with olive on top, pepperoni in the middle, and mozzarella cube on the bottom. Easy, budget-conscious, and of course, taste bud-friendly.

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites
You didn’t really think that we’d go through this entire post without mentioning bacon did you? These wrapped little guys are as easy as they sound too! Step 1: Cook potatoes, step 2: dice potatoes, step 3: season potatoes, step 4: wrap seasoned potatoes with bacon, step 5: spear with a fork or toothpick. Done!


Tomato Soup Shots
To wrap everything up, we’re gonna head back to our early companion, the grilled cheese sandwich. But here’s the twist: the grilled cheese is only a compliment to what is actually the appetizer. Pair the sandwich bites with a quick shot of tomato soup (Just make sure you try to use a soup other than Campbell’s). Another childhood classic all grown up!

Picture credits: http://cf.runningtothekitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Blue-Cheese-Steak-Crostini-2-optimized.jpg

Food Trends to Look Out for in 201(7)

Food Trends to Look Out for in 201(7)

After doing some extensive research we have rounded up the food trends you should keep an eye out for in the near future. Some of these are going to shock you, while others you may have seen coming. 3 West Club’s Chef is an individual of the highest skills in culinary and he more than likely can accommodate one of these meals during your stay at the club’s hotel or one of your own planned events.

1. Vegetables Continue to Edge Out Meats

As more consumers look for healthy dining options, they pass over animal proteins in favor of fresh produce. This trend started several years ago, but its staying power has even impressed Wall Street. Restaurant customers want to enjoy their meals with more flavor and less guilt.

By ensuring a wide variety of vegetable alternatives to meat-based dishes, restaurants cater to more than just customer taste. They also market their commitment to healthier menu choices and sustainable food supply practices.

2. Franken-Creams

Photo By: @mumbaicravings

2016 was the year of the ice-cream hybrid – freak shakes, fairy floss and ice cream ramen, to name a few – and this looks set to continue into 2017, as people look for ever more Instagrammable desserts.

3. Seaweed

Photo By: weeknitemeals.files.wordpress.com

With the growing popularity of ramen in the West, expect to see more seaweeds on menus as well as hidden in dishes as an umami hit. In fact, sea vegetables in general will see a surge in popularity, especially in the health food industry, where the likes of kale may have had its day.

4. Produce Is the New Pasta

Photo By: marthastewart.com

As spiralizers turn out enticing pasta-like ribbons of beets, zucchini and asparagus, chefs are also folding vegetables into traditional pasta dough. Pureed carrots, tomatoes and spinach are perfect for rolling into fusilli, fettuccine and linguine. Vegetable lasagna will take on brand new looks and flavors.

5. Blackening food

Photo By: viraloc.com

Bear with us, this one is a little bit weird. We are noticing a trend of blackening food to create a change in taste and texture, often creating a savoury quality that can be a bit of an acquired taste. Blackening food is done in a variety of different ways depending on the kitchen and food type, but it seems that the trend has moved beyond the grill, with a range of foods incorporating the likes of activated charcoal to create unique flavours. Burgers, ice-cream, pasta, lemonade – there doesn’t seem to be a limit on what can be blackened.

6. Congee

Photo By: takpo.com

Here’s something to put into your schedule to hunt down next winter – congee. This rice porridge is super popular across Asia, with several countries creating unique variants on the original formula. Flavorings and additional ingredients are often added to spice things up a bit, making congee an intriguing addition to the breakfast scene. Congee has already caught on a bit down south (and if you look around Sunnybank you can find a few spots serving it up), but we reckon the heyday of congee is not far off.

7. Nikkei

Photo By: FineDiningLovers.com

Take the best of Japanese, then take the best of Peruvian cuisine – now combine them together with dedication, respect and ultimate technique, what do you have? Nikkei. Nikkei is probably one of the globe’s youngest cuisines, but it’s one that is sure to gain more traction in 2017.

Sources: https://www.finedininglovers.com/blog/news-trends/9-food-trends-2017/

3 West Club
3 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019