Warm Up The Party
Celebrate the chilly season by throwing a winter cocktail party! Invite your nearest and dearest, rinse out the punch bowl and cook up some warming wintry delights.
Go all out and decorate the party venue like a winter wonderland. You can use silver tinsel to look like dripping ice, stencil patterns on the windows with fake snow spray and hang up plastic snowflakes.
Encourage your guests to dress up in a certain theme -- think Eskimos, skiiers or winter whites.
Makes 24 tartlets
These dainty tartlets have been adapted from a delicious recipe made by pastry kings Pampas. Find more of their great recipes right here.
- Olive oil
- 2 sheets ready-rolled frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
- 4 tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- Basil, shredded
- Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C and grease a dome tartlet tray with oil.
- Cut 12 rounds of pastry big enough to fit into the tin.
- Pop each pastry shell into the tray holes and trim edges if necessary.
- Place the tomatoes, garlic and shallots in a bowl and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Fill each pastry shell with the tomato salsa and bake in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the hot tartlets immediately after removing them from the oven so it melts.
- Serve the tartlets warm topped with basil.
Mix up a big batch of mulled wine and fill a punch bowl with this special winter drink. Serve with a ladle, large ceramic mugs and plenty of warming canapés.
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- The peel of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 4 teaspoons nutmeg
- 10 cloves
- 2 bottles of fruity red wine
- Place the sugar, peel, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves into a large pot.
- Pour one bottle of red wine into the pot and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to the boil for about six minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for three to four minutes.
- Add the rest of the wine and increase the heat again so the mixture is hot, but not boiling.
- Strain into a heat-proof punch bowl. Throw the lemon and orange peel back into the bowl as a garnish.
- Serve mulled wine immediately.