Party Food:

hors d'oeuvres

Two Hors d’oeuvres suggestions for your Holiday Party.

I’ve been offering these two hors d’oeuvres featured today, as part of the full appetizer offering at my parties for nearly a decade. It’s the rave reviews from my guests that have earned these recipes top billing in my personal recipe file.

First up: Marmalade Muffins with Smoked Ham

These little gems absolutely melt in your mouth. Fresh squeezed orange juice spooned over tiny muffins fresh out of the oven helps to keep them moist with a subtle flavor of orange. Thin layers of orange marmalade, smoked ham and whole grain mustard are sandwiched inside a fresh muffin topped with shimmering sugar.

Step-by-Step Photos included.

Orange Muffins

1 c sugar

1 stick (1/2 c) butter, softened

2 eggs

1 t baking soda

1 c buttermilk

2 c all purpose flour

1/2 t salt

1 c raisins

Zest and juice of 1 orange

1/2 c sugar

Shimmering Sugar

1 lb of smoked ham sliced thin

whole grain mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Spray a mini muffin pan with Pam

In the bowl of a cuisinart mixer pulse raisins and orange zest until it’s ground and worked together. Remove mixture from bowl and set aside.

Wipe out work bowl and place softened butter and eggs and cream until smooth.

Return raisin and zest mixture to creamed butter and sugar mixture in work bowl and pulse to combine.

Add baking soda to the buttermilk.

Combine flour and salt.

Add flour and salt mixture alternately with buttermilk to butter mixture until well mixed.

Spoon the batter into greased muffin pan.

Bake for 12 minutes; until golden brown.

Turn muffins out of pan after 5 minutes.

While still warm spoon a little orange juice over each muffin and sprinkle with sugar.

Let muffins cool completely.

Using a serrated knife, slice off muffin tops and set aside.

Spread a thin layer of orange marmalade over muffin bottom. Over this, place 4 pieces of ham and spread a small amount of whole grain mustard over all. Place muffin top back on and press gently.

Next up: Mango Chutney Cream Cheese Spread

As a young married woman, I was at a Christmas Party with my husband when I first tasted this wonderful appetizer. The hostess was a Southern lady and this hors d’oeuvre is southern fare. The ingredients seem unlikely to work together, but trust me they do.

2 packages of cream cheese, softened

1 c of chopped cashews

1 bunch of green onions, chopped

1 c sweetened coconut

2 jars Major Grey’s Mango Chutney

2 boxes Carr’s Water Crackers

Spread the softened cream cheese on a serving plate without an edge.

The chopped cashews are spread out next, followed by a layer of chopped green onions and the coconut.

Top the cream cheese base with cashews, green onions and coconut with two bottles of mango chutney - spreading the chutney to the edge of the plate.

Serve with a spreading type utensil pictured below and Carr's Water Crackers.