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Menu Ideas

“Mad Men” Cocktail Party

These are my top five “go to” hor d’oeuvres which I use over and over again, along with an easy “group cocktail”. Coincidentally, each is a sort of updated old-school cocktail favorite, hence, the “Man Men” reference. For the actual cocktails; a full bar is a must, plus a Signature Cocktail to get the party started. Have it ready to hand your guests, at the door, as they arrive. Say something like, “This first drink is on me, after that- you’re on your own, the bar is right here, please help yourself!” I raise my martini to Don Draper and friends.

Lemon Mandarin Orange Champagne Cocktail

Caesar Dip with Crudités

Pigs in a Blanket, Upscale

Spinach Deviled Eggs

Blue Cheese Grapes

Peperoncini Peppers Stuffed with Smoked Salmon

Lazy Sunday Morning

If only every morning could be a Sunday morning, how sweet life would be! The big newspaper delivered to the driveway; complete with colored funnies pages. The relaxed attitude and laziness of the day. Are you old enough to remember when all businesses were closed on Sundays? It feels like 10 lifetimes ago, but it’s true all the same. As a tribute to those “good old days” be sure to buy everything needed for this late morning breakfast a day or two beforehand, so you don’t need to run out to the grocery store. Stay home, get the family to take part in the cooking, serving, and clean up. Then lounge around and read a book, play a card game, or watch the football on the tube.

Brown Sugar Bacon

Blueberry Pancakes

Breakfast Potatoes

Juice, Coffee, and Mimosas

Pizza Party

When I think back on what pizza was to me when I was a kid… so much different than now! It wasn’t until I was in 8th or 9th grade that we knew about “delivery” pizza. We never had homemade pizza; didn’t even think about it and wouldn’t have known where to begin even if we had. My only exposure to pizza when I was young, was every once in a while, after my brother’s Little League baseball games. The whole team and their families would gather at a pizza parlor in Scottsdale on Hayden Road near Thomas or McDowell. This happened maybe once or twice a year, that was it for pizza in my life. How things have changed… during college and my own kids’ younger lives, pizza was a mainstay, especially delivery pizza. Now, we forego the chain delivery and make our own. So much so, in fact, that the third post of this very blog was a full pizza menu, CLICK HERE to check that out! Here are some of our family favorites.

Caribbean Flatbread

CPK Thai Chicken Pizza

Lavash Vegetarian Pizza

Detroit Chop Salad

Chocolate-Hazelnut Pizza

Romantic Dinner for Two

Honestly, a romantic dinner can consist of macaroni and cheese or spaghetti with meatballs, it all depends on the couple, the day, and the mood. But for a special occasion- plan ahead dinner, this one will fit the bill nicely. Beginning with a cool and calming martini, followed by a leisurely salad/tart combo. You could easily stop right there and go directly to the smooth, creamy, scrumptious chocolate dessert; or forge on with the full menu… you decide!

Cucumber Martini

Artichoke and Olive Tart atop Mixed Greens

Pomegranate Molasses Lamb Chops atop buttery mashed potoatoes

Haricots Verts with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette

Chocolate Pudding, Old-Fashioned

Black Friday Cocktail Party

This is such a fun “girl’s night out” party idea. If you don’t want to have to do all the cooking immediately after the big feast, dole out the recipe to some of your BFF’s and ask them to be your co-hosts. It’s a great way to get together with friends before the “holiday crunch time” really kicks in. Click on the party title above to get some cute decorating ideas too.

Hot Feta and Tomato Spread with Pita Chips

Edamame Hummus with Crudités

Potato, Parsnip, Pear, and Parmesan Shooters

Blue Cheese Marinated Mushrooms

Rustic Goat Cheese Tart with Caramelized Balsamic Onions

Feta Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper, and Pine Nut Dip

Splits of Freixenet
Red and White Wine

“Over the Top” Birthday Party

This is a birthday party menu for a sit-down dinner for 30. “Over the Top” because of the rich menu and because you’re going to need to have some deep pockets to pull it off. 


Avocado-Mandarin Orange Salad (x4)
Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish-Brandy Sauce (x3) and Brandied Mushrooms  (x6)
Parmesan Roasted Asparagus (x5)
Balsamic Roasted Red Onions (x6)
Green Onion Parmesan Mashed Potatoes (x6)

Lemon “Nothing Bundt Cakes” birthday cake

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