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A Couple of Tasty Party Tricks for Your Holidays

Party Drinks

It’s Holiday party season, and you’re looking around for new ideas to wow the usual hangers-on cronies guests at your next soirĂ©e. You’ve made the same ol’ party punch for a decade now, and you’re too tired to get out the Crock-Pot for more fondue. What to do, what to do?

Well, if you’re really too tired for fondue, then I can’t help you much. I do have a couple of nice tricks for you, though. You don’t even have to change the menu! Just add these elements and people wii be raving about your party all the way out to their car when they go home. Here’s what you gotta do: Raid the fridge and the bar, and collect these items:

The day before your party, take a stick of butter out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature. Take the zest off of a lemon, then juice it. Put butter, juice and zest in a small mixing bowl and mash it around well with a spoon. Add 1 tablespoon of Sriracha and a teaspoon to a tablespoon of your favorite fresh minced herb leaves. Mash that all around until it’s about an even consistency.

Place a piece of wax paper or parchment on a clean, flat work surface and put the butter in the center of the paper. Using the spoon, shape the butter into an oblong, about half the length of the original stick of butter. Fold the paper over and us a straight-edged tool (I use a bread dough scraper), force the paper down into a tight roll. This will squeeze the butter into a roll inside the paper. Twist the ends of the paper shut and put it in the freezer. When chilled, simply cut off the amount you want and put the rest in a zip-top plastic container in the fridge or freezer.

I usually prepare two sticks as a time! This stuff is great to cook with, or on hot rolls or on top of a juicy steak. Once you think about it, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of uses. I add all sorts of flavors to butter for the Holidays, including sugar and cinnamon, curry, garlic and more.

The second trick is even easier. Mix some choloclate chipotle powders and place on a shallow dish. Make a pitcher of your favorite Holiday drink, like say White Russians. Dip the rim of a glass in Amaretto in another shallow dish, like you might do to put salt on a margarita glass. Dip the wetted rim in the flavored powder, then carefully fill the glass with ice and drink. Voila! You’ve got a novel, spicy flavor for your Holiday cheer. For those who don’t like zest much, use 1 part chipotle to 3 parts chocolate. For the confirmed chilehead, give a 1-1 mixture at try. Or go with straight chipotle powder, if you dare…

Enjoy the (Holiday Party Zest) Heat!

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