Carefree Cocktail Party Tips and Recipes

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Carefree Cocktail Recipes

Summer is a social season. Everybody wants to entertain. Unfortunately, the idea of pulling off a successful party can be intimidating.

You want to serve good food but you don’t have time to whip up a gourmet feast. Plus feasts are expensive and your last name isn’t Midas.

Don’t fret. There’s no need to feel pressured about planning your party.

You set the tone for your party. Don’t feel the need to compete with Prissy Miss Perfect at the end of the block.

Focus on fun. Play your favorite music. Don’t bother trying to please everyone’s musical tastes. They will follow your lead.

Concentrate on comfort. Maybe you don’t have enough tables or chairs to accommodate the number of guests that you’d like to include. So what? Throw down some blankets or beach towels and call it a star gazing spectacle. Have people try to seek out constellations or play Rorschach cloud. (They each say what the cloud looks like to them) It’s a great game. Just be advised, it can take some scandalous turns.

Anything that you can think of will be fun if you commit to it.

As for the food…

People at parties tend to nibble. Especially if you’re serving drinks. Keep it simple. Put the bulk of your effort into creative ways to bring the group together. Last week, we were in no mood to cook up a storm but we had guests on the way.

We threw these simple dishes together, called them heavy hors d’oeuvres and called it a day. Everyone loved them and several people wanted recipes. We found it very funny because it was the least amount of effort that we could have put in.


It will take time to cook the pork but you can go about your business. You just have to plop the ingredients in a pan, turn on the oven and return a few hours later.

People will be super impressed with your skills.

Making carnitas


  • 1/2 picnic pork shoulder
  • 3/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 3-4 c tangerine juice It’s available in the juice section of the supermarket
  • 2-3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 can of Coca Cola
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1-2 pkg small corn tortillas
  • Shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 345
  2. Pop the pork in the pan
  3. Pour on the liquids
  4. Toss the pepper slices around the meat
  5. Cover and bake for 5-6 hrs
  6. Check it after 4-5 hrs. When the bone comes out with ease and the meat falls apart, you’re good.
  7. Remove the excess fat
  8. Shred the meat and put it back in the oven, uncovered while you warm the tortillas in the oven for about 7-10 min
  9. Sprinkle a tsp of cheese onto each tortilla
  10. Add 1-2 Tbsp of shredded pork
  11. Roll the tortillas up and serve warm

Breaded Cauliflower

We’ve always loved these treats. We actually had just made a batch for the next day but as guests wandered into the kitchen, they started to snack. They had no idea what they were eating. One after another they asked what we had fried. A couple of people watched rather defiantly as we pulled another tray out of the oven. We hadn’t fried a thing.

Baked Breaded Cauliflower


  • 1 head of cauliflower or if you want to make it easier 4 bags of fresh ready to steam cauliflower florets (that’s what we did)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 c bread crumbs
  • Salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Steam the cauliflower, if whole break it up into florets. If you bought the steam bags, 3 min per bag in the microwave.
  3. Let them cool enough to touch comfortably
  4. Cover a baking sheet in foil and spray with olive oil
  5. Dip each floret in egg then roll in bread crumbs
  6. Place them on the baking sheet
  7. Spray with oil
  8. Salt and bake
  9. Depending on the size of your pieces, it will take 1 hr – 90 min
  10. Turn them after about 30 min.
  11. They should be golden and crunchy
  12. Small pieces cook much faster so be sure to check every half hour.
  13. Sprinkle with salt and spray with oil when you turn them
  14. Serve warm although they are great at room temp too.

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

These even surprised us. This one was sheerly a result of flying by the seat of our pants. It was a real winner.

The key is quality crab.

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms


  • 1 12 oz can jumbo lump crab
  • 2-3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp shredded Parmesan
  • 15 baby Portobello mushroom caps


  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Mix crab with mayonnaise until moist but not sloppy
  3. (gross description but accurate)
  4. Mix in breadcrumbs
  5. Oil a foiled baking sheet
  6. Stuff each mushroom cap with 1-2 Tbsp of crab mix
  7. Sprinkle with Parmesan
  8. Bake for 10-15 min

The boys took the extra crab mix home and made it into crab cakes and added poached eggs on top
They loved it.

Enjoy your carefree cocktail party

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The Scamper

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