Eastern Shore of Maryland Event Planner & Designer
If we had to pick one thing we look forward to most around the holidays, it would have to be the steady stream of cocktail parties! Relaxed, low-pressure and full of our favorite things—drinks and mini bites—cocktail parties are pretty much the best thing that’s ever happened to entertaining! Whether hosting or attending, we’re always looking to spice things up with new bite-size recipes perfect for a cocktail party setting, and these tasty little cranberry brie croustades from Gourmet by the Bay have been our go-to this holiday season. Easy to prep ahead of time, these festive treats are sure to make waves at your next gathering! Happy entertaining!
1 bag of whole cranberries
Egg white of one whole egg
For the croustade:
White loaf bread
Salt and pepper
For the filling:
½ whole vanilla bean
1 ½ cloves
2 cups sugar
1 ½ bags whole cranberries
For the brie:
Brie de Meaux, or other international brie
Cut into squares
First, make cranberry orange relish. Zest the orange and lemon completely. Blanch the zest in boiling water, then cool. Caramelize the sugar and then add the vanilla bean, cloves and blanch zests then stir well. Add the whole cranberries and let boil on low until cranberries pop and it becomes the consistency of loose jam. Pour into metal container and refrigerate to cool. Should have a thick jam consistency once chilled. Store in airtight container and it will last for months. If you are unable to make cranberry relish, use a packaged version that provides a tart jam flavor.
Next, make sugared cranberries. (One egg white to one bag of cranberries) Put egg white in bowl and whisk until frothy. Toss in bag of cranberries and coat well. Remove from egg whites and roll in pan with sugar until coated. Let dry for 12 hours or overnight uncovered on baking sheet.
Cut white loaf bread into small squares without crusts (one slice of crustless bread makes 4 squares). Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place into mini muffin tins so the center is on the bottom and the edges point upward. Bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Can be held in airtight container for several days.
Cut brie into small squares so they fit into the bread croustades.
To assemble, place a dollop of cranberry relish in the bottom of the croustade. Top with brie. Bake at 300 degrees for about 2 minutes, until brie melts. Remove and top with sugared cranberry. Let cool slightly before serving.
Maryland Event Planner & Designer
So our first holiday season in the studio kind of crept up on us! But we couldn’t be more excited to deck our halls—with a little Eastern Shore flair of course! This custom wreath by Monteray Farms does just that. Try incorporating some fun, non-traditional elements into your wreath for a unique holiday design, like Monteray Farms did here with oyster shells, driftwood and rope. We promise it won’t disappoint!
Eastern Shore Maryland Event Planner & Designer
Happy Thanksgiving! We’re celebrating this intimate and indulgent holiday with a few tips on creating a festive centerpiece from floral designer Sarah Campbell, owner of Intrigue Design & Décor and founder of the upcoming Intrigued Experience conference. Sarah recommends incorporating texture into your Thanksgiving centerpiece with fun elements such as ornamental Kale and petite pumpkins. To keep her gourds from rotting, Sarah gives them a quick bleach water bath that ensures their freshness for the life of the arrangement.
For more floral design insights from Sarah and a host of other industry leaders, check out the upcoming Intrigued Experience conference, being held February 21 through 23, 2016 at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club. Participants will enjoy a unique three-day experience infused with hands-on floral design, styling and business education. More information is available on the conference website.
Kari Rider Events is a boutique event planning and design company crafting elegant, individually styled celebrations on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and beyond. Our blog features real weddings designed by our team, shoots we've styled for magazines and other blogs, and lots of wedding tips and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by and we look forward to hearing from you!