3 Easy Entertaining Recipes

The Lazy Hostess Babe Scott shares her favourite easy finger food recipes – plus they’re a great way to use up leftovers (your guests will never know!).

Excerpt from The Lazy Hostess by Babe Scott. Published by Random House, RRP $29.95.

Jumping Jalapeños 

Makes 24

12 fresh jalapeño peppers, cut in half
250g Philadelphia cream cheese
12 thin slices streaky bacon, cut in half crosswise

1. Place toothpicks in a small bowl, cover with water and soak for 15 minutes to prevent them from burning.

2. Preheat oven to 190°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Cut stems off peppers and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and ribs.

4. Fill each pepper half with cream cheese. Wrap each pepper half in a half-slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

5. Arrange on the baking sheet, seam side down. Bake for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven, flip, and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the bacon is cooked through.

You can assemble these the day before the party and keep them in the fridge, covered. Bake them just before the party.


Paris Stilton Crostinis

Makes 24

1 long baguette
Olive oil
80g (2 tbsp) apricot jam
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
24 dried figs, coarsely chopped
250g cream cheese, softened
110g Stilton
60g pecans, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut baguette into ó cm slices and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

2. Brush the top of the crostinis with oil and bake for around 10 minutes until they are lightly toasted.

3. In a small saucepan, stir apricot jam and vinegar over low heat until blended. Stir in figs and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat.

4. Mix cream cheese and Stilton with a fork or in a blender.

5. Spread a generous layer of cheese mixture on the crostinis. Top with 1 heaped teaspoon fig mixture and ó teaspoon chopped pecans.

6. Bake 3 to 5 minutes in the oven.

You can prepare these the morning of the party and bake just before your guests arrive. Serve warm.

Tip: An easier but still yummy option is simply to spread fig jam on a crostini. Put some blue cheese on top and serve cold.


Bourbon Beef Sliders

Makes 24

680g minced beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
120ml bourbon
250ml barbecue sauce
1/2 jar (200g) jalapeño slices
6 hamburger buns

1. Season beef with salt and pepper and form into 24 small patties.

2. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the patties and cook until just about done in the middle: approximately 3 to 4 minutes each side. Remove the patties from the pan and set aside. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat and return the pan to the stove.

3. Add diced onions to the frying pan and stir to cook: about 3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat before pouring in the bourbon (so it doesn’t catch fire).

4. Return to the heat and stir, reducing the bourbon by half: about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the barbecue sauce and jalapeño slices.

5. Reduce heat to low and place the patties in the bourbon barbecue sauce to simmer, turning to coat, for a few minutes to absorb the flavour.

6. Flatten the hamburger buns with a rolling pin and cut each into four pieces. Place each patty on a piece of bun, spoon on some sauce and top with another piece of bun.

You will need to cook these just before the party. Serve warm.

Tip: You can use turkey or chicken if you don’t want to use beef.

What are your go-to finger food recipes?

December 24, 2013

3 Easy Christmas Cocktail Recipes

Confused about which cocktails to serve with Christmas celebrations? Help is at hand. Babe Scott, a.k.a. The Lazy Hostess has created a few easy Christmas cocktails for every occasion so you can have a go-to arsenal of Christmas cheer up your sleeve at all times!

The Christmas Cosmo will have all your girlfriends giggling; The After Dinner Mint drink is the ideal ending for any festive meal; and a medicinal dose of the Merry Morning After will re-energise you and get you going for the next onslaught of festivities.

Merry Morning After – makes 1

25ml Cognac
Hot black coffee
Whipped cream
1 tsp sugar

Add Cognac to your coffee mug, fill with coffee and sweeten to taste.
Gently float whipped cream on to, sprinkle with grated chocolate, and serve.

ChristmasCosmoChristmas Cosmo – makes 1

35ml vodka
35ml cranberry
15ml amaretto

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker half filled with ice cubes. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Makes on serving.

* If you want to give your cocktail a festive feel, before pouring dip the rim of the glass in cranberry juice and edge with red sugar. You can make the red sugar simply by adding red food coloring to regular sugar in a sealed container shaking and letting sit for half and hour or so.


After Dinner Mint Cocktail – makes 1

35ml whole milk or heavy cream
15ml green crème de menthe
15ml oz crème de cacao

Shake all ingredients for 8 to 10 seconds, until blended, in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Strain and serve in a martini glass. If you like, dip the rim of the glass in crème de menthe and edge with chocolate sprinkles.

The Lazy Hostess is available in all good bookstores, RRP $29.95.

December 16, 2013