Weekend Special – Ice Out Weekend & Early Spring Cocktail Party

One of my favorite rites of spring is the annual ice out. Quite simply it marks the day and time when Pleasant Lake (or any lake) is clear of ice. I may be getting ahead of myself but I’m counting on an early ice out this year.

Unlike the fall foliage, crowds of tourists do not flock north to watch the ice disappear. I’m not sure that I blame them. Watching a lake melt is a bit like watching paint dry. But hey, now that the mountain has closed down there’s not a lot going on.

Anyway, ice out is a cause for celebration, a reassurance that winter is over and summer is coming. It‘s also a great excuse to hang out on the beach and enjoy a glass of wine with friends while watching the ice melt and the sun set. Why not organize your friends and neighbors for a potluck cocktail party. Whether you head to the beach or stay on your deck, enjoy the changing seasons while you nibble appetizers and relax in the warm sunshine.

Here are a few ideas!

Smoked Salmon Mousse is both delicious and takes minutes to prepare. Or maybe you’d prefer a heartier and just as tasty Chicken Liver Pâté.

Then again, maybe you want to breakout the grill and cook up some Spicy Hosin Chicken Wings.

When it comes to dips and spreads, you can’t go wrong with a little cheese and nuts. Try my Feta & Walnut Spread.

Then again, I’m also partial to Caponata , a Sicilian specialty which is both delicious and versatile.

Have a wonderful weekend and bon appétit!

Chicken Liver Pâté
Makes 2 cups, 16-24 servings

1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 pound chicken livers, trimmed, rinsed and patted dry
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoons crumbled, dry sage
1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon cognac
1 1/2 tablespoons tiny capers, drained
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
Freshly ground pepper

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken livers; cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, until browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the stock, wine, sage, rosemary and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has reduced by two-thirds, 3-5 minutes. Add the cognac, capers and anchovies. Stir well and cook for 1 minute. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a small food processor. Process until almost smooth. Transfer the pâté to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 1/2 hour before serving. Serve with thinly sliced baguette toast or crackers.

What are your favorite signs of spring? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive a new story and recipe every week.

Want more? Click here for lots more to read, see & cook! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2011

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