40th Part 4 - Canapés & Cocktails

Friday 9 November 2012
The last chapter of my four part birthday bloggage and its finally time for the main event. My Cocktail and Canapés Party.  I deliberated for ages as to what I wanted to do for my 40th Party but when I stumbled upon 10 Dollar Shake and their mobile Pop-Up Bar my mind was made.  House Party with Cocktails by them and Canapés by me. I booked them way back in April and all then went quiet for a few months until we started discussing what exactly I wanted on the menu. They worked with my tastes and favourite cocktails as a guideline and took inspiration from them and fashioned something a bit different.  I did have a minor panic in the fortnight leading up to the party when they went a wee bit quiet on me but that's because they were opening up their first real life bar. The Tippling House. I even managed a sneaky visit to it during my birthday week for late night cocktails in a punchbowl and hope to make a return trip soon and sample the food.
Adrian & Adam ready for the onslaught
The guys arrived an hour ahead of kick off and got to work setting up shop. They brought a pop up bar with them but when they saw the layout of my kitchen opted to instead use the breakfast bar as their base. They did a fantastic job throughout the night and I think we pretty much drunk them dry on some of the options.  Everything was created with real skill, flair and attention to detail with no cutting corners.  Each drink was exquisitely presented and there was a fantastic aroma of fresh fruit.  The cocktails themselves were amazing.  I loved every single one of them and so did my guests who have been raving about them ever since. The gents were more than happy to make equally amazing virgin cocktails for boy, girl and any drivers. Even bespoke creations for those who wanted something a touch off menu. There was definitely raw egg and strange whisky involved in one rather scary off piste request.  
My Birthday Cocktail List
So to the nibbly bits. I decided that I didn't want to be stuck in the kitchen for the duration of my own party so they would all need to be able to be pre-made and served cold. I was ably assisted in the kitchen by my foodie sister and boy. First up Parmesan and Emmental Cheese Straws and Lorraine Pascale's "Sausage Roll's Big Night Out" aka Pepperoni Sausage Rolls. Utilising my new ruff puff pastry making skills once again. 
Canapé spoons were the perfect vessel for some Gordonian Best Steak from Andrew Gordon Butchery. I served this rare with a horseradish cream. It was my first try of this new Aberdeen Angus steak exclusive to Andrew. I have no idea what his secret method is but the steak was amazingly good and I'll definitely be back for more.  Melt in the mouth and full of flavour.
I spied the moustache party picks in Lakeland and simply had to have them.  As well as their intended use they provided some fantastic photo opportunities. Onto them I speared Red and Yellow Cherry Tomatoes, Basil and Mozarella Pearls - a mini caprese salad.  On others were Chorizo, Coriander, Mozarella and Black Olives.  Chorizo also formed the base for the next offering topped with Garlic stuffed Green Olives and Tomberries.
Boy has aspirations to be a sushi master when he grows up so was delighted to be sous chef to my sister in creation of a variety of maki, nigiri and inside out rolls. I left them to their own devices and they produced a fantastic array incorporating Prawns, Avocado, Smoked Salmon, Mackerel, Crab Sticks, Cucumber and Tuna.
The party wouldn't have been complete if I didn't give an outing to my fantastic retro Classy Canapé Maker. I used it for the sophisticated Rye Bread, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese and the more kitsch White Bread, Red Leicester Cheese, Smoked Ham, English Mustard and Tomberries.  In the midst of both are my Lorraine Pascale Goats Cheese Truffles.  More about them and getting your goat on in my previous post.
The Canapé that created the biggest stir were probably the Black Olive, Cream Cheese and Carrot Penguins. Even the olive haters were tempted by Pingu and his friends. A wee bit fiddly to make but so worth it for the cute factor. Last up some mini oatcakes topped with Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon, Prawns, Capers and Dill. Alas another platter has gone missing from the photos. They were really nice too. King prawns with cucumber and melon balls.
The canapés went down really well although I'm still finding the odd cocktail stick around my house in strange places. Not sure if all the guests really believed that we'd made them ourselves but I can assure you we did and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Together with the Cake of Cheese they provided a suitably savoury accompaniment to the fabulous 10 Dollar Shake Cocktails.  A perfect night of good food, good drink and good friends.  


  1. I love your classy cuisine book!!! It's so funny looking!

    Is it from the '80's?

  2. Its not a book, its a complete kit for making them with little cutters. I would assume its 70's or 80's. I bought it on ebay. Made by Classy Products LTD of Skegness.

  3. Hi Foodie Quine!
    I have just bought a classy cuisine canape maker! Your blog is the only reference I can find to actual canapes made using it! There are lots for sale around the web. What other successes have you had? Would love to see your ideas! :)

  4. Hi Annie
    Great to find another Classy Canape owner! I blogged about it in this post so you might pick up some ideas there


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