COCKTAIL HOUR.

Here is a great, no-cooking required cocktail hour idea!

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Start with a few simple, store bought ingredients. One hothouse cucumber, one spicy salami, hummus, pita bread and cheese straws. I sliced the cucumber and salami into the same size pieces. I filled one of our everyday water glasses with the cheese straws.

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To add a homemade touch to the hummus, I toasted pine nuts in a dry pan over low heat until they started to brown.

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And sliced the pita bread into triangles.

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Here is my “canvas”… an empty Michael Aram Black Orchid platter.

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Now I’ve added the cheese straws, bowl for the hummus and the salami and cucumber.

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Before guests come, I top the hummus with the toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil.  The toasted pita triangles are added to the blank space of the platter. To toast the pita, bake on a sheet pan for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Here is the final display with the drinks, served again on the Pottery Barn tray lined with a white hemstitch linen napkin. Cheers!

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HOMEMAKER HINT: Cloth napkins can seem fussy and intimidating, but they don’t have to be and they make an unbelievable difference in the final presentation. I recommend purchasing a set of 4 or 8 napkins that can work in any setting with any dishes. I recommend these linen hemstitch napkins in white as a way to “ease” into using cloth napkins. Don’t be afraid to wash them – they get better with age! Remember, they also look great under platters!

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