Single-and-Mingle Dinner Party

Invite your unattached friends over for a night of mingling and matchmaking.
menu
dinner party guests

If only life were like a Sex and the City episode: designer shoes, seats at the trendiest spots in town and eligible bachelors around every corner. Unfortunately for most singles, finding romance isn't as easy as ordering a cosmo. To help your friends shake up their dating lives, turn your pad into the ultimate singles scene -- inspired by the sexy vibe of an Italian wine bar, with how-tos for setting up bars for panini, salads and desserts below. If the Campari cocktails don't help sparks fly, the food will surely satisfy everyone's need to nibble.

 
tips + how-tos
drink
buffet

HOW TO ...

... CREATE A PANINI BAR

Top the table with your favorite Italian breads, cheeses, meats and a few easy spreads (like Horseradish Cream, Sun-Dried-Tomato Pesto and Caramelized Apples & Onions ); guests can make up tasty combinations. We like:

One 12-by-18-inch focaccia (cut into 16 pieces, split)
1 pound deli-sliced sopressata
1 pound deli-sliced Genoa salami
1 pound deli-sliced roast beef
1/2 pound deli-sliced prosciutto
1 pound deli-sliced fontina cheese
2 pounds fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Two 7-ounce logs goat cheese.

 
buffet table

... MIX UP A CAMPARI COCKTAIL

In a tall pitcher, combine 2 cups Campari and 4 cups chilled orange soda. Pour the mixture into 8 cocktail glasses and garnish with orange wedges.

... BUILD A SALAD BAR

Build a salad bar with fresh and prepared vegetables like cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, olives and marinated artichokes. Guests can add as little or as much as they want to this basic Arugula Salad.

 
dessert

... CREATE A DESSERT BAR

End the night with a shot of sweet -- let guests assemble mini sundaes spoonful by spoonful.

Set out:
3 pints of vanilla gelato or ice cream
Brewed espresso
Crushed biscotti
Chocolate liqueur, such as Godiva
Meringue cookies
Chocolate-covered espresso beans

 

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