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
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.
... 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.
... CREATE A DESSERT BAR
End the night with a shot of sweet -- let guests assemble mini sundaes spoonful by spoonful.
3 pints of vanilla gelato or ice cream
Chocolate liqueur, such as Godiva
Chocolate-covered espresso beans