While I often enjoy the familiarity of routine, even revel in the auto-pilot sort of easiness of the expected, every now and then a surprise really gets me motivated. Constant surprises could have you off balance but constant routine could lull you into boredom. It's not so easy to strike a balance between the two, but one place I believe you can get the best of both worlds is using unexpected ingredients, especially in party food recipes.
Taking a traditional appetizer, party snacks, or dinner and adding an unusual ingredient or two is a great way to intrigue guests. Don't shock people with an uncommon dish containing numerous "specialty" ingredients, or bore them with the plain, routine version of an old standby. By experimenting with various flavors, or creating your own twist on standard recipes, you can discover taste sensations that may surprise and delight you.
You may have seen items on menus, or tasted dishes at someone's home that seemed to have a real flair because there was an ingredient or two that you didn't expect .I'll bet you enjoyed that party and thought the host must be a culinary genius! Try creating your own unexpected party food recipes by tossing in something that ordinarily doesn't seem to belong.
- Saute shrimp the usual way, but add a tiny dash of vanilla.
- Make ice cream sundaes with a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Toss some dried fruit into a roasted pork or chicken dish.
- Cook salmon and serve with a blueberry/corn salsa.
- Create chili or grill kebobs with venison or buffalo meat instead of beef.
In other words, create the unexpected. It doesn't take much to create a noteworthy dish. Wouldn't it be fun to watch guests take a bite, then try to figure out what's different about the dish, or to hear them ask "what great flavor am I getting in here?" Keep people guessing and you could become "the" home to go to for an event.
When it comes to dessert party food recipes, there's no need to keep it routine. You can even prepare dishes with unusual ingredients and guests will hardly be able to tell. We found a recipe on Delish for German Chocolate Cupcakes with a healthier twist – it calls for sauerkraut and apple sauce instead of lots of butter. Using ingredients not commonly found in a recipe to make it low-cal or lower sugar will certainly earn you some kudos from health conscious friends.
So whether you prepare party snacks and party food recipes with unusual ingredients to make them healthier, or to surprise your guests – shake things up a bit. You'll have more fun cooking, and they'll have more fun eating!
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