Appetizer, Happy Hour, Hors D'oeuvres, Nosh and Tell Journeys
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Nosh and Tell Journeys: Fire Island, The Rice’s Cocktail Party

“Fire Island? What is that? Is that like a theme park or something, I don’t know what that is”. This was the response I got from my friend Mary Helen after telling her where I spent last weekend, in Point of Woods on Fire Island. No, it’s not a theme park, although it probably could be the way I ride a bike, which is not very well, resulting in many close calls with other bikers and myself+the pavement. Fire Island is a small island off of Long Island that I had the opportunity to visit last weekend. Though not a theme park it is just as fun, probably more fun. Two of my good friends, Liz and Hillary, work on Fire Island as nannies during the summer. I have been hearing about “POW” (Point of Woods) and Fire Island for like two years now and the only thing I could picture about the place was my friends joy riding on pastel colored bikes through a Pleasantville type town. You can’t drive cars on the island so the only way to get around is by bike. I was thrilled when Hillary called me and asked if I wanted to join her and her family, the Rices for the weekend. The Rices were throwing a cocktail party out on Fire Island and since Hil is a PR firm in herself she had told Mark and Maddie alllll about the blog. Maddie (pictured above) is wonderful cook and hostess and wanted to know if I would like to come help out with cooking and serving at the party. I didn’t even finish reading Hillary’s text before picking up the phone to call her and agree to spend the weekend beaching and cooking, what a life

It was the perfect weekend. Great company and great food. Plus sun, and since NYC sucks the tan out of everyone I was in desperate need. So what did Chef Maddie have in store for us for the cocktail party? An assortment of various Hors D’oeuvres and a few of her own signature cocktails. I only got a few pictures of the food as it was devoured pretty quickly but I will link to all the recipes I can remember and type a few out on here!
The Menu:
Korean Barbecued Beef Cups
Recipe found here
These were glorified lettuce wraps. The beef was cooked perfectly and the Korean BBQ marinade was to die for, I ate a ton while assembling these and I’m not even a red meat fan. The mango and apple with lime juice accented the beef perfectly. These were easy and a party favorite.

Pita Chips and Tzatziki Sauce
Not sure where Maddie got this recipe but we just cut up some pita, brushed it with oil, sprinkled on some salt and baked them for about 10-12 minutes. Delicious and the home made touch really makes a difference. Tzatziki is great, it’s a yogurt based sauce with cucumbers and other great things, really refreshing for summer.

“La Brea Tarpit” Chicken Wings
Recipe found here
Yummy yummy in my tummy. Awesome chicken wings, not too spicy, not too sweet, just perfect. The chicken was falling off the bone and was melt in your mouth good.

Chicks in a Blanket
I think Maddie came up with these on her own and she is a goddess for them. Like pigs in a blanket, its meat wrapped in puff pastry. Only this is chicken sausage with dijon mustard wrapped in puff pastry. I really wish this party had lasted for days now that I’m going back through the menu.

Prosciutto wrapped Melon
A pretty standard but nevertheless delicious appetizer recipe. Cut up melon wrapped in some salty prosciutto. Delicioso (I don’t even know if that’s Italian).

Barefoot Contessa’s Crab Cakes
Recipe found here
OMG these were fan-freakin’-tastic. Crab cakes are an essential for a summer beach side party and Ina’s recipe doesn’t disappoint, of course. Tasty crab meat is complemented by diced peppers, onions, capers, and lots of awesome seasoning. Also a party fave, actually I think everything was a party fave so I’m just going to stop saying it, it’s implied.

Herbed Lima Bean Hummus
Recipe found here
Another from…you guessed it, Gourmet! Simple, tasty, devoured.

Shrimp Cocktail
Every cocktail party needs some.

Green-Bean and Prosciutto Negimaki
Recipe found here
Okay, if you haven’t noticed most of these recipes are from the Gourmet cookbook. If a sampling of these recipes has not convinced you to buy the cookbook yet, this recipe should. AH these were good. Like really really good. Like I need to eat one of these every hour of my life good. You start with green beans, an egg salad (extra fine because it’s pushed through a sieve, mmm), and then wrap it all up with prosciutto like a sushi roller. You have got to make these for your next cocktail party. The good food just keeps on rollin’.

Cheese Plate
A must. What the Rice’s cocktail party had? A new staple for my fridge when I have an unlimited budget: Truffled Pecorino cheese. Yeah there is truffle mixed in with the cheese. I am serious. Oh goodness it was so yummy. Get some good quality crackers and gourmet cheese and have a ball. A nice jam also complements the savoriness of the cheese if you feel like springing for that. I love fig jam. My favorite cheese plate standouts include Truffled Pecorino (heaven), Gouda, and Havarti.

Radishes with Sea Salt
Maddie, Hil and I agree: Radishes are so underrated! Raw or cooked they have a naturally delicious peppery taste and are so pretty to look at. Maddie sliced some fresh radishes and sprinkled them with sea salt. Devoured. We’re bringin’ radishes back, yeah!

Frozen Southsides
I don’t have the exact recipe for this, but they were a hit at the party, that’s an understatement. I wish I had pictures too because the blended up mint was so pretty with the green color of the limeade. If only my grocery wasn’t out of Limeade I would’ve whipped up a pitcher of these to photograph!
Equal parts of frozen limeade and vodka
Pinch of sugar or some simple syrup
Sprigs of mint
Method: Blend it all together in a powerful blender so it’s like a slushie.

Mojito Parisian (in honor of Hil who is going abroad to Paris)
I was introduced to a new alcohol by the Rice’s and friends: St. Germain, it is amazingggg!
Equal parts of white rum and St. Germain
Sprigs of mint
Fresh lime juice (ratio of 2:1 alcohol to lime juice)
Simple syrup to taste
Method: muddle the mint and pour all the liquids in, mix well and enjoy!

Menu and cocktails courtesy of Maddie Rice! These are all around great recipes for your next cocktail party. I don’t know about y’all but I’m off to Amazon to buy that Gourmet Cookbook. Thank you SOSOSOSOSOSO much to Hillary and to the Rice’s for having me this weekend! Cokie and Lila: you two are so lucky to have such an amazing cook as your mom and a fun nanny like Hil! I had the best time with all of you. I’m off to claw at my bug bites some more…a hazard of being in the great outdoors, but so worth it!

Bon Eating,


  1. Hill says

    We're definitely ready to fire up the blender again! Thanks for all your help and your crazy knife skills! We wish you were still here!
    Lila and Cokie say, "Hi!!"

    Love, Hillary and Maddie

  2. Roman says

    Have you thought about writing a book with recipes, photos, and commentary? Think about it!

  3. Kristen @ Simply Savor says

    what a great post! i love all of the fun dishes on the menu and can't wait to try some :)

    Glad you had a fun time!

  4. YUM! NO FAIR! Also, I second the book idea. I will expect a dedication hehe

  5. Mochachocolata Rita says

    oh yummmm!!!! what a spread!…i could use a little mojito right now :)

  6. cookies and cups says

    Ina's crabcakes are the only ones I ever make…they are delicious!! I have tried others and always come back to her's. Lots of delicious food, I am sure everyone loved it!

  7. Mary says

    There are some fabulous colors in this post. I'll bet the dishes were equally fabulous.

  8. anjalijane says

    Ummm first of all, the crabcakes look delish. Secondly, you are a godsend. I have been put in charge of making mojitos for a party tomorrow night and you know I trust you a hundred times more than myself when it comes to cocktails. My hero.

  9. A & W says

    Hill: YAY! So glad y'all approve. Hello to everyone! xoxo
    Roman: hmm it would be fun! We would definitely have to have lots of taste testers around.
    Kristen: it was too much fun! I'm glad you like them, they were all great, easy, and sure to make any cocktail party a hit.
    Liz: oh don't worry you are THE taste tester.
    Rita: well it's five o'clock somewhere! In fact its after 6 my time! Mojito here I come, thanks for you kind words.
    Cookies and Cups: I have to agree they are the best out there. Ina is always a trusty chef. Thanks!
    Mary: Thank you so much. It was a colorful party and so much fun.
    Anjali: COME HOME NOW. That's really all i have to say to you. I love you a lot.

    Thanks to all for stopping by and for commenting!
    Bon Eating,

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