I made chilis stuffed with cheese from the Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy, and I think they turned out great. I also served these on cooked Chinese ravioli wrappers so that they would not be difficult to eat. I believe the key to cocktail parties is making everything as easy to eat as possible.
I served sangria with a dry rosé, so I thought it was not too sweet. The recipe was a bottle of wine, a two liter bottle of club soda, a lot of fruit (including raspberries and blackberries), and a little bit of brandy and Cointreau. In Albany, where people have to drive I think a low alcohol but refreshing drink is a good option. Also, thank you very much to my great friend in MI who gave me this punch bowl for my bridal shower - it is both a cake dome and a punch bowl. I actually had to drive all the way to MI to pick it up, and it was totally worth it.
I read a lot of different empanadas recipes, and ended up with one that combined the flavor of masa harina and the pliability of flour. I made something I called a Thanksgiving flavor for the filling.
Beyond the food, the company was great. Adding to the idea of "Smallbany", there were people I knew in wildly different ways who had met each other before (someone I met through someone I met at an art librarian conference knew someone from a knitting group who is friends from school with someone my husband knew in Seattle many years ago - "Smallbany"). Also, in a very "meta" sense, I am blogging about an event where a lot of the conversation centered on blogging and All Over Albany, weirdly enough. I have always thought that food fosters a sense of community, but I will also say in the modern age without fail - the internet does too. It creates a common experience for people who spend a lot of their time nearly alone in offices at computers. It may seem somehow colder and more disconnected, but it is true. There was also discussion about The Pioneer Woman, Times Union Blogs, writing in general, and the point of blogging. Sure I could just write the words "wedding wedding wedding theme party French Macarons", and probably get Google search results every day, but the point of it is that it doesn't mean anything unless it matters to the writer. There is something about expressing oneself that gives one a clearer mind and a more organized thought process. There's something empowering about having an opinion and sticking with it. There's something about writing blogs and reading blogs that enables people to keep up with other people's lives more easily than if they just saw them briefly every so often. Plus, it is fun, and that is reason enough in itself.
Anyways, I am lucky to have met such classy ladies, and I really do enjoy living here.