I think the best kind of party is one that's relatively impromptu. Friends show up, you rummage through the pantry and the refrigerator and create a veritable smorgasbord of otherwise mismatched offerings. The wine is flowing and all is well in your little corner of the world. But I also enjoy planning a party and that's just what I'm going to do.
I want to make it a game party of sorts. I'll put Monopoly, Scattergories, Taboo and the Wii out (I dare anyone to challenge me to a round of anything...). A little music for background noise... But the most important and memorable thing is the menu. To encourage frivolity and mingling, I'll stick with finger foods. I think small bites should be beautiful and have big flavors, leaving a lasting impression. "Remember the ______ we had at Nicci's? Man, was that delicious. Good times. Goooood times....," they'll say (I hope).
Planning a menu is also a good opportunity to create recipes. I'm going to make it an Iron Chef-esque challenge for myself... The main ingredient? Wonton wrappers. I already know what we're having for dessert: Chocolate-Hazelnut Ravioli. I saw Giada make them a while back and I've been looking for an excuse to fry up such decadence. And I think a tart lemon-berry reduction as a dipping sauce would be a nice touch.
So I'll need to have a bunch of savory wonton-wrapped bites as well. Steamed, baked or boiled... I've been thinking miniature meat (and a few vegetable) lasagnas would be fun. Or shrimp and cabbage with a spicy sesame sauce. I've filled wonton wrappers with butternut squash, cardamom and cinnamon and they were fabulous (the sage-butter sauce I put over them didn't hurt). There are a million variations.
Any filling ideas?