Who says you can't entertain with kids? Not Iron Chef Cat Cora, mom of four boys and pro party host.
SERVES 4 In a pitcher, combine 1 cup pomegranate juice, 1 cup pineapple juice, 2 cups sparkling water, and 2 tsp lime juice with 1 cup of ice. Divide among 4 chilled glasses rimmed with sugar; garnish with a lime wedge.
ADULT VERSION Add 4 oz each of vodka and ouzo (an anise-flavored liqueur). Serve in chilled martini glasses rimmed with sugar.
SERVES 4 Using eight 10-inch wooden skewers, alternate threading 3 fresh bocconcini (bite-size mozzarella balls), 3 cherry tomatoes, and 3 fresh basil leaves. Snip off the pointy skewer tip before serving.
ADULT VERSION Serve the skewers with a Bloody Mary Vinaigrette. In a bowl, whisk together ½ cup Bloody Mary mix, 2 Tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and 3 Tbsp diced celery hearts.
Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Links
SERVES 4 Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. In a bowl, combine 2 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pea-size pieces, 1 lb ground turkey (dark meat), 1 small red onion, minced, 1/3cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, ½ tsp chili powder, 2 Tbsp sweet paprika, 1 Tbsp ground cumin, 1 ½ tsp ground coriander, 1 ½ tsp ground cloves, ½ tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cardamom, 2 tsp salt, and 2 tsp pepper. Divide into 8 equal portions and shape into a cylinder about 4 inches long by 1 inch wide (for even cooking). Lightly coat them with oil. Cook until the meat is firm and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with pitas and condiments (see recipes above).
Serve with these yummy condiments:
Roasted Red-Pepper Salsa
In a bowl, combine ½ cup jarred roasted red pepper, diced, 1 ¼ tsp chopped garlic, 1½ tsp minced oregano, 1½ tsp olive oil, and salt to taste. Chill for 30 minutes prior to serving.
PICKY-EATER PLEASER Substitute ½ cup fresh or canned chopped tomatoes for the red pepper.
In a blender, mix ½ cup crème fraîche, 1 ½ Tbsp drained bottled horseradish, and ½ cup crumbled fetacheese at low speed for 3 minutes. Add 2 tsp lemon juice and season with pepper to taste and ¼ tsp red-pepper flakes (optional). Pulse again. Chill for 30 minutes prior to serving.
Kiwi-Berry Yogurt Parfaits with Toasted Coconut
SERVES 4 In each of 4 parfait or martini glasses, layer ¼ cup plain or vanilla-flavored yogurt, 2 Tbsp graham-cracker crumbs, 1 Tbsp diced kiwi, and 1 Tbsp berries (your choice of blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, or diced strawberries). Repeat layering until the glass is filled. Sprinkle each dish with 1 Tbsp toasted coconut.
CAT'S TIP: Assemble the parfaits the night before and refrigerate, so when it's time for dessert, you're ready.