If you love to entertain, but your wallet is still sore from Christmas shopping, try a few of surprise bargains.  Just because your stocks tanked doesn’t mean its time for canned cheese.
Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller (pictured above)

Nothing says “classy party” quite like a plate of oysters.  However, not everyone enjoys the slimy, raw mollusks as much as you do.  This classic recipe adds chopped greens, bacon and bread crumbs, then bakes the whole shebang for delicious, elegant bite.  If you shop with a keen eye, you can get 1-2 oysters for a buck, making them a reasonably priced treat after all.

beef wellington hors d'ouvre 

Mini Beef Wellington Hors D’Oeuvres

Serving beef doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank.  Rather than serving this rich entree, try my bite-size version.  I ended up paying less than $1 per piece, but all the guests just remembered getting to eat great beef!

rosemary fudge 

Rosemary Fudge

A lot of chocolate and a little rosemary goes a long way to producing memorable dessert bites.  Rather than splurge for artisanal  bonbons, try this bulk-batch recipe.  Your guests will ooh and aah at the sophistication of what would otherwise be regular fudge.

chocolate ginger tart 

Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingersnap Crust

If you’re not an expert baker (I’m certainly not), but you’re somehow in charge of dessert, try this easy chocolate tart with a kick of ginger.  Thinly sliced candied ginger says “Celebration!” and the richness of this tart means you can serve small slices, stretching your dollar all that much further. 

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