I occasionally work catering gigs with my friend Alex of Word of Mouth Catering. Last night we catered a party for 200 that took place in a mausoleum in Pasadena. It was a gorgeous space--all stained glass and marble, and spooky as all get out because outside of the lighted area where the event was being held, there were no lights anywhere. I'm on record as being afraid of the dark until I was an adult, and there's nothing that'll bring back childhood fears faster than taking the wrong turn down a corridor filled with crypts.
The party--a fund-raiser for a group of artists--was a big success and a good time was had by all, but we were really surprised that the hit of the evening was a little appetizer we put together on the fly.
Olive Tapenade and Cream Cheese on Crackers...
We bought a big tub of cream cheese at Costco.
We bought jars of olive tapenade at Costco.
We bought boxes of crackers at Costco.
At the event we slathered about an inch of cream cheese on a dish and then poured the tapenade over it. We put out knives to spread the mixture on crackers.
We refilled that platter four times before we ran out (and believe me when I tell you we NEVER run out of goodies at events). We saw people just eating it with a fork.
I highly recommend the combination if you're planning a party during the upcoming holiday season. It was a real crowd pleaser. If you want to make your own tapenade, there are a bazillion recipes on the Internet. I like this one from allrecipes.com