Roman Toga Party

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Antica Pesa Appetizer

Theme parties set the stage for fun.  In college we found toga parties to be a blast, but as adults, they’re still a hoot-and-a-half.  They’re easy for guests, too.  Simply tie on a white bed sheet and decorate your head with a laurel crown, and you’re good to go!

 

For decorations, strew flowers about, turn on fountains, and light some candles.  Use the fireless LED lighted types for safety!  You can even use them in outdoor tiki torches.  I like the rechargeable kind.  Use them over and over in all sorts of candle holders to suit any theme at any time of year.

 

Though he is Neapolitano, not Roman, put on some Dean Martin tunes.  If you’re hosting a fancy Roman dinner, opt for Italian opera.

 

When we were in Rome last Autumn, we had the good fortune to be directed to a classic and award-winning true old-style Roman restaurant.  Founded in 1922, Antica Pesa is not the sort of place a tourist would stumble upon or select without knowing about it.  It’s located in an extremely vibrant neighborhood, alive with lots of inviting restaurants and al fresco dining options.  Antica Pesa definitely has the al fresco dining, but it’s not visible from the street.  Naturally, tourists gravitate to the settings we can see from the outside.

Antica Pesa restaurant front door

Antica Pesa’s modest front door leads to a foyer and winding hallways in which the walls are liberally decorated with photos of the owner with every movie star, business mogul and hot politician you can imagine.  It truly is a must visit restaurant in Rome.

 

Roman food is scrumptious, though quite different than what we may have commonly come to know as Italian fare.  At Antica Pesa, you’ll find a luscious array of vegetables, baked items, and cheeses, plus scrumptious meats and poultry cooked perfectly over the flames. The wine list is extensive.  And you’ll be dining in an amazingly  intimate outdoor setting, flanked by classic Roman buildings.  No cars drive past.  No pedestrians gawk at your incredible edible selections.  It’s private, classy, and very comfortable.

Courtyard dining area at Antica Pesa in Rome, Italy

Okay, for your own home setting, add some swaths of richly-colored fabrics, draped on walls or over railings or over tables, and revel in the lushness.

 

Go ahead and choose standard Italian fare and serve up a crockpot of meatballs in a  nice marinara sauce, along with trays of cheese-filled manicotti or your favorite lasagna.  Be sure to offer a freshly grated Parmesan cheese on the side.  Add a great salad and some warm, crusty Italian bread, and you’ve got a winning dinner.

 

Among your super simple but Italian-themed appetizers, try the Mini Chicken Caesars recipe featured below.  It’s one of the oodles of easy, super simple to prepare recipes in our Champagne!  Facts, Fizz, Food & Fun original recipe collection, published by Quiet Thunder.

 

Mini Chicken Caesars

3/4 c finely chopped, cooked chicken (from a leftover rotisserie bird is AOK)

¼ c finely chopped romaine lettuce

3 T of your favorite Caesar salad dressing

1 pkg frozen mini phyllo pastry tarts (15 in pkg)

2 T shaved Parmesan cheese

Freshly ground black pepper

 

In small bowl, mix chicken, lettuce, and salad dressing.

Arrange mini tarts on serving dish; divide chicken-lettuce mixture among them

Sprinkle with cheese and a bit of black pepper.

Makes 15 pieces.

KISS Note:  These can also be served warm, if you prefer.  Simply put on baking sheet in 350°F oven for 5-10 min before serving.

KISS Tip:  Remember that crisp pastry will start to lose its crunchiness once it sits with moisture inside it for any length of time more than an hour.  That means this is a dish that needs to be assembled just before serving time.

Get your copy of Champagne!  Facts, Fizz, Food & Fun and enjoy all the easy recipes.  It’s available in Kindle eBook digital and paperback formats.  Several cookbooks have now been released by Quiet Thunder Publishing.  They are typically available on Amazon.com.

There are also other good living-themed book titles from Quiet Thunder.  Enjoy them all… with love and laughter!

 

 

 

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About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 14 books, and counting! As a lifelong corporate communications geek, I enjoy a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with my husband, I have passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun.
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