Every year I throw an Oscar party, with food and drinks that are fit for a star-studded evening. And for party food ideas my first stop is LA-based caterer Lulu Powers, author of Lulu Powers Food to Flowers: Simple, Stylish Food for Easy Entertaining. (Full disclosure: I helped her write the book!) Lulu knows parties, and she knows glamour--she's catered for some of the biggest celebs in town and can always be counted on for creative yet approachable recipe and decorating ideas.

Her recipe for Apricots with Blue Cheese & Mint is a perfect example: elegant without being fussy, and easy to make. It also combines my two favorite flavors, sweet and salty. Serve a platter or two of these along with a few bottles of bubbly and your living room will be instantly glam.


  • 1 cup soft blue cheese, such as Cashel Blue
  • 30 dried apricot halves
  • 30 whole or julienned fresh mint leaves

Scoop a teaspoon of cheese into each apricot and top with a mint leaf or a few shreds. You can make these up to 8 hours ahead and refrigerate; just add the mint leaf right before serving. Make sure the apricots are at room temperature before serving so that the cheese has maximum flavor.

Recipe courtesy Lulu Powers; photo courtesy Stephen Danelian