Crostini with Brie Dates and Toasted Walnuts

Servings: 8
Preheat: 425
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Source: Fine Cooking

This nibble builds on the classic pairing of cheese, dried fruit, and nuts. A splash of balsamic vinegar helps bring together all the flavors. The crostini are best served right out of the oven, though they can also hold for an hour or two at room temperature.

Phat Thai

Servings: 1
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 1 hour
Source: Pok Pok by Andy Ricker

I edited ingredients slightly to facilitate purchasing of common items.
Note, the tamarind water and palm sugar syrup can/should be made ahead of time and frozen.

Smoked-Trout Spread

Servings: 8
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Source: New York Times, FLORENCE FABRICANT

The guests are trickling in, and soon the table will be overflowing. But not just yet. What to do? Several days in advance, you may want to whip up your own smoked trout spread to pack in a bowl and offer with bagel chips or squares of pumpernickel. Those impatient stomachs will thank you.