Wednesday, November 10, 2010

POM Wonderful Dinner Party Recap Part 2: Get the Party Started With Sparkling Blueberry-Pomegranate Sangria & Filo Cups With Whipped Brie, Pom Molasses, Pistachios, and Pom Arils

So…ready to hear more details about the POM Wonderful Dinner Party that I hosted on Monday night? Here’s today’s party-planning tip. One of the most important skills to being a good hostess is to welcome your guests with a drink and a little bite of something when they arrive. I wanted my guests to walk in the door Monday night and immediately know that this party was going to feature amazing food and a relaxing atmosphere. Thanks to the time change, it was dark by the time my party began. I started my specially created iTunes playlist five minutes before my guests were scheduled to arrive. I also lit tons of candles in my living/dining area, so the atmosphere was set before the knock at the door.

The drink and amuse bouche you serve is the first glimpse your guests will have into your dinner menu, so I wanted to make sure that my selections had a lot of Wow Factor! Since it was a work night, I decided to go with a cocktail that was fruity and light...something that would let you wake up ready for work the next day. I immediately decided on sangria! Mine featured blueberry-pomegranate juice, port, sugar-free cranberry sparkling water, and lots of fresh fruit. My amuse bouche was filo cups filled with whipped brie, pomegranate molasses, chopped pistachios, and pomegranate arils. These bite-size morsels pack a TON of flavor, and they paired very well with the sweet-tart fizzy sangria!

Not only did this amuse bouche taste good…it looks so beautiful on the serving plate! With the jewel-like ruby-red pom arils and the green pistachios, these are on my short list for holiday entertaining. Because the filo cups are from the freezer section, it only takes about 15 minutes to assemble and plate them up! I served them on a clear glass plate that rested on top of a clear glass candle holder. I filled the candle holder with pom arils to add to my pom-themed décor. Because these two pieces were separate, I could take the platter off and pass the filo cups to my guests, then rest it back on top when I was done. Even better? The two pieces came from Dollar Tree, so this was super-inexpensive decor with tons of visual appeal!!

As promised, here’s the recipe for both the amuse bouche AND the sangria…enjoy!

Filo Cups With Whipped Brie, Pomegranate Molasses, Pistachios, and Pomegranate Arils

Step 1: Remove the package of filo cups from the freezer about two hours before you plan to serve the appetizers. The brand I used is Athens, and is found in the freezer case.

Step 2:  Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the rind from a 6-ounce wedge of brie. Place the cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add ¼ cup of whipping cream and whip on medium-high for five minutes. What you end up with is brie with an AMAZING mousse-like texture. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag. If you’re like me and don’t have one, simply spoon the mousse into a Ziploc bag and cut off the corner.

Step 3:  Pipe the whipped brie into the filo shells.

Top with pomegranate molasses….I found the easiest way to do this was to put the pom molasses into a squeeze bottle. Then add a sprinkle of chopped pistachios and a few pomegranate arils on top. Place the cups on a serving plate.

I guarantee your guests will ooh and ahh over this appetizer! They’ll never guess that the mousse is in fact whipped brie…or that you were able to whip up something so elegant and yummy in no time flat. Since they’re easy to eat in one bite, it conveniently leaves your guests’ hands free to hold onto a glass of yummy sangria.

Sparkling Blueberry-Pomegranate Sangria

Step 1:  At least four hours ahead of serving, make a batch of pomegranate ice cubes. To do this, add a few pomegranate arils to the bottoms of three plastic ice trays. Add any sparkling flavored water of your choice. I used a sugar-free cranberry sparkling water. Fill each ice compartment no more than 2/3 full.

Step 2:  Add the following cut-up fruit to fit in the bottom of your serving pitcher: orange, seedless grapes, and green apple. The pitcher I used has a very modern shape, so I was able to fit abut ¼ of an apple, 10 grapes, and about ¼ of an orange.

Step 3: Pour in one 16-ounce bottle of POM Wonderful Blueberry-Pomegranate juice, 1 cup port, and enough of the flavored sparkling water to reach the top of your pitcher. Give the sangria a good stir and put in the fridge to chill until you’re ready to serve. I made mine the morning of the party and let it chill all day. Isn't the color just GORGEOUS?!?!?

Step 4: When you’re ready to serve, put two or three pomegranate ice cubes into a wine glass. Pour the sangria over the top and enjoy! Not only are the ice cubes pretty, they serve a function…as they melt, they won’t water down the sangria since they’re made with the same flavored sparkling water that’s in the sangria! Here's how the glasses of sangria looked on the dinner table.

This was an excellent way to get my dinner party started, but the main entrée and dessert were still to come. Everyone was seated, and I brought the salad, main dish, and sides to the table. I’ll leave your appetite whetted for now…come back next time for more party-planning tips, recipes, and pictures!


  1. Nice job! Those filo cups look amazing.

  2. love it..those filo cups look goregous!!


  3. I love using filo cups for quick and classy entertaining! Definitely going to have to give your brie mousse a shot! Sounds delicious :]


  4. I love pomegranates and those icecubes are too cute! Great way to use brie, it looks and sounds delicious:)

  5. Love the phyllo cups with the brie mousse! And the pomegranate avrils in the base of the appetizer plate is a terrific accent. Awesome job, Wendy!

  6. Absolutely beautiful, Wendy! Just love the idea with the brie moussse and the phylo cups. The Sangria looks so pretty, would love to try some!

  7. everything look perfect!!!! well done!!! (^_^)

  8. What a great job you did, I love phyllo cups and the thought of adding whipped brie makes my mouth water.
    Everything looks perfect, congrats

  9. wow, i am so impressed! i am especially excited to try the sangria - it looks lovely. + i also want to add that i'm impressed with the pics of the filo cups - they look artsy + wonderful!!

  10. I want that pitcher.... bad! And the sangria, too!

  11. Thanks for all the kind comments! This is one of those appetizers that comes together in minutes, but looks like you spent a lot of time on it!

    @Tracy: Isn't it pretty? My SIL loaned to me for the's from Crate & Barrel.

    @Green Girl, Elisabeth, Louanne, and Marea: The idea for whipped brie came from Thomas Keller. It's an ingredient he used in The French Laundry Cookbook. I tried it once before and just LOVED the texture and the flavor. When it was time to plan this party, I KNEW I had to use it somehow in my menu!!

  12. those filo cups look AMAZING!


  13. These sound divine! I bet I could eat like 10 of them!

  14. You should call yourself Wendy the "WOW" Gourmet, because this is incredible! All so impressive, Wendy, and it all looks absolutely delicious... especially that sangria! Thanks for sharing!

  15. I love those cups, brie is so good and creamy, I bet the POM molasses really punched it up. I really like the pomegranate place card holders too. You have me hungry now. Looks like a good party.

  16. Those are beautiful. Looks delicious. I am visiting from Quit Eating Out!

  17. Both of these look absolutely fabulous. Thanks for sharing on Saturday Swap. I'm bookmarking for the holidays.

  18. Hopping over from Sat. Swap. This looks wonderful. I love the combination and what a fun appetizer with the crispy crust and the creamy cheese and the hint of poms. Your presentation is great too. So cute to fill the container with the poms.


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