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The Wachtmeister Years

Mini Meatballs and Spaghetti!

Don’t worry, I’m not dead. We have taken off to Annecy, France for the week. Remember that I mentioned there was a little old house I found on the lake for rent? Well, good news, we are going to go look at it today. But in the meantime, back to The Art of Entertaining series. I am continuing today with more hors d’oeuvres because I love hors d’oeuvres. Sometimes my caregivers ask me what I would like for dinner and my answer is, “hors d’oeuvres.” No wonder they want to poison me.
Do you want to hear a funny story about hors d’oeuvres? Okay, so on the eve of my 21st birthday, I met Count Erik Wachtmeister. The world may know him as the dashing Swedish playboy who started A Small World, the private Facebook equivalent for the “jet setting, wealthy, well-traveled and well-heeled few.” I know him as “my roommate.” Erik rented a big house in Bel Air, California and invited me, a snobby girl named Julia, and the actress Elizabeth Hurley to rent the house with him. All we ever did was entertain. God, if those walls could talk!

Erik was the ringleader and the girls and I were the hostesses with the mostesses. We had a dinner party nearly every weekend. These were no normal cocktail parties or dinner parties. Before A Small World debuted, our house was the small world. Celebrities, musicians, royalty,  notorious playboys, models, actors and actresses, socialites, philanthropists, nobility, an heiress or two, various bon vivants, business tycoons, and more than one infamous “character”…you name it, they were at our house. Believe it or not, we did everything on our own for these parties. We had a housekeeper but that was it. Erik, obviously, organized the guest list and took care of the entertainment. The girls and I did all of the decorating, setting the table, shopping and cooking. We had a great kitchen that was the hub of the house so I liked to be there. I would search through cookbook after cookbook to find interesting hors d’oeuvres. You cannot just serve Nicholas Berggruen a lil' smokie on a toothpick, for God’s sake. We had standards…or did we? Let me explain…

 Elizabeth Hurley is one of the chicest, loveliest, most beautiful, elegant, sophisticated, well-dressed, polished, cosmopolitan fancy pants women on earth. There is no attesting that. However, the girl cannot cook. This is the funny part of my story. So on this particular day, we were preparing for a dinner party, looking forward to entertaining Prince and Princess So-And-So. I was preparing the actual dinner so I asked Elizabeth if she could take care of the hors d’oeuvres. “Absolutely, darling,” she replied. Great, I thought, a few things off of my plate and I could focus on the dinner. Elizabeth left for about five hours and finally returned with the “hors d’oeuvres.” Wait for it… She walked into the kitchen with five grocery store bags filled with… Swear to God, Puffy Cheetos! Elizabeth Hurley! Puffy Cheetos!
So, in honor of dear Elizabeth, I dedicate this hors d’oeuvres blog post to her.

My other favorite trend in entertaining is the “mini hors d’oeuvre.” The concept has been attributed to the legendary New York caterer, Peter Callahan.

Martha Stewart cannot say enough good things about Peter Callahan. Watch the video HERE
Okay, let’s take a look at some of these adorable and très chic hors d’oeuvres from Peter Callahan and others…


Mini Croque Monsieurs!

Mini Pulled Pork Sandwich & Mini Onion Rings!

Mini Cheese Burgers and Fries!


Mini Cotton Candy!

Mini Fish Tacos & Mini Margaritas!

Mini Caprese Tea Sandwiches!


Mini Baked Alaskas!

Mini Fried Chicken & Mini Coca Colas!

Mini Chinese Chicken Salads!

Peter Callahan’s book, Bite by Bite, is an absolute must have. Do not have another party before you get this book. That artichoke dip just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Neither is your seven layer dip. Nor your charcuterie platter. Nor your stuffed mushrooms or stupid pinwheels. Those days are over. This is the future. :-) But I would hurry because this trend is going to get obnoxious real fast.


Bite by Bite by Peter Callahan

Purchase HERE

Mini Cheese Corn Dogs!

Mini Berry Cobblers!

Mini Muffulettas!

Mini Pancakes with Blueberries!

Mini Oysters with Tabasco!

Mini Buckwheat Blinis with Caviar & Vodka!

Mini Crispy Clams & Mini Bloody Mary's!

So that’s it for today. Keep your fingers crossed that I get my little house on the lake. If I do, you are all invited to a cocktail party chez moi!

*In case you were wondering… My sweet Erik and his beautiful wife Louise have launched a new website called Best of All Worlds. Read the articles HERE. And for the record, even if I did serve Nicholas Berggruen a little smokie with a toothpick, he would have eaten it with a smile because he is an absolute gentleman.


  1. Ellie, I can not get enough of you. Sweet travels....

  2. It's so lovely of you to share your wit, insight and beauty with us Oompa Loompas instead of 'A small world' few. Ellie! The masses adore you xxx

  3. I agree with the GAL above my comment!YOU have a lot to write about!Makes my Life just plain BORING!

  4. Have to comment anonymous now, suzanna here, I'm with ya on wonderful hors d’oeuvres ~ ! If I see another vegetable plate with onion dip I will just order another margarita and keep mingling, lol ! I need a hors d' oeuvres book, thanks for the lead. Cheetos, O.O…..fritos and canned bean dip, oh MY! ;-(((….LOL you fancy smatsy girl you ~
    a little bungalow on the lake sounds fabulous to me, chiLL, XO

  5. mine too Contessa, the two of you, wow, such travels, connections, enjoy living vicariously
    thru the 2 of you, ;-)) hi hi Ellie, 10/31/14 today in the USA…XO suzanna