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Appetizer Party Tips
dear, oh dear, the gang's soon here
what and how many do I serve???
Types of Appetizers
pates or appetizer cheesecakes
raw veggies and fruit
tea or finger sandwiches
cheese, meat platters, crackers,
things on picks (e.g.. shrimp, smoked oysters, meatballs, meat
tortilla roll ups
party mix or spiced nuts HOT
hot pastry (phyllo, puff, turnovers, sausage rolls)
individual hot bites
casserole style hot bites (e.g.. meatballs)
1. How many items you will
need per person will depend on the time of
day and the age of the people.
Rule of thumb is 5-6 pieces per
This can vary however, if the serving time is near a regular meal time, for example
an after work cocktail party or at a wedding, people will be hungry.
Allow up to 10-12
in this situation.
Age and activity has an impact too.
The younger the
crowd, the more they will eat. An older crowd, tends to be watching
and just has less of an appetite. You can provide lots of servings
more cold appetizers. 2. Are the goodies free or
is there a charge for them? People will often eat
a little more if they have 'paid for them' and also expect the treats
to be fancy
too. If you are serving this for 'free' to a large crowd,
be allowed to run out, or at least down to nothing but veggies
and dip left....after all
3. If you are heating appys
in the oven, choose ones that will
heat at the same temperature. 4. Consider the time of the
year, oven/fridge space available etc.
The fancier items go first, fresh veggies and dip probably last.
gives plain things eye appeal. 5. A Cocktail party usually
has no seating, and people are standing,
balancing a drink and food.
Try to serve foods that are spill proof
and not messy, things that don't
require cutlery and are easy to handle (don't serve shrimp
the shell still on). Make sure things are bite size and that
drinks (punch, pop, juices
etc.) and coffee are easily accessible.
Provide small plates and small napkins and
lots of party picks,
so people don't have to get 'sticky fingers' picking up a chicken
or shrimp. The easier it is for the guests to help themselves the
will be on you. 6. Depending on the size of
the party, carefully choose your hot appys.
For example if you are serving 100+ people, the logistics of heating
appys in the oven to serve while the party is progressing may
not be viable.
If for example your oven can only heat 36 -48 appys
every 15-20 min. then add on time to
arrange on trays, it would take
you 1 hour to cook up approximately 200 appys. For 100 people
you'd need 2 or 3 times that amount. So the solution is to make
hot appys ahead for a crowd and hold them at safe hot temperatures,
style, hot meat balls they can spear with picks, hot chicken
wrapped scallops etc. All the things that can be put into
large chafing dishes (rented
if need be).
Experiment with recipes to test their holding time. 7. It's easier to fill and
replace smaller platters, those refilled or replaced
platters keep the elegant appearance of the function, rather than
a half empty
messy table. Have more than one table for your appys,
spread several tables around,
in various rooms too, if you have a
crowd, that way people will mingle
better, and can walk between
tables visiting with other groups, rather than one long buffet type table.
8. Make sure you have enough
volunteers or help if you
are feeding a crowd.
also check out other notes on feeding a crowd HERE
People eat with their eyes first, so making food attractive
can turn even the simplest foods into something wonderfully appealing.
Dips into hollowed peppers, small cabbages, round bread loaves,
molded into shapes and decorated with cream cheese, olives, pickles etc
Fruit into pineapple boats.cold items on picks stuck into a
large veggie or fruit (grapefruit,
items on small skewers
open faced sandwiches trimmed with cream cheese piping
decorate plates or trays with flowers, kale, parsley, radish roses,
carrot curls etc.
You can purchase 'deli' style trays and lids from the big Costco/Sams
stores or maybe your local party rental/supply place or deli.
Line those deli platters with green leaf lettuce to show off the food.
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