mini stuffed sweet peppers
Mini Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers are a perfect healthy vegan appetizer that can be made ahead. A deviled egg plate makes a fantastic serving platter to keep these in place

Attending cocktail parties is the best part of my job, even though I’m working hard through all of them.  I enjoy working with my clients, crafting menus for their special events.  For a heavy  hors d’ Oeuvres party, like this one for the Brown family, I like to serve 5-7 different dishes to keep thing interesting during the evening.   Plan on serving 5 items per person per hour (if no dinner is being served afterward) to have enough food for the party.

Start with a big beautiful display of cheeses, cured meats, fresh raw vegetables, fruit, breads, spreads and dips. No cooking is involved at all making it easy on the hosts.

cheese, crudite, raw vegetables, fruit, spinach dip
Crudites with spinach dip and a cheese selection are a great base to build a party buffet on. Fresh raw vegetables counteract the guilt from anything else you’re going to eat that evening. We also added sweet and spicy pecans, fig spread, bread and crackers.

The Browns had me in the kitchen to cook throughout the night, keeping everyone well fed, freeing Mr. Brown to  shake some delicious white chocolate martinis while Mrs. Brown sang with her girlfriends and the band.

chicken, meatballs, BBQ, barbecue, peach, glaze
We served these Peach BBQ Glazed Chicken Meatballs in a chaffing dish to keep them warm during the party. I lined the chaffing dish with slice of lemon and lime to keep the meatballs from overcooking on the bottom.
chicken skewers
Thai style chicken meatballs served with peanut sauce. Marinate strips of chicken breast in canola oil, soy sauce, grated ginger, smashed lemon greass and lime juice for about 1 hour.  Grill or broil for about 5 minutes or until cooked through
bar, bar cart,
The Browns have a very well stocked bar

Print a few recipes for guests to mix up their own concoctions at the bar or mix up a pitcher of your favorite party punch to serve your guests.

puff pastry, tarts, tomato, zucchini, Parmesan, basil
Puff pastry tarts with zucchini, basil, tomato and Parmesan. Cut some thawed puff pastry into squares, dock (poke little holes in) the puff pastry with a fork (keeps the dough from puffing too much), top with a thin slice of mozzarella or provolone cheese, a thin slice of zucchini and some cherry tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. Shave some Parmesan over the top and some torn fresh basil.

Use inexpensive small picture frames as elegant signs to label the dishes you’ll be serving. We draped beautiful gold fabric right off the bolt to dress up the buffet, no sewing necessary.

smoked salmon, wonton, lemon, chive, cream cheese
Smoked salmon on fried wonton chips with lemon, chive cream cheese.  We labeled the items on the buffet with mini silver picture frames.
vegetarian, vegetable, eggroll, sweet chili sauce
Baked vegetable egg rolls with sweet chili sauce
stuffed mushrooms, turkey, sausage, butternut squash, kale
Mushroom caps stuffed with turkey Italian sausage, roasted butternut squash and sauteed kale
1 Comment

1 Comment on Everything you need to know about hosting a Cocktail Party

  1. Toya | The Limerick Lane
    January 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm (11 years ago)

    Wow! All of these ideas are great. And the presentation looks great. Yum!!


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