Go to an Italian deli (I like Monte Carlo in Burbank), you can get everthing there...and do an Italian antipasto buffet (art and Italian go hand in hand!...or maybe I should say hand in mouth!)
- assortment of olives.
- assortment of hard salami's
- large wedge of asiago cheese
- a bunch of celery, trim, and dip it in olive oil with a lot of salt and pepper in the bottom of a small dipping bowl
- prociutto-wrapped canteloupe (this is easy and fast to do, secure it with a toothpick. Domestic proscitto is fine, you don't have to indulge in the Parma, even though that is heaven on earth.
-prosciutto wrapped breadsticks (they have great fresh breadsticks there)...and get the flat italian bread...I forget what it's called...something like chumarra...
Here's another good finger food...even though it's not Italian: put whipped creme cheese inside celery sticks, wrap with lox...great sub for the bagel thing....
Bacon wrapped dates. Stuff a date with an almond or two. Wrap it up in a piece of bacon. Secure with a tooth pick. Bake until bacon is crispy. These are so good that they haved caused fights at Holiday time. They are good hot or at room temp.
Chicken wings. Make a marinade of 1 cup kikoman soy sauce, 1/2 cup red wine, tsp. powdered ginger, 1/2 cup sugar. Coat 4 lbs wings with mixture. Bake in a jelly roll pan(line it well). 400 degrees 1/2 hour, flip and cook another 1/2 hour. Sauce will turn sticky. Watch closely at the end, you want it thick, but obviously not burnt. You will not believe. Yes one hour at 400 degrees.
Some ideas that I've done recently:
crudite with aioli, or lightly pickled baby carrots and green beans without a dip. I've found that the vinegared ones are better if you have a lot of rich foods as I often do.
Stuffed mushrooms (I like breadcrumbs, pancetta or prosciutto and shallots). Good as a pass around and will be good warm or at room temperature.
Mango curry shrimp salad in wonton cups from epicurious: