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What are your favorite party menu ideas? Fun and casual

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I'm throwing a party for 8 close friends. Not quite sure if I want to do dinner or hors d'ourves. I like the idea of making mini meals - like bite sized everything. Not sure if I want to do a theme and I'm still questioning what drinks to serve. Here are my ideas so far:

mini carne asada tacos with onions and cilantro ( i found mini tortillas at my local mexican deli)

mini cheese enchiladas with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes

mini corn on the cobs (one normal cob cut into 4 or 5 rounds) dusted with cayenne pepper, cojita cheese and lime juice

small corn cakes for dessert served on banana leaves

mini flan made in mini muffin tins

i found mini beers - coronas (coronitas, i think?)

What do you think? What other menu ideas do you fine folk have? Bring it!

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  1. www.new-mexico-catalog.com
    I haven't tried *these* cocktail tamales, but I think tamales would add to your menu.

    Also 3 or 4 salsas and guacamole. sp?

    Margaritas and/or sangria which you can make ahead and add ice and limes, etc. last minute.

    1. if you're just doing a mexican/latin theme, you could add little mini quiches or frittatas w/ chiles, jack cheese, and minced peppers.

      One theme I did recently was "kid food" and I was loose with the theme and the foods, but basically:

      Mini cups of mac'n'cheese
      Hottie dogs (pigs in blankets)
      Sliders
      Fluffernutters cut in small squares
      Bologna Mini sandies (ridiculously popular)
      Chicken Nuggets
      Meatballs
      Cookies/Brownies and Ice Cream Sundae Bar

      I've also done breakfast for dinner theme:
      Mini waffles topped with preserves
      Mini quiche and frittata
      Scones
      Fruit
      Melon wrapped in prosciutto
      Mini breakfast burritos
      Blintzes
      Bagels and Lox

      I love doing themed meals and guests get a kick out of it too!

      7 Replies
      1. re: Emme

        Emme! I love your ideas! Where did you find mini waffles? How cute! I'm not stuck on one theme. I'm always throwing parties and am tired of my past menus. Just trying to get some ideas for future parties.

        Some menus from the past:

        Playful Brunch:

        A Pyramid of Various Donut Holes

        Rice Krispies Squares (made with 1/2 rice krispie cereal and 1/2 fruit loops cereal)

        Breakfast Finger Sandwiches (Grilled Cheese w/scrambled eggs and ham)

        mini bagels sliced, toasted w/cream cheese and topped with a sliced tomato, cucumbers and red onions

        Greek Style Yogurt Trifle (in clear plastic cups) w/diced mangos, diced kiwis and diced bananas

        Mango Juices and Orange Juices

        Champagne

        Italian:

        Stuffed Mushroom w/italian sausage, breadcrumbs, basil and mozzarella

        Mini Pita Pizzas w/ portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, garlic, tomatoes and basil (no sauce) drizzle with olive oil

        Brushetta on garlic toast

        Open faced Mini Muffaletta Sandwiches

        Fried Zucchini Sticks and Lemon Garlic Aioli

        Fried Calamari with a spicy marinara

        Birra Moretti or Peronis

        Mini Tiramisus

        1. re: missmodular818

          I always think a dessert and champagne or a selection of dessert wines is a nice party idea.

          1. re: missmodular818

            I make mini waffles, but if you're short on time, there are frozen brands... Sometimes I make normal size and cut using a cookie cutter or just a knife into your desired shape.

            Around the country is something I'm trying to get together for the next fun fest, but definitely assigning dishes to be brought (can't do this all myself!); here are some of my thoughts...

            BBQ Chicken Pizza or Cobb Salad or Artichokes or Caramelized Figs for Califonia (maybe some Napa wines too)
            Boston Baked Beans
            Maine Lobster
            New England Crab Cakes
            Hawaiian Pork or Poi or Macadamia Nut Pie
            Knishes or Roasted Chestnuts for NYC
            Cuban for Florida
            Jambalaya or Gumbo or Po' Boys for Louisiana/South
            Idaho Potato Bar
            Wisconsin Cheese plate
            Philly Cheesesteaks
            Hot dog or Pizza for Chicago
            Chicarrones or Burritos for New Mexico/Southwestern
            Coffee
            Baked Alaska
            Shoofly Pie or Amish Friendship Bread
            Rhode Island Coffee Milk
            Kentucky Derby Pie
            Vermont Cheddar Crisps or Maple Sweet Potatoes

          2. re: Emme

            Hi Emme,
            What are bologna mini sandies? Sounds interesting for the kids since that is the only "meat/protein" they will eat at the moment. I am having a cupcake decorating party for my 5yo and 8 little friends and I feel I need to serve something other than sweets. Thx!

            1. re: chocchipcookie

              I made a few variations... mayo, bolgona, and mustard; some with american cheese, some with cheddar, some plain, some fried... then cut them into mini shaped sandwiches with a cookie cutter.

              1. re: Emme

                Makes me think that the cookie cutter will make lots of other sandwiches taste good too...hmmmm. I am also going to fry the bologna-never had that before. Thanks for the tips!

                1. re: chocchipcookie

                  Shapes and funny names seem to go a long way with kids!