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hors doeuvres (some no brainers, 3 halfbrainers, and some sweets) for fifty needed

I'm having an open house cocktail party next Saturday. I expect about 50. And in addition to a ham, I'd like to have food set up around the house. I'd like to do some no brainers that requre little more than arranging, opening, or dumping...eg olives, crudite, nuts, cheeses. If I can add a personal touch to them that would be great. And I mean that in the least semi-ho way possible. I'd also like to do something for which I can take credit. Gougeres, perhaps. Any suggestions as to what I can do? I also need to do some sweets. I do not want to be in the kitchen the entire time or even for half the time. I won't be at work the day before the party, and I can use that time to prep. I'm going to a cookie swap this weekend (thanks for the great ideas!!), and plan on popping the (10 dozen) cookies right into the freezer so I can use them on the day of the party, but I'll probably need a few more things. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Prepped in advance gets major bonus points. Thanks again!

e

p.s. oh yeah, any punch recipes would be great, too. But nothing with ginger ale or fruit juice concentrate or sherbert please.... I'd love to do something with sparkling wine.

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  1. For your half brained guests, have you considered the Hebrew National "Franks in a Blanket"? They taste better than they sound.
    http://www.hebrewnational.com/pages/p...

    2 Replies
    1. re: speyerer

      so is this a heat and serve product? I never knew you could buy them pre-made.... this is definitely a no-brainer!

      1. re: speyerer

        I've seen these (Franks in a Blanket) at Sam's, what do you dip them in - I'm definately adding these to my upcoming party.

        I'm also doing at another party - the smoked salmon, cr cheese,capers, red onions, etc. Platter (because I could eat this all day)!!!

        And has anyone done the meatballs or kielbasa in a crockpot with that relish from Harry & David's mixed with BBQ sauce - I love their relish mixed with cream cheese and am dieing to try their recipe for this with little dogs, meatballs or keilbasa.

      2. I'm having 20 people over for lunch on Friday and for, hors d'oeuvres, decided to make

        endive w/ pears, pecans, gorgonzola salad
        smoked salmon mousse on cucumber slices
        phyllo cups w/ brie and jalapeno jelly

        They're easy to put together, most of it ahead of time, and I won't need an oven which will be used. If I hadn't had so much cheese in the rest of the menu, I would have done frico cups filled w/ watercress, pecans and persimmons or pears in the first recipe.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          I love your philo cups with brie and jelly, Not hot right? Just thawed phyllo cups with a chunk of brie and dollop of jalapeno jelly? What about a shrimp on top, maybe??

          1. re: lexpatti

            I was going to leave it cold but decided I'd pop them in the oven. I made this candied jalapeno:

            http://www.jalapenomadness.com/jalape...

            I just topped it off with a dried cranberry. Very pretty.

        2. Many ideas here. Cook under Appetizers, Appetizer Tips and anything else that looks interesting.

          http://members.tripod.com/~lotsofinfo/

          1. I frequently make this great recipe I found in Gourmet magazine a few years ago-
            it is walnut and blue cheese coated grapes. People love them, and you can make them a day before your party-
            2/3 cup finely chopped and toasted walnuts
            6oz crumbled blue cheese
            4oz cream cheese
            20-30 seedless red grapes

            In a bowl with an electric mixe cream together blue cheese and cream cheese until smooth. Put a teaspoon of the cheese mixture in the palm of your hand and in it roll a grape, shaping the mixture around the grape to coat. Then roll in a walnut mixure to cover completely and chill for at least 30 minutes up to a day. Using a sharp knife cut grapes in half and serve!

            1 Reply
            1. re: polish_girl

              do you serve these grapes on toothpicks? I'm tring to picture it--

            2. Baked brie--i used organic jam compote, mixed in aleppo pepper, juice of 1/2 a lemon, lemon zest and some sea salt with herbs de provence to top. this was a big hit. baked in pepperidge farms puff pastry, which is not earth shattering, but was more than adequate--took a lot longer to brown than I would've thought from the package instructions.

              the zuni dried figs in wine are easy to make ahead and are a delicious cheese accompaniment: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/35599...