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Need meeting food ideas

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I usually have lots of ideas, but this time, I am drawing a blank. A small group from the church is going to gather at my house at 7:00 PM on a weeknight, and I think I should have some food for this group.

For some reason, I keep thinking about little finger sandwiches -- not too much or too heavy, but enough for someone who hasn't eaten dinner to be able to stave off hunger and concentrate. Maybe a side of pasta salad. I am deliberately trying to stay away from anything that appears to be "too much" or fussy, and I am just looking for suggestions on what to put out on the coffee table. Perhaps also some cookies or small brownies - you get the idea.

I am open to anything except cooking fish -- too bad a smell to get rid of.

Thanks.

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  1. If you don't want to serve dinner, you can go with the small sandwiches. Also, a platter of veggies with hummus or another dip. Crostinis with olive tapenade or another spread. You can do pasta salad but then it kind of seems like you'll be putting out more dinner items and less snacky.

    Are your guests expecting dinner? 7pm is dinner time to me...

    1 Reply
    1. re: cheesecake17

      Can't tell what they are expecting. Some are coming from work, some from home. It's a meeting that should last about 90 minutes. Odd hour, and it seems like it will be split in terms of expectations. Good point on the pasta salad -- seems too much like dinner.

    2. Is it cold where you are, RGC? How about a pot of soup on the stove that you can ladle into mugs for your meeting members to sip with their sandwiches?Nothing with noodles or chunks, just a broth or a creamy soup.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pdxgastro

        Well, it is colder than it should be, but I live in Texas. 60 to 70 degrees is not quite soup weather, but I do love the idea. Would chili be too overpowering?

      2. How about a cheese and fruit platter, nice crackers or sliced breads?
        7pm is after dinner for me and my family but for a meeting I would typically serve
        hot bev's (java, tea) and offer seltzer/water/sodas
        and put out finger foods like mentioned above (veggies & dip)
        but up the sweeter treats like pound cake, brownies, freshly baked cookies
        they go well with coffee & tea during a meeting.

        The last meeting I hosted, I gave this recipe from CHOW a try in 9x13 form and it was very good, well received. The maple frosting was delicious.
        http://www.chow.com/recipes/27757

        1. I like your idea of small sandwiches and a cold pasta salad. How about something like a curried pasta or rice salad with some turkey and dried cranberries in it. With some small bread slices or crackers and cheese so people could make their own mini-sandwiches. Maybe a little plate of fruit. That way people who've eaten could have a bit of cracker and cheese and some fruit and those who haven't could have more.

          And maybe send a little message confirming the meeting and letting people know there will be light food so people can plan.

          1. Mini sandwiches sound nice, with a variety of options.

            Cheese and breads, along with some tapenades (eggplant, olive, etc.) or some bruschetta or caponata... Perhaps a baked brie and a baked dip (spinach-artichoke or onion or...).

            I second the fruit plate - that always goes fast when I have people over, even among the boys who claim to love junk.

            You might consider some protein, like mini cocktail meatballs (you can even get 'em at TJ's) or cocktail shrimp. (don't know your budget)

            You might also do a selection of salads - pasta salad, bean salad, antipasti...

            Mini cookies and my gooey gingerbread loaf always go quickly...

            Candied nuts always go over well too.

            Frankly, almost anything you put out, people will gladly and thankfully eat...