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Ummm.... I need to throw a small cocktail party - TOMORROW!

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WHY did I volunteer to do this??

I would be most grateful if I could get some suggestions for some quick appetizers to make in a couple of hours tomorrow. (Yes, I still have to clean and go to the market on top of cook. WHY did I let myself get roped into this?)

I'm having about 10 people over after Saturday about 6pm; mostly will be women.

As for drinks, I am going to do cosmopolitans. Any suggestions on quick, pretty, etc. appetizers would be most appreciated!

Thanks a million for any suggestions....

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  1. your best bet for "quick" is to rely as much as possible on prepared ingredients like smoked salmon, cheese, fruit & nuts, etc.

    - cheese plate with crackers, nuts, dried fruit/fruit spreads, honey...
    - endive filled/topped with a basic crab salad
    - cherry tomatoes stuffed with herbed goat cheese
    - smoked salmon pinwheels
    - crostini or bruschetta
    - spiced nuts or chickpeas
    - salmon dip/mousse or smoked salmon & cream cheese served on kettle-cooked potato chips
    - bean dip/hummus/baba ghannouj with crudites or seasoned baked chips
    - chicken, beef or vegetable skewers/satay with dipping sauce

    1. Wow. More power to you, sister, for having ten people on the fly. And women, too (men are easier). The best I can think of is quick and dirty. I never do the pre-game event, so my suggestions, looking eerily like a party from ninety-two, are more of a thread bump. Because you are short on time.

      Google 'strawberry bites with soft goat cheese and balsamic syrup. It's easy, and pretty, but I've only bookmarked it (so no review).

      Get some shrimp (already cleaned and deveined), throw some cocktail sauce in the cart, and put the shrimp out in a nice bowl of ice. *Or* Google, or search chow, for an alternate accompaniment for chilled shrimp.

      Spinach artichoke dip, it's easy, and if you use good parmesan, it gets gone, especially if you hollow out a round bread for the melty cheese portion for 'pretty'.

      Get a nice bread, and even better tomatoes; slice and marinate the tomatoes in minced garlic and some seasonings, and layer the tomatoes on the bread. You can add fresh herbs, cheese, or carmelized onions. Cook the thing at very high heat , for a short amount of time, and slice.

      Epicurious has a 'peak season map' that shows you what is coming of age in your market. You may want to specialize in this way: take a look, and then start entering those fruits and veggies into your search engine, and see if you can find something a little better than shrimp cocktail.

      I wish I could help more, but I'm not good under pressure. A weak menu and a thread bump is all I got. Good luck.

      1. Go to Costco! No joke.

        1. An antipasti tray with oven toasted crostini including..sliced meats like salami, proscuitto, capicola with cheeses: bocconcini, provolone & shards of good parmesan. Add some roasted bell pepper, marinated artichokes, cherry tomatoes & olives; herb flavored olive oil to drizzle over the top.. You could also do roasted baby red potatoes with creme fraiche & dill and you're set.

          You could get everything & assemble yourself or find a place to order up a tray. Personally, I would not serve a veg tray at a cocktail party unless the vegetables are roasted to give them more flavor.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cherylptw

            I am a sucker for anyone who serves a variety of olives and cheese. Whole Foods has an olive bar that I sweep clean during duress. I then usually marinate an indecent amount of mushrooms in garlic and olive oil, and then dump the mess into a crockpot with enough butter and broth to cover (provide a slitted spoon). The mushrooms and olives are usually gone before anything else, but need adequate plating, as they can run a bit.

          2. Two super simple appetizers that always seem to go quick from the table are cream cheese based (I tend to use neufchatel with no harm done):
            Cream cheese, crab meat and chili sauce
            Cream cheese with Pickapeppa sauce poured over

            Speaking of cheese,....like goodhealthgourmet said, interesting cheese plates are great! No need to prepare individual canapes. Some of my favorites combinations are:
            Gorgonzola dolce and honey
            Manchego, honey and toasted hazelnuts
            Cracked black pepper and a little minced thyme on goat cheese (so good on apple slices!)

            Pretty, multicolored radishes, soft butter and salt. Yum.

            Cheese straws! Easy to make, nice when standing tall in vases or tumblers.

            A beautiful plate of strawberries, with sour cream swirled with brown sugar on the side for more decadence.

            Warm marinated olives (fresh garlic slices, orange zest, lemon zest, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes sprinkled over assorted olives in a foil packet, which can be stuck in the warm oven after all baking is done....if the olives have pits, try to have small dishes out for disposal)

            Good luck, and have fun!