Non-messy, quiet, yummy finger food or appetizers, and non-alcoholic punch recipes...
I'd like to tap the common wisdom here...I frequently hold meetings of an amateur musical group in my home--picture as many as 25 adults seated in a home living room listening to each other perform classical music for a couple of hours :) As our meetings begin mid-afternoon and end late afternoon, we celebrate with a buffet dinner--that I can handle. However, people get thirsty and hungry before dinner, so I make a large bowl of light fruit punch for self-serve during the afternoon, and have been putting out grapes, strawberries and nuts for people to snack on throughout the musical part of the PM. Another member served small tomato and bononcini skewers at her meeting, so I'm now trying to come up with some new ideas that aren't a lot of trouble. Whatever is eaten shouldn't require more than a cocktail napkin and shouldn't drip, drop crumbs or make a racket when chewed (so crudites aren't ideal).
I'd really appreciate any inspirations you might have for appealing snacks or a nifty punch.
Stuffed cherry tomatoes
1 4-1/2 oz can deviled ham
2 T sour cream
2 T prepared horseradish, squeezed
Fills about 20 scooped out and drained cherry tomatoes
One-bite stuffed mushrooms
One-bite chunks of melon wrapped with prosciutto or ham, on toothpick
A bowl of mixed, pitted olives
Dilly beans or pickled asparagus spears
Roasted chickpeas (I haven't done this yet, so I don't know how noisy they are to chew.)
I have a recipe for sun-dried tomato cheesecake that's made in a square pan. It does have a pat-in crust, but if you cut them very small, there might not be any crumb-age.
Beth: This recipe is from an old Bon Appetit magazine, and as I see lots of almost exact recipes on line, I guess it's okay to give you the one I use.
Sun-Dried Tomato Cheesecake Squares
* 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces
* 1 large egg
* 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, 1 T oil reserved
* 6 cloves garlic, chopped
* 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon, crumbled
* 3 large eggs
* 16 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces, room temp
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1/2 cup chopped green onions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
To Make Crust:
Pulse flour and butter in processor using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg and blend just until dough begins to clump. Press dough onto the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish (dough will be thin). Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Crust may crack. Let cool and set aside. Keep oven on at same temp.
To Make Filling:
Rough chop tomatoes. Put them, reserved oil, garlic and oregano in a blender or food processor. Chop finely. Blend in eggs. Add cream cheese (should be room temperature) and blend all until smooth. Add sour cream and blend until all mixed together.
Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and stir in green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour filling into reserved crust. Bake in the preheated oven until filling puffs up and is light brown, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature and cut into 1-1/2" squares or triangles.
Notes: This is very rich. I often halve the recipe, using an 8x8 pan. Same directions, just watch the cooking time and turn the pan halfway through baking.
A good punch recipe:
Pacific Sparkler Punch
2 quarts orange juice, well chilled
2 (6 ounce) cans frozen limeade concentrate
1 (2 liter) bottle carbonated lemon-lime beverage or 1 ginger ale
2 (46 ounce) cans unsweetened pineapple juice, well chilled
lime slices, for garnish
strawberries, for garnish
Combine the fruit juices in a punch bowl. Stir to dissolve limeade concentrate. Just prior to service, add the soda, plus ice and fruit as desired.