HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Non-messy, quiet, yummy finger food or appetizers, and non-alcoholic punch recipes...

  • e

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.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: momskitchen

      +1. or mini egg "muffins" or frittata bites.

    2. 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.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nemo

        nemo, could you post the recipe for sun-dried tomato cheesecake? Thank you.

        1. re: Bethcooks

          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.

      2. 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.

        1. tortilla roll ups would be nice.

          2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed
          1 can (46 ounces) pineapple juice, chilled
          4 cups lemon-lime soda, chilled
          In a food processor, puree strawberries.Stir in the pineapple juice and soda. Serve immediately.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LaLa

            yes, pinwheels are: quiet non-messy and pretty tasty and CHEAP to prepare! I quite agree with LaLa...if you need a recipe, let me know but there are a bazillion out on the 'net!

          2. Some kind of mini quiche squares or something stuffed in filo dough. Shrimp with dipping sauce.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sparkareno

              +1 for the mini quiche also...or ANY finger sandwich!!! You have a million options here, ecd!

            2. Frittata - can be cut up in small pieces and served at room temperature.

              1. tomato basil canapes=slice a baguette in 1/2 inch slices. top w/ fresh basil, roma tomato and havarti. cook at 350 until cheese starts to melt.yummy.you can preslice everything and put in baggies(separately) or cover w/ plastic wrap and just assemble at the last minute.

                1. - Endive leaves, celery sticks and mini sweet bell peppers can serve as east vehicles for a variety of sweet and savory fillings (shrimp salad, egg salad, edamame hummus, blue cheese, goat cheese, and any kind of nut butter)
                  - Chilled soup in shot glasses
                  - Any variety of tea sandwiches (cream cheese, pb&j, cucumber, radish and butter, pimento cheese, ect)
                  - simple sushi
                  - Stuffed mushrooms, and fried ravioli might be a bit of a stretch

                  1. roasted veggies - sweet potato wedges, broccoli florets, cauliflower, carrots, etc.

                    mini-quesadilla wedges


                    prosciutto wrapped melon

                    for punch, scrape a vanilla bean into pomegranate juice and reduce a tad over heat. allow to cool. then combine with pineapple juice, a little lime juice, agave and club soda. garnish with pomegranate seeds.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Emme

                      Gougeres -- French cheese puffs. Make a choux pastry, and stir in grated cheese. Pipe small rounds onto parchment and sprinkle with more cheese.

                      Not greasy, small enough to pop in your mouth in one bite, and oh so tasty.

                    2. Stuffed Mushrooms, cheese & fruit tray, smoked salmon roll ups with cream cheese & dill filling, cheese straws, roasted zucchini and or eggplant roll ups. I'm not going to suggest things like sandwiches since you're doing dinner afterwards and if it's only a couple of hours, you only require a nibble. As far as beverages, consider a rosewater lemonade, raspberry iced tea or even a coffee punch. One drink I find popular is a blueberry or pomegrante spritzer with the juice of whatever fruit you're using, sliced citrus fruits to float in the punch bowl & flavored seltzer or club soda

                      1. A lot of great ideas here! Some additional suggestions:

                        - smoked salmon on blini or, soft mini rye bread slices

                        - mini-pita breads with your favourite stuffing (ham, cheese, sweet pickle or slice of egg and mango chutney or rare roast beef w onion jam or horseradish cream)

                        - cocktail sized meatballs on a stick - if you want sauce you can put it in individual cups and folks just dunk there sticks into their own cup...no mess

                        - pizza cut into bite-sized pieces

                        - shrimp, tomato and an olive on a stick

                        - baby potatoes cut in half, roasted then topped w a small dollop of sour cream or, just tossed w parmesan when hot, ... I love these with stilton cream but not everyone is a blue cheese fan

                        - cucumber cups w smoked salmon cream cheese or, another flavoured cream cheese or, you can mix baby shrimp w some mayo and chives

                        - baby bocconcini, tomato and basil leaves on a stick

                        - quesadilla slices

                        I'm also thinking that a lot of Spanish Tapas would meet your criteria.