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Mar 9, 2011 01:02 PM

Saving money on appetizers

Just like desserts, few caterers make their own hors d'oeuvres. Those chicken satays and mushrooms in fillo at your shul's dinner? Probably bought frozen by the caterer. I saved a bunch of money for a party by hiring my own waiters and buying the same appetizers wholesale at the Appetizer Store online. The owner is very nice and he has an expanded line of meat, parve, vegan and dairy, many of which are quite good (note that most of his stock is not kosher; kosher items are OU and come in sealed packages; there is a separate section of his site for kosher products). Highly recommended unless you have time to make your own.

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  1. Excellent idea. Which ones did you like?

    1 Reply
    1. re: mamaleh

      My party was dairy. I got the brie/raspberry, mushroom and SD Tomato purses and quiches. Note that You can purchase smaller quantities of some of these under the Fillo Factory brand name (supermarkets, Fairway...) but the online appetizer store has big trays. The owner tells me that the cheesecake purses are very good too. Nothing will beat homemade, but I wasn't going to make 300 appetizers plus the main courses and desserts.

    2. When I made a superbowl party, everyone requested pigs in a blanket. To buy them premade & frozen was way more expensive than I thought. I ended up making them myself- 2 packages of mini hot dogs and 1 package of puff pastry squares came out to be about $15. This made 60 pieces. I used the puff pastry precut into squares (quicker to defrost) but I could have saved another few dollars by buying the puff pastry sheet and rolling it out.

      3 Replies
      1. re: cheesecake17

        I've easily made eggrolls - just buy the packaged slaw, saute with onions and scallions and buy the wrappers.

        1. re: pitagirl

          It's still a bit of a pachka, with the cutting up the onions and scallions, the sauting, the wrapping, then either baking or frying. My time is also worth something. On the other hand, the franks in blankets (do you know the Israeli version is called "Moshe b'Tayva"?!) ARE very simple to do, and those I have done myself. I didn't even buy the mini-franks . . . just cut full size franks.

          1. re: queenscook

            I've made mini eggrolls before- definitely a pain but they really do taste better than the storebought frozen kind. It's the kind of thing I would make 20 or 40 of but not a few hundred.

            Re regular size franks- my husband really prefers the mini franks- he claims they have a different taste. I don't eat them either way... but if it makes him happy I'll do it!

      2. If you buy kosher cocktail hot dogs, and then wrap them in parve baking sheets, then you have lil kosher hot dogs in a blanket, and they are delicious with ketchup or spicy mustard, and it takes all of 8 mins prep time, and 10 minutes to bake--easiest, tastiest appetizer ever...

        1 Reply
        1. re: DaveyCrocPot

          plus they are very cheap to purchase as far as kosher meat goes...

        2. You can buy a nice, inexpensive OU glatt assortment at Costco. They also have a box with only franks-in-blankets.