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Apr 3, 2011 08:41 PM

What sounds yummier: Hors d'oeuvres, or Delicious Snacks?, OR ...?

I may host a wine/beer/food afternoon for a group, and we would like to make a little money, so I want the announcement to be very appealling. I want to make the food special. In other words, it will be something more than cheap cheese and crackers. But, how to convey this in the announcement?
Oops, to make sure this is the right board, you can make suggestions for LOW COST, but delicious bites.

Here are the ideas I have on my list. I may do about half of them.
Radish Spread on rye, baguette from Mega?
Marlin Spread with tostadas
Salmon on Mini bagels
Stuffed pickled jalapeños with tuna
Stuffed fresh jalapeños w cheese
Mango chutney spread w celery sticks and crackers
Endive or lettuce with something, mango chicken
Baguette slices instead of crackers
Puff pastry boats
Watermelon, cantaloupe and grapes
Roasted tomatoes
Corn and black bean salsa with chips
Something sweet: stuffed dates?
Pesto hots (basil parm on baguette slices. See appetizer file)
Green and black olive spread, per judi’s party.
Sliced sausage para asar with mustard dip
Mini dogs with bbq sauce

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  1. Maybe play around with the word appetizers? Tell the people the food will be unique and specially crafted to suit their palates? I don't know, you know your crowd best. What would impress them and get their attention? In high school, when I had to put up a poster trying to get kids to participate in an activity, I would write " SEX" at the top of the poster. It got a lot of attention before the principal busted me.

    1. Snacks sound like something you give to children after school.

      1. Canapes? Finger buffet? Gourmet nibbles? Or, you said it yourself in the OP, why not say 'delicious bites'?

        it all sounds great. I don't spot a lot of cheese in your list - how about some mini welsh rarebit or good old '70s cheese and pineapple on sticks?

        1 Reply
        1. re: flashria

          I LOVE cheese. I guess I didn't include much, because most really good cheese is way too expensive here. There are truckloads of Chihuahua and Mexican manchego in all the stores, and there is nothing wrong with it except when you eat it alone. Blah. Also, I am avoiding crackers. By May, we will have plenty of humidity. Crackers don't even stay crisp for one hour.

        2. are you making all these? is there supposed to be a theme? when i'm invited to a friend's house in the afternoon, i don't expect it to cost me anything other than a hostess gift.

          how many people? is it in your home? at a function space? is it a fundraiser, or cash for your pocket?

          nachos and wings scream football party while endive boats are kinda girly. i'm totally unclear on where this should be going. sorry.

          13 Replies
          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Hotoynoodle: It is a fund raiser (but a low-key one) for our Democrats Abroad chapter in Mazatlan. I will donate $50 to the cost of the food, and plan to prepare it myself. The current plan is to have it on my patio. There is no theme. Most people who will attend know each other, so it should be a nice Sunday aft social event. My idea was to offer a wide variety of bites, so people can sample all or pick and choose what they like. There will be nothing very fancy, or expensive, or time consuming. But, it needs to be tasty enough to justify charging a modest amount. I am insulted that you thought I would try to personally profit from having an event at my house! I suppose it is my fault for not explaining fully. I hadn't realized that would be necessary.

            1. re: MazDee

              I could see a person doing it for profit, especially if they were just starting a catering business, for example, and wanted potential clientele to get a taste of the goods.

              How many people is a total consideration. For example, if you're expecting more than 15, I would really consider some easy hot, in crockpot ones so you're not frantically racing to the kitchen to refill platters.

              So the many sausages in a crockpot idea is good. I have a killer recipe that's several cheeses, cream cheese and bacon bits in a crockpot, then you serve it with crusty bread and/or baguette slices. Yummy. Since it's not-for-profit, I say make it as easy on you as possible and stay away from ones that require a lot of assembling on your part.

              1. re: natewrites

                I love those crockpot things, but remember I live in Mazatlán, which in May is warm and humid, and I don't think anyone cares about hot food. I did include chicken wings on my list, even though I have never made them, because they seem so popular. I figured with some kind of Asian glaze, they could be room temp. Probably won't make them, just an idea. Most of the stuff on that list is so easy, and can be done in advance. And, I will have help in the kitchen. Thanks for the idea for next winter!

              2. re: MazDee

                no insult intended, people do all sorts of things.

                how many people attending? i'd suggest paring down the list substantially. i say this as a restaurant/event planning professional with nearly 20 years of experience. home cooks too often try to make too many different things and spread themselves too thinly. depending on your attendance projections, i'd top off with 3 hot and 3 cold dishes. seriously. just make plenty of everything.

                have you considered maybe a cake auction? or a silent auction with items or gift certificates from local businesses you frequent?

                if it's a political fund-raiser, people know a donation is expected and more than likely are happy to give it.

                is it stations or passed?

                is it mid-day or dinner-time?

                is it billed as a cocktail party?

                if it's just a cocktail hour, plan on 3-4 bites per person. if it's longer or at meal-time, plan on 6-8 helpings per person.

                i'd suggest choosing a theme, whether it's easter, middleastern, baseball opening day, famous foods from your area, french, 4th of july, whatever, but that should help your pare the list.

                i am not a fan of dips at these sorts of things because after a few folks are in them, they look disgusting. cuke slices, endive boats or toasts make for better/neater/ hand-held foods.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Well, hotoy, you did say "when i'm invited to a friend's house in the afternoon, i don't expect it to cost me anything other than a hostess gift." and so I reacted. I'll forget about it now.
                  I owned and operated a deli for 5 years, did some catering, and think I have an idea how long it takes to prepare 10 or 12 things for people to eat. I don't want hot food, but I do want lots of variety. This is an afternoon event, 2-5, on my patio, people will come in shorts or whatever. My maid and her girlfriend will help in the kitchen, and her kids will carry stuff. One of our board is a musician and will line up some others to volunteer their time to entertain (r&b, blues, a little rock). I hope for 50, maybe more. I think what is hard to describe here is the social atmosphere. We live in a very big city. Foreigners love a chance to get together, speak English, etc. This is a party, a social occasion to see people you haven't seen for a while. There probably will be Canadians in attendance, and even Republicans!! The more the merrier.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    I agree with you, hoyoynoodle. Lots of just a few things.

                  2. re: MazDee

                    You would be surprised what some people do to "fund" their parties, stick around CH long enough and be amazed.

                    I like " delicious bites" You might be able to wedge in a flirt with drink and Democrats in the wording as well.

                    Some of your choices sound similar, mango chutney then mango chicken. Why not throw in a curry? A Ceviche?
                    I agree the nacho, salsa and wings do sound sorta to football tailgate-ish unless you wanna theme it something like that.

                  3. re: hotoynoodle

                    I agree. I feel like the beginning of the list is a very different menu from the end of the list.

                    1. re: katecm

                      An explanation of the list: I am not making all that stuff, I just put a page on my desktop, and whenever I think of something easy/cheap/good that has worked for me before, I put it on the list. Much later, I will pare it down to a few choices. I agree, no dips, nor do I have any on the list. I really do appreciate all the suggestions. Thanks

                      1. re: MazDee

                        Puff pastry palmiers might be another good one to consider. They can be made in advance well. I've done them in the past with prosciutto and gruyere, but there's no reason that a less-expensive ham and swiss wouldn't be delicious. And while puff pastry itself isn't cheap, you can make a lot of palmiers out of one box.

                        1. re: katecm

                          Kate, I wrote a long response long ago and it hasn't appeared. So. I would like to do palmiers, but can they be really small? Or can I just make rings instead? If you have any recipes, pics, etc, I would love to see them! The dough is available fresh here, from a couple bakeries. It is not expensive. Thanks.

                          1. re: MazDee

                            I've done pinwheel-type things with puff pastry. I mixed cream cheese and cranberry sauce, spread it on the puff pastry and covered with turkey. Rolled it up, cut it into thin slices and baked it. It was a huge hit at a baby shower, and easy to do in advance.


                            1. re: tracylee

                              You can definitely do more of a ring shape like Tracy posted. All I do is roll out the puff pastry to be a bit thinner than it comes (but I get it in the freezer aisle here), then layer with prosciutto and then top with grated gruyere. Don't salt it, as you have a lot of salt there already, but I will use pepper. Then roll it (with traditional palmiers, you roll from both ends, but as I said, Tracy's version above will be just fine), slice into roughly 1/4 inch slices, and bake on parchment or a greased sheet.

                              Tracy also makes a good point - you can put anything you want in there. Pesto and mozzarella? Sure. Maybe crumbled chorizo and another cheese?

                              If you stick with prosciutto, it can be hard to slice through, but don't fret. It all puffs up beautifully and just looks a little homemade if it's a bit askew.

                  4. How's about a riff on the Wizard of Oz --

                    What about "Tapas, Small Plates, and Nibbles, Oh My " and "There's No Place Like Home"

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lexuschef

                      Jaja! Only trouble is, we expats are here because we chose it. What happens in the "olde country" definitely affects us, but most of us don't want to go back. Thanks, lexus.