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Engagement party easy ideas please!

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  • Miri1 Feb 22, 2012 09:46 AM
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I'd like to give my friend and her fiancé an engagement party. Im looking at maybe 15 to 20 people, plus her two voracious-eater teens. I don't necessarily want to do a full dinner, am thinking more of finger foods and appetizers plus somevdrinks and desserts. The caveat? Everything must be kosher and vegetarian. And if some things are do ahead, even better! So please, swamp me with your favorite appetizer, dips and finger food recipes! Extra credit if said recipes are easy!

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  1. How about some brisket sliders? Easy to braise/slow roast the brisket ahead of time, then just slice and reheat the day of. Fun, filling and could be served in quantities to satisfy bottomless pit teenagers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TorontoJo

      Oh sorry, I totally missed the "and vegetarian" portion of the requirement! So never mind. Move along. These aren't the droids you're looking for...

    2. Don't think the brisket will work, but the slider or small sandwich idea will. You can use mini croissants or small rolls, and fill with tuna and dill salad, and curried egg salad, Ditto with mini bagels with a smoked salmon and cream cheese spread. A nice mixed green salad, and fresh fruit, or a cold rice salad with black beans and corn, or a pasta salad...many choices here. Regarding appetizers, you can do a selection of cheeses, combined with fresh or dried fruit, and the ever- present crudité platter...even roasted asparagus with a creamy dip. Just remember that small appetizers are time consuming to prepare, many requiring last minute assembly. Most of the item I suggested can be prepped in advance. Good luck.

      1. Do the vegetarians also eat fish and other animal products? I know you didn't say vegan, but sometimes people use "vegetarian" as a one-siz-fits-all term.
        A nice selection of fresh fruits and vegetables is always nice.
        Roasted eggplant dip
        Lettuce wraps, filled with a shredded carrot salad
        Mini pastries filled with brie and caramelized onions
        Pinwheel sandwiches, filled with cream cheese and broccoli slaw (could also make as mini-pizzas)
        Arancini

        1. Back in the '80s we were invited to a wedding the day of which we were snowed in. Our street wasn't plowed until late in the morning so we could only get to the reception. The caterer called the bride's home to tell her he wasn't coming, and the DJ from a well known company did the same thing. So here's what the father of the bride did. He called a local supermarket that prepared buffet food with a big selection of cold cuts and different kinds of bread plus desserts. There was a bar at the reception hall, so that was not a problem. An independent DJ showed up.

          Contact a Kosher deli and have the appropriate nosherei prepared. Tell the deli it's got be vegetarian. Maybe they will make matzoh ball soup with a vegetable broth (oy!). So have a buffet catered by the deli. If you have fancy-schmancy disposable dishes, you won't need to worry about the 'tsoris' of Kosher dishes.

          But what do I know, I've been happily married to my wife of 52 years who is of Italian heritage, and we don't bother with Kosher or vegetarian mischugas. When I eat BBQ baby back ribs, I say 'My people don't know what they are missing.'

          Mazel tov! Vivi, ama, ridi e mangia bene! (Live, love, laugh and eat well!)

          8 Replies
          1. re: ChiliDude

            kosher catering is super spendy because those places must keep strict kosher, both for food and cleanliness. i think the op is just looking for compliance here, like no shellfish, or meat and cheese in the same dish.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              Gotcha! I wonder if eggs are a no-no for vegetarians because they are animal products. Fish, not only shellfish, also are a no-no because (duh!) they are animals.

              Whoever wrote Leviticus 11 of the Pentateuch had some strange ideas. As a biological scientist in my university days, I took a course in parasitology. Most parasites are species specific. The passages of Leviticus allows the consumption of chicken, but not swine. These two species can exchange parasites, so the chicken is just as likely to infect the consumer as would pork. Riddle me that. Swine are considered dirty because the seek mud to lie in given the freedom to do so. The reason for this trait is due to the fact that swine have no sweat glands and need to keep their bodies cool.

              The Kosher food laws are so out of date that I cannot go along with them. If I have sinned, a supreme being has not caught me at it because I'm now 75-years-old. The Pentateuch was written before there was such a thing as refrigeration and meat inspection. Plants are killing people these days because of the pesticides sprayed on them, and the infecting of the soils with residual poisons.

              Oy vay (Oy weh), I gotta get off of my soapbox...

              1. re: ChiliDude

                I wonder if eggs are a no-no for vegetarians because they are animal products.
                ~~~~~~~~~~
                most vegetarians are "ovo-lacto," meaning they'll eat eggs & dairy. vegans won't.

                1. re: ChiliDude

                  the restrictions had nothing to do with parasites or mud. swine historically ate garbage so were considered "unclean." shame with shellfish and flatfish. they are bottom-feeders so are not permitted.

                  i've also known many people who call themselves vegetarians, but eat fish and/or chicken. whatevs, lol. the op didn't say vegan, so i am assuming at least cheese and eggs are acceptable.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    Way OT, but the actual fact is that we kept Kosher because we were commanded to. :) at the end of the day, that was the reason. The other stuff came into play if you look at it from a fairly modern spyglass, but the ancient Jews (and modern Orthodox) do it because G-d said so, and He's the boss of them.

                    On that note, let me hasten to get ON-topic. Cups of really good gazpacho (I like to serve mine in lemon-dipped, salt-rimmed large martini glasses) followed by a cold pasta and a caponata or ratatouille. Your apps could follow suit: marinated vegetables, olives, small pizzas......certainly this would be easy enough, as just about everything but the little app pizzas is make-ahead, and keeping it veg. and kosher-style should be no issue.

                    1. re: mamachef

                      "because he said so.". lol, am happy to be corrected here.

                      i love gazpacho, but in summer, when tomatoes are good. i also really prefer mostly warm dishes when the weather is cold. your suggestions sound very summery to me.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        They really and truly are at that, aren't they? I think I need to pay closer attention.....

                  2. re: ChiliDude

                    All interesting to me, ChiliDude.

              2. any kind of roasted veggie, like carrots or red peppers, make nice dips. jazz them with sesame oil, ginger or chile sauce. use other veggies or pita chips as dippers.

                you could also make a rich, creamy soup, like butternut squash.

                a layered presentation of ratatouille looks pretty, can be made ahead and will be fine at room temp.

                deviled eggs are always a huge hit and peeps whine if i don't make them.

                you can make spanakopitas as small indvidual pies, or shape them as jellyrolls to cut into small, hand-held pieces. i use phyllo for duxelles and goat cheese this same way.

                am sick to death of cupcakes, but cookies can be made ahead and frozen and everybody loves them. same with brownies/blondies. also fresh fruit. a platter of kiwi, red grapes and pineapple would look pretty and be very refreshing.

                1. what a sweet and generous gesture!

                  here are some random ideas:
                  - mini quiches
                  - firm polenta with assorted toppings (ratatouille; pesto; caponata; braised mushrooms & caramelized onions; herbed goat cheese or ricotta; feta & sun-dried tomato tapenade; white bean dip...)
                  - cherry tomatoes, baby bell peppers, mushrooms or baby zucchini stuffed with herbed goat cheese
                  - cucumber rounds topped with baba ghannouj
                  - homemade vegetable, pita or tortilla chips served with various dips (hummus; Moroccan-spiced carrot dip; balsamic white bean dip; black bean dip; minted pea dip...)
                  - soup shots (squash; potato-leek; roasted red pepper; creamy mushroom; split pea; carrot-ginger...)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    How about middle eastern and/or Greek? Spinach pies (spanakopita) - easy to make in advance, freeze, bake the day of and they're good at room temperature. I also make cheese pies sometimes - same idea, more cheeses, no spinach. A big Greek salad, hummus, baba ganough, tabbouli, olives, cheese, lots of pita bread. Everything can be made in advance - or ordered from a middle eastern restaurant....Then, of course, baklava, fruit, brownies, cookies. What a good friend you are - have fun!

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Regarding goodhealthgourmet's polenta idea: I somewhere saw a recipe where you lined a muffin tin with polenta. That would make in easy to fill with the suggested fillings. Don't know the specifics though.

                      ETA: Just did a google search on "polenta cups" and got a lot of hits.

                    2. I like the idea of quiches too. Quinoa has been a good make-ahead party thing for me. I like to sauté zucchini and onions in butter, and add some herbs and lemon or lime juice, and refrigerate. It tastes good at room temp, and you could serve it in cute little cups. I think butter is pareve, but oil is fine too. Some kind of nut or seed butter would be a nice addition to hummus or bean dip, though you'd probably have to get it fully to room temp and stir it now and then.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: jvanderh

                        Butter, being made from milk, is very, very not pareve :)

                        1. re: GilaB

                          Oh right, of course. I was thinking of eggs. Well, I wouldn't be a very good shiksa if I didn't stumble all over the rules, right?

                          1. re: jvanderh

                            Some great ideas! I'm going to take my time, rearead them, and start planning!

                            By the way, dairy and eggs and fish are OK. I should have specified that.

                            And as for the laws of Kashrut being outdated... Well, talk to the millions of Jews who observe the dietary laws! :)