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Need ideas for after dinner "work" gathering

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Greetings!
I am having a handful of people over after dinner (7pm) to crunch some numbers and do some brainstorming for a volunteer group. One person said they are bringing wine, another mentioned pineapple cupcakes. Any suggestions on what would be appropriate to offer? I am looking for something easy (I have a family to prepare dinner for, before hand) and something that will appeal to a wide range of tastes.

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  1. Individual plates of Nachos .....

    1. At similar meetings at my home I have found that what actually got eaten was fruit and what didn't was sweets (cookies etc). Chunks of melon, strawberries, cherries, grapes etc go well. If I wanted to add something substantial I might do cheese and crackers.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Querencia

        since it's right after dinner, i think this is an excellent suggestion. folks will not be very hungry. some salted nuts with the cheese might be nice too.

      2. i second fruit. it always goes quickly. if you want to serve something sweet with it, some simple tuile cookies. i'd also do some cheese and nuts as suggested as well.

        and for me, if it was soon, because it's been sooooo hot here, i might do an ice cream/sorbet bar...

        1. Are people clear that this is AFTER dinner? As someone who gets home from work at 7:30 or so, I would think that a 7 pm gathering would include dinner. If you haven't made that clear, you might want to have something more substantial just in case.

          1. Are you looking for something you should be offering as the host after dinner (assuming everyone else has had dinner prior to arriving) in a pot-luck style gathering? I can't tell since some of the handful is still unaccounted for and there's no indication of who, if not everyone, is bringing something.

            That said, I'd suggest you offer a small plate of something sweet, something salty, and something spicy. You don't have to cook to do this. For the sweet, I'd recommend a Dixie-cup size portion of carmel corn with or without nuts. For salty, I'd recommend small, salted pretzels that can be heated up in a toaster or oven - don't count this as cooking as it takes almost no prep or time. For the spicy, I'd recommend wasabi-coated or chili-flavored pistachios that can be picked up at a Whole Foods or other grocery store. You'll likely be providing water and other drinks so keep it simple for yourself.

            1. Since you already have wine and a sweet covered, I agree with others that cheese and crackers would be a nice offering. I might also serve a pot of decaf. If this is after dinner for everyone, a little sweet and savory, with wine, coffee, or ice water, seems like plenty.

              1. I agree with the fruit and cheese/crackers bit. How about a big bowl of "gourmet" snack mix that can be made in advance, with little paper cups to scoop out servings? Take the Chex mix recipe and sub out the lesser ingredients for better quality ones. Also, a bowl of chocolate-covered nuts might be nice. If it's discovered into the evening that people are more hungry, just order some pizzas.