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Please Evaluate my Halloween Cocktail Party Menu

b
bblonde Oct 22, 2012 06:05 PM

Green apple martini punch
Bloody Mary
Ghoulish Fingers (salami wrapped around mozzeralla)
Deviled eyeballs (deviled eggs)
tortilla rollup bones (cream cheese, cheddar, green chiles and tortillas)
Pickled Brains (Martha Stewart pickled cauliflower and pearl onions)
Guacamole
Pumpkin cheeseball
Steak skewers with red pepper sauce (Little bites of steak in the style of anticuchos made with sirloin)
Shriveled potatoes with romesco sauce
Drunken meatballs (bourbon meatballs)
Devils on horseback (prunes wrapped with bacon)
Dentures (unsure about this--apple slices, peanut butter, and marshmallows--may be too much work for the result)
Monster Munch (popcorn, pretzels, candy, almond bark)
Halloween cookies or cupcakes (buy)
Candy (in glass vases)

The cheeses and guacamole will be served with crudite and crackers/corn chips. Not worrying about any particular dietary concerns as this will be quite large, casual, and guests are free to byob and bring dishes as well. This cocktail party will be held slightly outside the dinner hour (8pm). Ideas on quantities per person would be appreciated as well.

  1. chowser Oct 23, 2012 02:25 PM

    How fun! You've gotten good advice so far. I'd cut some courses, too, starting with anything bought like cookies/cupcakes or typical potluck fare like deviled eggs, guacamole, meatballs because if guests are coming, there's a good likelihood someone will bring it. I'm guessing you'll end up w/ more food than you think.

    I think you'd be fine with the two drinks (keep those!)
    Ghoulish fingers
    pickled brains
    steak skewers
    shriveled potatoes
    devils on horseback (it always surprises me how popular these are)

    If you want something fun and home made for dessert, a brain cake is easy to make. I do it in a stainless steel bowl (well buttered w/ parchment). Frost. Then you can just cut the tip off the corner of a ziplock bag filled with frosting to apply the ridges of the brain. Make sure to leave a thick line in the middle. Red jelly for blood.

    1. t
      thimes Oct 23, 2012 07:06 AM

      Well first I have to say I'd love to come to this party. It sounds lovely and I think all the dishes sound great. Great choices.

      Most if not all these dishes can be done ahead of time I would think as well, which is great for a party and any of the last minute ones seem like they could be cooked in large batches in the oven (so little "action" time right before the party). So I wouldn't change anything in that regard. Very well planned.

      If you're looking to trim the menu or reduce that is a different question.

      For a cocktail party you can easily get away with only one "meat" - so either the meatballs or the skewers. You can also probably get away with only one "cheese" item, so either the cheeseball or the tortilla rollups.

      So there are ways to cut back, but I plan like you do and I would likely make all these at my house. I like lots of options and lots of food at my parties.

      PS - I recently saw peeled hard boiled eggs at Costco. Who knew but when I saw them I immediately thought, what a great party idea for deviled eggs.

      1. porker Oct 23, 2012 04:31 AM

        IMO:
        The amount of dishes is inversely proportional to the number of guests. Your list would be fun for 4-6 people, too much work for 25-30 people.
        I know we all think ourselves on CH as foodies, but many times, guests don't have the same enthusiasm or perhaps appreciation when it comes to the food. In other words, do a few dishes well and everyone will still have a great time (including you!).

        I'd suggest a few out of the ordinary halloween cocktails - I'm thinking "tidy bowl", or premade "bloody brain" shots in plastic shotglasses, or a "slime" drink etc.

        1. j
          Jeanne Oct 22, 2012 11:47 PM

          I would dump the meatballs also as you have steak skewers. If you really want to do the meatballs then I would do chicken skewers - or simply do a combo of chicken and steak skewers and drop the meatballs.

          I'd drop the dentures - really doesn't appeal to me even though sounds cute and it would be a lot of work. I think I'd also drop the devils on horseback - I used to make angels on horseback all the time for parties (bacon, shrimp, ground black pepper and a little chopped fresh parsley) - were wonderful but a lot of work. And you are already working with one skewer to cook. How about some steamed shrimp with cocktail sauce? Easy - and very, very good. If you're in an area where you can get good shrimp.

          I think the homemade snickerdoodles is an excellent idea. They're yummy and easy to make. If you wanted something else sweet - how about simply some cut up fruit with a fruit dip or a chocolate fondue?

          Frankly I think I'd drop the tortilla rollups too - you already have a ton to do (been there, done that many, many times) and I really don't think you need them with all you're offering as is.

          Have fun - let us know how you're party turns out!

          1. s
            sandylc Oct 22, 2012 06:31 PM

            Right off the bat, I'd ditch the potatoes and meatballs. And I'd make some sort of homemade dessert, even if it's just a good brownie - always better than anything purchased. Will you be serving any plain drinks? Like beer/wine? I don't care for tortilla roll-up things, so I'd get rid of that, but that's a personal thing. I'd be looking for something fresh at this party - you have cured/salty meat/cheese things, then you add pickled veg - I'd want fruit or a salad or raw veg of some sort. Others need to chime in.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sandylc
              d
              Dcfoodblog Oct 22, 2012 07:11 PM

              I agree. Make some snickerdoodles and rolls them in orange sugar. I'd do fruit skewers - pineapple, strawberries, and melon.

            2. s
              sandylc Oct 22, 2012 06:07 PM

              That is a lot of food and a lot of work!!! You've really put some thought into it. How many guests are you expecting? This makes a difference in how many different dishes you serve.

              2 Replies
              1. re: sandylc
                b
                bblonde Oct 22, 2012 06:24 PM

                I may be underestimating the amount of work so I may need to prune back a bit. We are expecting about 25 guests, maybe 30. And, as I say, they were encouraged to bring "werewolf bites if the moon is right." I was planning on 2 bites/person of the more difficult dishes and 3 bites/person on the easier ones.

                1. re: bblonde
                  b
                  Berheenia Oct 23, 2012 04:03 AM

                  I have been told 6 bites per person total at a cocktail party. You have over a dozen heavy items- I would par it down but don't ditch the meatballs! They sound yummy and there are always meat and potato types who will eat their 6 items in meatballs. I'm married to one.

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