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Prepare Ahead appetizers

I'm throwing a new years bash and will be preparing all food for 25 guests. I'm not having a sit down dinner. I'll have cold finger food out all night and throughout the night put appetizers in the oven to continually serve warm food. My problem is I'm out of ideas for these warm apps. I don't want to prepare anything the day of the party. I was hoping to have things refridgerated or frozen, place on cookie sheet and bake.

Any thoughts on recipes for this would be great!

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  1. Sausage rolls! Puff pastry, hot or mild bulk Italian sausage, and egg wash for glaze. Serve with Dijon mustard for dipping...YUM.

    You can assemble them the day before and freeze, then straight into a hot over (maybe 425)

    I alsways serve them room temp.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kcshigekawa

      A long time ago I worked at a restaurant that made these but they blended cheese into the sausage and then stuffed. People ate those things like they were going out of style.

      I had a catering business years ago and I used to make these ridiculously easy Brooklyn cheese puffs. They have like 5 ingredients and must be frozen before baking. They bake quickly and guests love them: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/mem...

    2. I made this hot onion and cheese souffle dip before and it was a huge hit. Can make ahead then just reheat and serve.


      1. Anything in puff pastry...cheese, olives, ground beef or chicke, potato, mushrooms...

        1. And....if you want to cheat just a little....Trader Joe's has some very nice appetizers in the frozen food section that I always keep around for spur of the moment nibbles. Crab cakes.....feta and carmelized onion bites.....mini quiches......all very tasty.

          1. Stuffed mushrooms.

            You could also do a crostini with some kind of topping, slice and toast the bread and make the topping ahead of time, then put the topping on top of the bread and pop in the oven when you're ready for it.

            1. Grape jelly meatballs. I'm not kidding. You can make ahead and just reheat. People love them!


              1. What about crustless quiches or mini cheese and onion tarts? You could make the filling the day before, and pour into pre-made crusts before baking (I've seen recipes for crustless versions as well).

                Nachos? Make or buy the salsa and/or guacamole the day before, grate cheese and chop toppings the day before. Then all you need to do is spread out the chips, sprinkle with the cheese and other toppings and bake.

                Warm flavoured olives are very nice, and very easy (I think I got it from a list of tapas recipes). I use a mix of un-seasoned black and green olive from the deli, thinly sliced lemon zest, a garlic clove or two smashed with the side of a knife, and a sprig of fresh rosemary. Toss in a small oven proof dish with some good quality olive oil, and bake on low heat until fragrant. Serve warm.

                You could probably bake meatballs and sauce, if you don't have a crockpot or slow cooker.

                Stuffed mushrooms can be prepped ahead of time, but are pretty labour intensive.

                1. what all are you serving?

                  pulled pork and carnitas are very forgiving when being made-ahead and reheated. so are lasagne-type dishes.

                  mini-sweet peppers can be stuffed and frozen, then baked off at the party. they look festive and bright.

                  make mini-poppers, wrapped with bacon.

                  stuff with:

                  sausage and feta cheese.

                  shrimp, cilantro and ginger, whizzed in the food pro.

                  veggie cous-cous

                  ground pork, hoisin and water chestnuts.

                  frequently i make a spin on spanakopita, but include lots of other greens and roll big roulades instead of making mini -ones. bake, freeze, reheat. slice on a platter.

                  soup, if you have a crockpot, like creamy carrot ginger, or broccoli cheese.

                  1. biscuits studded with ham and sharp chedder...can be made ahead then baked off
                    roasted shrimp instead of shrimp cocktail
                    hot crab dip

                    1. "Swedish" Meatballs - an easy version I've been making for years. Can make meatballs ahead of time - bake and freeze - night before make a stroganoff sauce - put in crock pot with meatballs and cook over night. Next day just keep in crock pot on warm - nothing else to do with them and they are very good.

                      Mini quiche - can find a recipe online - or just buy the already made ones and heat. Mini spanakopita - this I'd buy pre-made and just heat - Costco has them.

                      Do a google search for Spicy Jalapeno Crab Cakes. Make them appetizer size - form the day before, refridge over night and saute the night of the party. I've made these several times before and they are delicious - I used the pasteurized Phillips lump crab meat from Costco - cheaper and good.

                      I'm sure I can think of more ideas if you need them.

                      1. i make deviled eggs ahead. i just put the filling in a piping bag and pipe into the whites as needed. those puppies fly off the dish.

                        1. I also love the puff pastry, I use it as a flatbread with different toppings, one of the faves is thin sliced pear, gorgonzola and honey. Attractively arrange the pear slices (if making ahead, drizzle with lemon juice) generously sprinkle the gorgonzola and zig zag the honey atop all. I also llike to sprinkle fresh cracked pepper. hot oven just until bubbly and slightly browned. Carmelized onion and pancetta is another fave, use a nice goat cheese with that, delish.

                          1. Chicken drummettes or wings can be marinated for a day or two, then baked off. Likewise anything on a skewer--beef, chicken, salmon--will work. Alternate the beef or chicken with a veggie for flavor and texture contrast. I've also done bite size spinach frittatas; make the recipe, cut into triangles, frozen and then reheated as needed. They could also be done in mini muffin pans. There are many different ways to do mini quiche or tartlets. Mini sliders are nice, all you have to cook are the patties and serve with dollar rolls and slaw. You can also do crab cakes instead of or in addition to the beef patties. Lamb lollipops can be marinated and baked off as needed.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: alwayshungrygal

                              I have been making these lately to rave reviews. They were my first attempt at a gougeres, so easy, so impressive. make ahead freeze, pop in the oven frozen.

                              Also these lamb meatballs are a regular occurrence for parties for me, again easy to prep ahead, freeze and cook in the oven

                              Another favorite procuitto wrapped shrimp, not sure about the making ahead, I don't see the problem with it? http://www.chow.com/recipes/13439-smo...

                              I don't know how fancy you want to be, but next party I am trying bacon wrapped tatertots!

                              If you are looking for a cold appie, I recently made bacon, onion jam and served on crostini with brie.
                              I also like to do proscuitto or pancetta wrapped asparagus, with proscuitto I spread some boursin cheese on then wrap around blanched asparagus, wrap and keep in fridge.

                              finally I made these mushrooms for a party, really tasty, and different than the usual crab or cheese filled, I would think you could freeze them, I made the day prior and refrigerated:

                              1. re: cleopatra999

                                I made those smoked paprika, prosciutto shrimp for my bridge group. We loved them. We had them hot and then they sat around and we finished them off room-temp. We all preferred them room temperature. So that is a good suggestion.