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Ideas for party snacks: no oven or fridge

I am hosting a party at a bar for my husband's 40th birthday. It will be in the back room at a pub with French doors that open onto the patio. The bar does not serve food, but will allow me to bring in my own. The party will be from 2:30 - 7pm, and will include several kids and about 30 adults.

Due to the timing, I don't need to serve a full meal, but I did want to provide some snacks and small bites that people can nosh on as they hang out. Any ideas for easy-to-eat items that can be out at room temp for a while?

I am thinking of hummus and pita chips, veggies and dips, and maybe a Greek pasta salad with oil and lemon dressing (thinking the kids would like the pasta). Other thoughts/ideas please!!

Many thanks!

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  1. Mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit that you heat up in a pan ahead of time with a bit of butter, cinnamon, honey. You can serve them up in small single-serve paper cups. They're good warm but just as tasty at room temp. No cutlery, refrigeration or oven needed. Easy-peasy

    1. marinated/seasoned olives

      assorted nuts- spiced and mixed

      snack mix: http://www.chex.com/Recipes/RecipeInd...

      seasoned popcorn: http://magazine.foxnews.com/food-well...

      cheese and crackers- so many cheese are better at room temp

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodieX2

        I think you've nailed it. KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid :) It's not about the food so I wouldn't worry about any more than what you suggest.

        1. Guacamole and chips is always a crowd pleaser. Can be made ahead of time and kept in tupperware or even Chinese takeout containers.

          If making ahead of time, I suggest flattening out the guac at the top of the container and squirting a little extra lime juice to sit on top to keep it from browning.

          1 Reply
          1. re: heyitzbenny

            I add lime juice too and then place thinly sliced limes side by side across the guacamole...really works.

          2. If you're up to doing a bit of cooking in advance, frozen store-bought puff pastry can be turned into all sorts of savory snacks. Think palmiers with pesto instead of cinnamon and sugar, cheese straws where you roll parmesan and maybe some herbs between or on top of puff pastry, then cut into strips and twist. Tarts with goat cheese, carmelized onion and fig spread. All served at room temp. There are other savories you can make with puff pastry, I just can't think of them off the top of head.

            3 Replies
            1. re: janniecooks

              Thanks everyone! These are all great ideas. I'll definitely do some nuts and the pretzel bites are a great idea, too! And I'll do some kind of savory palmier - the pesto sounds delish and juliejulez linked to a prosciutto one that also looked good.

              I know parties aren't all about the food, but it is my husband's 40th and I'd like people to really enjoy everything. I love to cook so that's part of the fun for me. Also, I am making a red velvet cake in the shape of a turntable with some fondant records of oldies that he loves. I hope it will be great!

              Thanks again for all the advice and help!!

              1. re: jenhen2

                Another savory palmier that's really good is Ina Garten's... http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in... It uses the pesto and adds in goat cheese, pine nuts, and sundried tomatoes.

              2. re: janniecooks

                This reminded me about phyllo. Little triangles or cigars with cheese, spinach, mushrooms, meat....all can be prepared ahead of time.

              3. Mini croissants with a bit of Boursin and cucumber would be nice. If you thinly slice an English cucumber, it won't get them soggy. I also second the charcuterie platter: some fanned prosciutto rolls, slivers of salami, nice olives and slices of manchego... yum!