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Ideas for food needed

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Penelope

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I am having a Christmas party this weekend. Estimated guests: 40+. Menu: hearty appys and desserts.
Anyone have any really great, knock their socks off, make thier taste buds tingle, type of recipes for either category that they are willing to share? Thanks in advance
 

Samster

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We recently had a big fundraising event for an organization that I'm involved in. Most popular apps - lovely cheese & fruit assortment - slice an apple or pear in half, remove the core with a melon baller & place a votive inside on the tray: wood skewers with anything (like alternating cherry tom, cheese chunk, etc.), meatballs, cream cheese with Jezebel Sauce (you can Google it). Least popular were these GORGEOUS shrimp molds and they were fantastic along with an awesome pate that was also very good.
Sweet trays had - fudge, bite size brownies, lemon bars, and raspberry bars; thin, small gingersnaps and sugar cookies. The presentation on large silver trays with big ribbon bows on the handles was beautiful & putting a few chocolate dipped strawberries set it off. I've also done mini cream puffs during the holidays.
I'm a firm believer in keeping it simple & making it about the presentation.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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P, are you putting all the food together yourself for these 40+ guests? Or will the workload be divided up? That makes a huge difference to what I would make. If it were me, like Samster said, K.I.S.S. and therfore more elegant. If many hands are making/bringing food then gorge time! Sweet and savory is what I would do. Is there a theme?
I guess I asked nothing of which you were looking for. But this information is needed for my answer.
 

egoodell

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One of my favorite appetizers which are easy and quick to do but not cheap is one my mother always put out - bite sized REAL swiss cheese and cantelope with prociutto (sp??) wrapped around it and secured with a toothpick.
Quick to do and people love the combination of flavors.
I also like quiche bites - get the puff pastry teeny shells and fill with regular quiche custard. Quiche does not have to be served hot - can be just room temp so easy to put out ahead of time.
Like the others say - a pretty setup of cheeses and fruit is always great.
And another one I like that my mother used to do (family liked to party!) was deviled eggs wtih a touch of curry in them. Yum and gave it an exotic flavor.
Riki
 

muirford

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For parties recently I made some phyllo cups (the premade kind) filled with about a tsp of grated manchego or gruyere cheese with a 1/4 tsp of major grey chutney plopped on top - in the oven at 350 for five minutes or so for the cheese to get melty and the chutney to bubble a little. Also stuffed Medjool dates with a pecan half and a sliver of manchego cheese - good to add to a cheese platter. I always roast almonds and toss them with a little oil and kosher salt for nibbles. I also am a fan of keep it simple so I'm not sure any of these qualify in the knock-your-socks off category.
At a recent fundraiser one of my friends used really pretty pieces of leftover marble from a local rock and tile place for the serveware. The owners just let her pick what she wanted from the discard and ends pile they had. It was a wine auction, so she put the marble pieces on the tables and used little ramekins from Target for olives, hummus (with homemade phyllo breadsticks dusted with herbs), cheeses and the stuffed dates. It was a very nice look - not too fussy but not too rustic.
Here is a blog post that might help you: http://www.aldenteblog.com/2008/12/holiday-enterta.html.
 

Samster

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Another quick, easy, and tasty tidbit - use wonton wrappers & place in mini muffin tins that have been sprayed with non-stick spray. Place a chunk of monterey jack cheese in the center and cook for about 5 minutes at 400F until the cheese is bubbly...have salsa on the side for guests to add a dab, if desired. Oh...those toritilla roll-ups are good at the holidays when you mix the cream cheese with green olives and walnuts and then use pimento...nice flavor & red & green.
 

Penelope

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P, are you putting all the food together yourself for these 40+ guests? Or will the workload be divided up? That makes a huge difference to what I would make. If it were me, like Samster said, K.I.S.S. and therfore more elegant. If many hands are making/bringing food then gorge time! Sweet and savory is what I would do. Is there a theme?
I guess I asked nothing of which you were looking for. But this information is needed for my answer.
.
Yes, I am putting together the food, others are bringing the desserts. I want things that are not necessarily plate-dependent, I really love some of these ideas. Thanks guys...you are all great!
 

ginocat

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This is a no-cook favorite. You need bread sticks, prosciutto, grainy mustard and butter.
Mix some mustard and butter together to taste. Butter top half of bread stick and then wrap with some prosciutto. Easy finger food and tastes good. I've done something similar with cold steamed asparagus and instead of prosciutto have used very thinly sliced rare beef. For beef mustard can be changed to horseradish.
Another is to hollow our cherry tomatoes (a bit time consuming) and then fill with some garlic cream cheese or something like that. Put a little parsley sprig on the top. Very festive and delicious and easy to eat!
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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GC you brought up one of my favorite ideas as well. I cook a whole roast beef, crock pot it is fine, then put out small (as small as you can get them) rolls, horseradish, grainy mustard and mayo (for those who have to eat that stuff all the time)
It becomes a make your own station of roast beef sand's and is VERY GOOD! (Slice up the roast beef or put someone in charge of carving, small thin slices) Put a pepper grinder there as well. It goes a long long way. Needless to say men who are not into the mini quiches love this!
Don't put normal sized rolls or these same men will be making hoagies out of the deal.
No cheese, no lettuce, just meat and condiment. Served hot or cold works.
 

gillumhouse

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GC you brought up one of my favorite ideas as well. I cook a whole roast beef, crock pot it is fine, then put out small (as small as you can get them) rolls, horseradish, grainy mustard and mayo (for those who have to eat that stuff all the time)
It becomes a make your own station of roast beef sand's and is VERY GOOD! (Slice up the roast beef or put someone in charge of carving, small thin slices) Put a pepper grinder there as well. It goes a long long way. Needless to say men who are not into the mini quiches love this!
Don't put normal sized rolls or these same men will be making hoagies out of the deal.
No cheese, no lettuce, just meat and condiment. Served hot or cold works..
I make my Gillum House Rolls in my mini-muffin pans - use a walnut size ball of dough and let raise. This makes a perfect size roll for what you describe. That is the roll that is in demand for the funeral lunches - even the funeral directors have asked if they are going to be on the menu (the Methodist women told me that).
 

SecondAct

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GC you brought up one of my favorite ideas as well. I cook a whole roast beef, crock pot it is fine, then put out small (as small as you can get them) rolls, horseradish, grainy mustard and mayo (for those who have to eat that stuff all the time)
It becomes a make your own station of roast beef sand's and is VERY GOOD! (Slice up the roast beef or put someone in charge of carving, small thin slices) Put a pepper grinder there as well. It goes a long long way. Needless to say men who are not into the mini quiches love this!
Don't put normal sized rolls or these same men will be making hoagies out of the deal.
No cheese, no lettuce, just meat and condiment. Served hot or cold works..
I make my Gillum House Rolls in my mini-muffin pans - use a walnut size ball of dough and let raise. This makes a perfect size roll for what you describe. That is the roll that is in demand for the funeral lunches - even the funeral directors have asked if they are going to be on the menu (the Methodist women told me that).
.
May we have the recipe for those, or is that too proprietary?

 

Penelope

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Wanted to say thanks to all who made suggestions for my party over the weekend. I made three different types of pinwheels, sweet and sour meatballs, fruit, veggies, and a few other things. The biggest hit were hollowed out cherry tomatoes stuffed with a garlic cheese spread. I have a Christmas Eve party coming up (obviously :) ) and I plan on doing the cheese poppers that a few of you suggested.
Thanks again!! :)
 

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