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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Party food

Alex and I are having a few friends over on Saturday, for one last grown-up hurrah before the baby arrives (in less than two months!). So, my question is this: Are there any foods do you love to eat at parties? I'm kind of obsessed with kettle chips, but I want to have a few more crowd-pleasing snacks. Maybe pigs in blankets? Hummus? Deviled eggs? Brownies? Is there anything you especially like to see when you walk into a party? I'd love to hear your thoughts...Thank you so much!

(Photo by Karen Mordechai)

349 comments:

1 – 200 of 349   Newer›   Newest»
Melanie's Randomness said...

Definitely pigs in a blanket & brownies!! Easy to make, easy to clean up! Finger foods always go good!!

Joanna Goddard said...

yes, and i think trader joe's has pigs in blankets. my mom also said we could make them with hot dogs and puff pastry.

matchgirl said...

I love pita and hummus, and chips and dip. Oh, and those sea salt brownies..mmm.

Erin said...

Hot artichoke dip & of course hummus are my fav's.

mariel4985 said...

I adore prosciutto-wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese. So easy to execute and SO delicious!

Ilona said...

Spinach artichoke dip - always!! (But with sour cream instead of mayo).

Also, Katie Lee Joel has an incredible recipe in her amazing cookbook for Fig Jam Crostini -- basically just olive oil on toasty bred with gorgonzola (or a blue-vein goat cheese like Humboldt Fog) and fig jam! Soooo delicious and easy!

Caitlin said...

I think you can't go wrong with radishes, sea salt and butter...super easy, refreshing and delicious!

policywonk said...

mmmm, i love warm parmesean cheese and artichoke dip - there are lots of fancy recipes for it but really, so long as you mix mayo, real grated cheese and a tin of artichoke hears together and bake it, it will be delicious! Enjoy your party!

amy anne said...

I always serve water crackers with cream cheese and smoked salmon on top...with capers if I'm feeling really adventurous. It's crowd-pleasing delicious!

Joanna Goddard said...

oh yes, matchgirl, this might be the perfect excuse to bake them!!

Raquel said...

I make this for almost every dinner party because it's always a crowd pleaser!

Crostini w/ Sun Dried Tomato Jam

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/crostini-with-sun-dried-tomato-jam-recipe/index.html

dbh said...

I always appreciate a healthy option or two like veggies & dip, relish tray w/ pickled veggies & olives, etc. or fresh fruit.

K and/or K said...

I love making mini grilled cheeses with cocktail rye bread and colby cheese with caraway seeds in it. Butter them and have them on a cookie sheet before the party and then cook them up in an electric fry pan whever the action is!

SHOPJNSQ said...

maybe some mini toasts with melted goat cheese? Like the French do it :) drizzle a little honey on top with some oregeno and put in the oven for a few minutes to toast the bread and melt the cheese!

Jess littlebunny.etsy.com said...

I love seeing a plate of meats and cheeses at a party. If I am entertaining, I usually make an olive tapenade with homemade pita (surprisingly easy!!) That always goes over really well.

Kiira Leess said...

naan pizzas are a great party offering and totally easy to throw together:

http://eatandgreet.blogspot.com/2010/04/weekend-dinner-party_07.html

Laura said...

knorr's spinach dip in a bread bowl with veggies! always a hit! I use a rye bread bowl, serve with the bread cut outs and cut up veggies around it, and i usually skip the mayo.

xo. good luck!
Laura

Joanna Goddard said...

these are such brilliant ideas!!!!!

Cynthia said...

Brownies! I have a sweet tooth, so anything bite size I can indulge in while out is always nice. (and not have left overs in my own fridge!)

Erica Sara said...

Here is a great lists of 101 easy appetizers from Mark Bitman. So many great ideas!

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/19/dining/19mini.html

amy said...

Here is a tried-and-true canape recipe I make (and I'm no genius in the kitchen). I've never served it to anyone who didn't like it, even people who swear off blue cheese.
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/saras-secrets/blue-cheese-mousse-canapes-with-radish-recipe/index.html
But I agree that deviled eggs and pigs-in-a-blanket are great. For the "pigs" you'll want Lil Smokies.

caroline said...

this may not be the healthiest, but jalapeno peppers cut in half, stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon! delicious!

alyson. said...

stuffed mushrooms or mini quiches. or a cheese display! perfect in all ways.

happy party planning!

Gina said...

Can't go wrong with bruschetta, tabouli, hummus and chips and salsa! Oh, and lots of cheese.

a living universe said...

Nothing attracts me like a good cheese plate. Especially with something decadent like Cowgirl's Red Hawk, La Tur, or even a fresh Burrata. Add a few condiments, some freshly sliced baguette, and you're done. Have a fun party!

Mollieb33 said...

I think it's always easy/fun/healthy to do a cool wooden cheese board with a spread of dried fruit and nuts -strawberries/cranberries/figs/dates and raw almonds/walnuts. Also try making your own hummus..SO easy and cheap (if you dont use tahini, which i dont really miss when i make mine anyway :)

Aura said...

I love avocado/spinach dips in bread bowls! I have had about a thousand baby showers, and people always love this.

Mrs. Coach said...

make piggies with lil' smokies and cut canned biscuits into quarters and wrap around them.

Also get a small round of brie cheese, put your favorite jam (homemade is best, but get the good chunky stuff if you don't have any), wrap in filo dough, brush with egg, and bake at 350 until the filo is baked. Then serve warm with nice crackers. HUGE crowd pleaser, although pregnant women aren't supposed to have soft cheeses. but something to remember!!

Analiese Marie said...

For my last dinner party, I bought a good quality whole grain baguette and sliced it up alongside marinated roasted tomatoes, brie, goat cheese, and tapenade. Everyone assembled their own little creations from the available ingredients. It was a big hit!

I also second the suggestion for spinach artichoke dip. You can whip it up ahead of time, and just throw it in the oven right before company arrives. It's always a crowd-pleaser. I like to serve it with Amy's brand Garlic-Parmesan pita chips.

Paige said...

artichoke dip is a favorite of mine - and it seems like lots of others too! i also love spanakopita! anything with phyllo dough is a winner! mini grilled cheese and tomato soup shooters would be fun too! or little turkey burger sliders!

Stephanie said...

Mini quiche!!!

G said...

I make deviled eggs for parties and they are always a hit. Maybe because not that many people make them any more?

Have fun!

Kendall said...

BAKED BRIE WITH CRACKERS!

Hazydaisy said...

Hummous and pitta bread is always good. It would be fun to go retro and have cheese and pineapple and little cocktail sausages on sticks and stick them all into a melon like a hedgehog! My mum used to do this in the swinging sixties. Oh, and everybody loves something sweet-how about those brownies you featured the other day?

Allie said...

Something really delicious and easy is sliced toasted baguette with gorgonzola crumbles and honey drizzled on top. That's my go-to item. But I looove devouring spinach artichoke dip, even though it has a million calories.

chapstick said...

Have you tried the Cape Cod brand kettle chips? They are amazing! I saw an episode of Unwrapped (How It's Made for food), and they showed that the Cape Cod sea salt and vinegar chips use a different type of vinegar. That must be the reason they're amazing! It could also be the fact that there's something self-pleasing about eating a smaller brand.

lepetitdoodler said...

bacon-wrapped dates *oink*

cindy said...

I agree.. finger foods are always the best! If you have a crock pot, one of my favorites/easiest appetizers is frozen meatballs with grape jelly + spicy mustard. Sounds weird, but it is ALWAYS a hit and nobody can ever guess what the ingredients are! I usually add a 2:1 ratio of jelly:mustard with the frozen meatballs and walk away. It takes a few hours but it's quick and painless especially if you have to prepare other dishes/rest! But you can always add more jelly or mustard depending on how sweet or tangy you want them!

Other good choices are dips: baked brie, hummus, guacamole, etc. OR sweets: pies, cookies, brownies.

Some cold pastas are always nice too!

Hope you have a fabulous party!

Maria said...

kettle chips are THE best! i always put out a fruit and cheese plate for nibbles and deviled eggs if i have time. one great dip is always popular too :)

Lauren said...

stuffed mushrooms have always been a big hit for us, but they might be a little heavy if it's warm.

however, of late, i've also been doing dried figs stuffed with sweetened cream cheese (just add powdered sugar) and a salted almond. it's kind of like a little fig sandwhich -- they are delish, and easy finger food.

Bethany said...

Pears with blue cheese and prosciutto (a hit every time I serve it. :) Yummy & fresh!

http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/pears-blue-cheese-prosciutto-10000001694964/index.html

Kristina said...

Trader Joe's Parmesan Pastry Pups (pigs in a blanket) are soooo good and addicting. I would highly recommend those. They also have such yummy trail mix that you could set out to munch on.

AmandaPants said...

pinwheels! so so so easy!

Cheri said...

This is the perfect season for asparagus and this recipe for marinated asparagus is FAB! Looks pretty too and must make ahead for them to marinate which equals low party day stress! We have lots of fun southern recipes. Cheri Leavy Bulldawg Illustrated (University of Georgia fan publication) http://www.bulldawgillustrated.com/recipes/19/Marinated-Asparagus

Jessica Hoareau said...

homemade guacamole is always a winner! Or just chick seasonal roasted vegetable on some filo pastry and cut it up into little squares when cooked to make a really easy tart. de-lish :)

Hillary said...

I think the best stuff is stuff you can just eat without having to dip or get a plate or use silverware, etc. Basically, anything that frees up my other hand for a beer.

One of my good friends makes these blue cheese biscuits that are unreal.

escaping thoughts said...

i love having spanakopita! whole foods or trader joes has excellent pre-prepared ones. also, another easy snack is bacon wrapped artichokes! you can you use the jar artichokes in a special marinade and wrap bacon around each artichoke heart and put in over till bacon is cooked!

Joanna Goddard said...

omg, you guys are geniuses! this is amazing!

Aimee said...

little baugette toasts set out alongside roasted garlic cloves, blue cheese and orange blossom honey... yum!

Arlynn said...

My #1 crowd-pleasing party dish...

Caprese Stacks:

Take lightly toasted (maybe brushed w/EVOO) baguette or roasted garlic bread slices, top with a thick slice of juicy tomato, crack some S&P over it, then sprinkle a nice chiffinade of basil, top with a good slice of fresh buffalo mozzarella & drizzle EVOO & balsamic vinegar. Make no more than 30 mins before hand & have them chilling in the fridge = DELISH!!!

Seriously... let me see someone turn that down :-)

yousaidifferent said...

http://images.teamsugar.com/files/usr/1/12981/TerraOriginal.jpg

my absolute fav!

srichmond said...

lately I am all about homemade pita chips. they're easy, & people love them! I'm always happy to see fresh veggies or hummus at get togethers too.

Megan said...

Homemade pizza cut into strips is a good bet. Use Trader Joes pizza dough and make it look fancy with goat cheese or ricotta (http://meburks.edublogs.org/2010/02/08/sometimes-i-feel-like-a-ninja-turtle/)

For sweets, my neighbors recently had caramels with sea salt on top. So good!

Lisa said...

I blog about throwing dinner parties, so I think about this stuff all the time!

A few ideas:
Puff pastry tart that you can cut into squares
Bacon-wrapped dates
Blue cheese filled pickled peppers
Salami-wrapped pickled green beans
Spiced nuts
And deviled eggs for sure

http://www.adinnerparty.net

BlondeShot Creative said...

I love seeing different and tasty items at peoples parties... the kind where you're like: "what is this and can I have the recipe?" Trader Joes has some really good goat cheese and onion tarts that are amazing. Most little tarts are great. I also love little croissants with turkey and apple. For sweet things, how about little strawberry shortcakes? MMM! perfect time of year for those. And they are easy, light, sweet, and relatively healthy.

Jessica said...

GUACAMOLE!!!! in my mind it's not a real party without it!

Muoi said...

Hi, I personally love panna cotta topped with fresh berries. A friend and I made it for a recent bridal shower and it was hit. The recipe can be found on Food Network's website. It was super easy, we just put them in the clear plastic beverage cups and they looked very pretty and were super delicious.

Allison said...

I always love spanakopita, mini whole wheat pita, hummus and kalmata olives for a finger food-friendly gathering. It all goes together too (I can't stand mismatched snack food :)

naphtali said...

All of the above suggestions are fantastic. Makes me want to throw a party. I must say, I love having items people can easily pick up: olives, veggies, mini-quiches, but you can't go wrong with the always pleasing artichoke dip. But - if you want something totally unique...then, you should do maple-roasted lotus root, sunchokes and leeks. I just learned this recipe. It's yummy, impressive and easy to eat. Email me if you want the recipe!

Alyssa said...

Deviled eggs with a little paprika absolutely make my mouth water! And what about pinwheels???

Alisha said...

I love fruit an veggie trays! Especially now that I'm pregnant and a lot of cooked things make me sick.

Shelby said...

Chips and Salsa! Maybe it's a San Diego thing but we never have a party without it.
But cheese is always good too. Anything Irish. Invernia from Kerrygold is my fave.

MissAllaby said...

A friend of mine's party standard was a version the grape-jelly/mustard meatballs Cindy mentioned above. People LOVE them.

I like to dress up my kettle chips with a super-simple horseradish-cream cheese dip. Beat together 8 oz cream cheese, 3 tbsps prepared horseradish and a splash of cream or mayonnaise. Season and voila, kettle chips with a little kick.

Oh... and I LOVE devilled eggs in all their retro fabulousness!

Have a great party!

modernboom said...

pea and edamame pesto | delicious and beautiful color!

in a blender or food procesor add equal amounts 1/2 cup of (thawed, not cooked) peas and edamame. to that add 1/4 cup pine nuts and parmesan cheese. add evvo as needed to form a dip/paste. salt to taste if needed.

also great is the robusto cheese from whole foods! everyone loves it's rich nutty flavor.

supply your favorite crackers + mini baguettes + presecco | yum!

EMILY said...

I make puff pastry cheese stars. It's really easy and such a crowd pleaser. Grab some puff pastry and cookie cutters. (Mini hearts, stars, half-moon)cut the puff pastry and brush with olive oil, and then sprinkle with freshly saved parmesan, asiago and a pinch of pepper. It's about 15 minutes in the oven (on parchment paper) and they are tasty and cute to boot! xo

marta said...

every man loves the grape/salsa crockpot meatballs. i adore good chips and salsa or chocolate covered cinnamon bears. make your own pizzas are always fun too. happy partying.

Cassandra said...

Chips and salsa...mmmm....

Kara said...

They've been mentioned, I think, but The Pioneer Woman's Bacon-Wrapped Jalepeno Thingies. They are always a hit and last time guests requested the recipe. Easy, too!

Allison said...

I love a good crostini-especially with flavored chevre or simply sauteed mushrooms!

Susie said...

sliced baguette, toasted with olive oil, stacked with fresh mozarella, a basil leaf, slice of tomato and sprinkled generously with salt, pepper and more olive oil.
Yum!

Theaterre said...

I found this lovely appetizer plate with baked julienne carrots and maple syrup, roasted asparagus with balsamic vinegar and fresh tomatoes tossed in olive oil and parsley. YUM! Fresh, easy and looks great.

Laura Downs said...

I love fruit and veggie trays as well. I am currently obsessed with making dips like hummus, tzatziki, spinach dip (probably not the best calorie wise, but so delicious) and a recipe I found for Lemon Tarragon Crab Dip.

I also like to rip up some pita bread, place it on a baking tray, drizzle olive oil and some herbs and warm until crisp to make crispy pita wedges with the dip.

This is all I need to make me happy at a party (and maybe some wine) :)

.polyana. said...

2 finger foods i love love love are:

bruschetta and mini smoked salmon toasts (with cream cheese and capers on top!!)

stephanie said...

i love to do pigs in a blanket with crescent rolls and dab a little spicy mustard on the top of each :)

ink and post said...

i really love serving water crackers with a slice of brie and topped with a raspberry or blueberry and a small drizzle of berry syrup... i first had them at an anthro event and they are so fresh and yummy!

olivia lk said...

for my friends going away party..we did lots of cheeses and fruits (my favorite combo is grapes and blue cheese mmm) and got pigs in a blanket and of course the best were the meatballs from trader joe's. they are unbelievable. sounds kind of strange to serve at a party, but they were a total hit.

Amelia said...

Back in the day when my place was big enough to host parties, I almost always had pigs in a blanket, rotel dip and chips, some kind of cookie or sweet, and maybe a veggie plate with carrots and such and ranch dressing

Pam28G said...

not sure what time the party is, but the last party I went to I was so hungry and they had meatballs in a crockpot and rolls. Its a great"snack" for the hungry folks or guys who need something meaty. stuffed mushrooms is always great too. Have fun

Emily said...

Ok, food-nerd alert. 1/ I love making gougeres (for a little nod to your french side, Joanna), they're easier than you'd think, and oh the raves they get. (There's a nice recipe for them "Classic gougeres" on Epicurious by Molly Wizenberg, I like to switch it up by adding chopped green olives, or switching the gruyere for cheddar and onions sauteed with curry...) 2/ My other go to, dried mission figs stuffed with a cube of feta, wrapped in a sage leaf and copa (also on epicurious under "dried fig souvlaki). To. Die. For. Then, I go for something like stove-popped popcorn with honey and black pepper (as simple as it sounds) to give people a big bowl of something to munch. Tada, grown up party food!

strawberry lemonade girl said...

I'm with everyone on all these amazing salty treats....i love spinach or artichoke dip (esp because you can offer bread, chips, pita crisps OR lil carrots so people can feel kind of healthy) and anything bite size is awesome. (Puff pastry can be a little crumbly/messy --but it sure is tasty).

I have a huge sweet tooth and def love that as an option! Mini cupcakes are always crazy yummy (red velvet, carrot cake, lemon cream cheese frosting, chocolate...). Also, M&M chocolate chip cookies (or sugar cookies). This sounds so un-glammy fancy but I swear they look so cute and colorful. People always gobble them up!

Mmmm. I'm so hungry now...

Felicity said...

Hummus and crudites. Fruit salad.

Mrs K said...

Definitely baked brie! It's easy, and disappears within minutes of setting it out. Such a crowd pleaser!

It's basically a wheel of brie with brown sugar and dried cherries (or cranberries, whatever you prefer) in the center. Then wrap in puff pastry, bake, and serve with crackers and apples. I use the recipe below, but only with one sheet of puff pastry -- two seems like too much. Hope the party goes well!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/party-starters/baked-brie-recipe/index.html

Kelly K. said...

This may be a Wisconsin thing, but every get-together requires taco dip.

Kelley said...

You've gotten tons of suggestions for favorite appetizers but my belly always goes right to the sweets.

Cupcakes! Mini ones! They are easy to eat and so good. Who doesn't love a cupcake?

Cara said...

An alternative to the "usual" pigs in a blanket-use Chorizo instead and brush some dijon mustard inside or use as a dip...it was a "crowd pleaser" and m Super Bowl Party... :)

Nerissa said...

Virginia style ham and biscuits. They're old school and southern (served usually at hunt breakfasts in Hunt Country where my parents live).

I practically squeal when I see them.

Someone already mentioned dates and proscuitto. Love that. So easy to make.

My rule of thumb for a good party: salty things make people drink more, but you need to have things of substance (e.g protein) so that people don't get too tipsy.

Christine said...

I personally go crazy for figs with goat cheese, no matter how they're prepared. But from my past life as a cater waiter, pigs in a blanket will always prevail hands down.

Jan (Family Bites) said...

Mini-anything! Mini tuna melts on baguette, mini grilled cheese, tomato-bocconcini-basil on mini skewers, mini cupcakes, mini crudite (short glasses with a bit of dip in the bottom and sliced veggies stuck in). Anything in miniature form is so easy to serve.

Daniella said...

http://thebittenword.typepad.com/thebittenword/2008/11/buffalo-chicken-dip.html

Sounds trashy -- so delicious! Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip. I brought it to a small super bowl part and it was an incredible hit!! Highly recommended and very different but still fun.

Anonymous said...

I just made this asparagus gruyere tart over the weekend for the in-laws and it was FABULOUS! Emily of Cupcakesandcashmere first shared it.

I def recommend it~ have fun :)

hip hip gin gin said...

Pigs in a blanket for sure, all time favorite. Also mini quiche (Trader Joe's does lovely assorted packages of these) and mini crabcakes. Really the whole appetizer section of Trader Joe's, and any good food made tiny sized always makes people happy!
Oh! How about some of those tiny grilled cheese sandwiches with shots of tomato soup you posted about a while back?

Hannah R said...

I love homemade, fresh guacamole!! It's easy, looks impressive, tastes wonderful, and is fairly healthy!

kristen ruth smith said...

recently i made salads in little (pre-baked) filo cups. my favorite combination is mixed spring leaves, avacado, apples and dried cranberries with a lemon vinegarette dressing and pinch of goat cheese on top! the best part is that you can just pop them in your mouth! so elegant, simple and yummy!

Katie said...

A recipe my family has always used is to take a package of bacon, cut it into thirds, then wrap one of the third pieces around a lil smokie and secure with a toothpick. Then you put them in a baking dish, cover with brown sugar, and let them sit in the fridge overnight. Right before it's time for the party, you bake them at 325 for about 40 minutes. It's a nice alternative to pigs in a blanket, and really delicious!

Jeremy and Kathleen said...

My new obsession is mejdool dates pitted and stuffed with a little bit of goat cheese and drizzled with just a little bit of honey. Delish.

Beatriz said...

You'd think we'd grow out of pigs in a blanket... but they are just too yummy!! So fun for a summer hoorah.

Beatriz.
thatgirlinpearls.com

D&D said...

yummiest and biggest crowd pleaser EVER....!

Buy waffle or honeycomb shaped pretzels (snyder makes them). Toss a bunch of rolos on a baking sheet and put them in the oven, let them melt slightly, then put a pretzel on top of each one. So quick to make a ton.

AND WHO DOESNT like chocolate-caramel-pretzels?!

Franca said...

Some good homemade quacomole...definitely!

Have fun!

Franca

Amanda Blair said...

How about crackers, with cream cheese and jalapeno pineapple jelly. It's a sweet/spicy flavor that is truly delicious and a little different. I also think you NEED to make those brownies you posted about this week. yum!

Alejandra said...

I love artichoke dip with lots of crusty bread. I throw parties all the time (I'm a food blogger so it's great to have an excuse to make a bunch of dishes!). Some of my favorite things to serve (and which people love) are retro swedish meatballs in a creamy sauce with a bit of jam on the side, a big spanish omelette cut into cubes served cold with toothpicks, a wheel of brie spread with a thin layer of apricot or peach jam and then drizzled all over with honey and sliced almonds; I bake it for 20 minutes until it's hot and runny inside and serve with crackers and slices of toasted bread, fun sweet treats like rice krispie treats made with brown butter or mini waffles topped with maple syrup sweetened creme fraiche and crumbled bacon, stuffed mushroom are always a HUGE hit, also broiled bacon-wrapped dates served with a salty olive dip (aka meat candy!). And little bowls of penny candy are always fun. I like to give my guests goody bags when they leave. At my christmas party i filled the bags with packages of vintage gum, candy cigarettes, mints, matchbooks, and some advil and Emergen-C to help with next morning's hangover!

I'm hosting a clothing swap brunch party on the 17th and am currently assembling a fun menu and favor ideas. Can you tell I'm obsessed?? ;)

Btw, i've found out that punch is a BIG hit. I make a tasty sparkling gin punch with champagne, gin, fresh orange and lemon juices, a bit of grenadine and club soda. Everyone gets so excited when they see it!

Corinna White Charlton said...

chocolate dipped strawberries! (cupcakes are too messy to eat, and leave gunk in my front teeth)
oh, you'll like this one: lots of CHEESE! for crackers, little squares to pop in your mouth, etc!

Emily said...

the things i like most at parties are dips and olives. both finger foods, so you don't have to fumble with silverware while you're chatting and holding a drink!

amynicole said...

rice krispie treats dipped in chocolate with sprinkles or m&m's! . . . strawberries, bananas, kiwis, pineapple to dip in a chocolate fondu! . . . do they have mango salsa on the mainland?! it's everywhere in hawaii and the most delicious mouthwatering salsa around! good luck!

Joanna Goddard said...

hip hip gin gin, based on your recommendation, i'm totally going there this evening! :)

sarah said...

mmmm. homemade guacamole. it's not very innovative but there is a reason it's the first thing that's usually gone.

Sarah Dawn Johnson said...

I do stuffed mushrooms:

Bake baby portobello mushroom for 10 or so minutes on a cookie sheet, remove the stems.

Chop up stems, green pepper, red pepper, onion and garlic

Saute, then mix with italian breadcrumbs and Gouda cheese.

Stuff the little suckers with the filling and bake until hot and browned on the top.

Dancing Branflake said...

Even though this is the 97th comment, I'll still add my two cents. I love all mini foods... they are so inviting and make a party feel so glam and fun. Very Fancy Nancy.

Way easy party food:
get a wheel of brie, drizzle/pour thick honey, add pecans, bake in oven on 350 for 10-12 minutes. So so good with oven crisped proscuitto and bread.

SweetPeaknits said...

Im a dips girl. I love a celery stick 'n sour cream mmmm. And black olives, strange I know but thats me all over ;0)

Amy@OldSweetSong said...

Pigs in a blanket! Just wrap those mini-hot dogs in pilsbury crescent roll dough. It's so easy and quick.

Also, marinated olives, kettle chips and french onion dip, wasabi peas and mixed salted nuts. Also sometimes gummi candies are fun too.

I also love love love to make endive boats. They're delicious and easy also. Here's the recipe:

http://www.oldsweetsong.com/2010/01/a-tiny-boat-of-deliciousness/

You won't regret it.

Camilla Leila said...

there's a barefoot contessa cayenne and rosmery spiced nut recipe that is to die for. we always serve it :) have a great party, love!

Ashley Lynn Fry said...

Hummus is yummus!

With red bell pepper slices, celery, pita chips, carrots & cucumber slices for dipping of course.

xo

Jessica Martin said...

Pickle wraps are so yummy and easy. Take a slice of ham and blot with paper towel, then spread a layer of cream cheese and roll it around a dill pickle spear. Then slice the pickle into about 1/4in. rolls. Really good and they go fast.

Kate said...

I just found this recipe - could be a fun party food... I only skimmed the recipe, but it looks somewhat easy. :-D

http://www.seasaltwithfood.com/2010/04/scallion-potato-cakes.html

Tammy said...

You can make little toasts covered with old cheddar and apple slices and then sprinkled with walnut pieces and drizzled with some honey. Delicious!!

Alice Bucaille said...

a cheese platter with grapes, fig jam and baguette

It Rained on a Friday said...

This girl is always pleased if there is a huge bowl of olives on the table. Doesn't matter to me what else is there...show me the olives. Whole Foods has fantastic spiced Greek olives, as well as lemon garlic ones.

Other fun options: whole wheat crackers (Trader Joe's has a phenomenally flavorful one) with brie cheese and lingonberry jam, or top them with manchego cheese and quince paste.

You could also stuff plum tomatoes with a tuna salad or even with tabouli, or a cous cous salad.

Grilled porcini mushrooms topped with melted Gorgonzola. So easy you might feel guilty.

Trader Joe's has wonderful Thai dumplings that can be steamed and ready in ten minutes. Set out with a bowl of low sodium soy sauce and thinly sliced scallions.

An alternative to standard salsa would be a relish made from canned sweet corn kernels, chopped tomatillos, minced red onion, cilantro, lime juice, honey, salt & pepper.

Uf, now I'm hungry!

Enjoy your dinner party!

Nicole said...

When I walk in a party I always.. always expect to see brownies! And there is this great chicken & cream cheese dip that my family make that I always expect to see. You simply open a can of chicken and mix it up with cream cheese (it depends on your taste the amount you want to add), then to give a little flavor, season it with whatever you'll like and mix it all together. Put it on a nice looking bowl and the final touch, it gives a little more flavor and it makes it look prettier... add chives, tiny pieces... You can eat it with chips or crackers. It's goooood and easy to make.

Meredith said...

Hummus! I love that stuff.
I found this incredible recipe for Hummus: http://www.wholeliving.com/recipe/lemon-sesame-and-garlic-hummus?backto=true&backtourl=/photogallery/natural-appetizers#slide_3

And anything Chocolate :)

Lucille said...

I recently made an asparagus Gruyere tart (thanks to a post on cupcakesandcashmere) for my in laws and it was FABULOUS! Check out the recipe here: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/perfect-asparagus-gruyere-tart

Good luck!

Kristin Hjellegjerde said...

You can make some fabulous light food snacks with philodough and it also looks like it took a lot of work!
This one is with asparagus (a prime vegetable filled with the right vitamins for the pregnant you). You just cut slices of philodough, add thin asparagus and dress it with parmesan cheese (salt and pepper) put it in the oven 350 degrees and in a few minutes it is done. Nam! Good luck!

Amanda Nicole said...

I always make fresh salsa and guacamole. Two things that make people - especially me - very happy :)

Colour Blogging said...

cheese and pineapple cubes on cocktail sticks. its a british thing.

http://www.britishcheese.com/userfiles/file/download_files/Cheese%20&%20pineapple%20mini.JPG

Nicole* said...

I always make no bake cookies, which are a huge hit and absolutely rich and delicious!
here's how if you want to try them:

2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups quick cooking oats

Bring sugar, cocoa, milk and margarine to a rapid boil in a saucepan on the stove top. Let it boil for 2 minutes (make sure you time it so they turn out right!) then remove from heat, add vanilla, peanut butter, and oats. Mix together and drop onto wax paper. Let cool and enjoy.

Happy partying Joanna!

Michelle said...

brownies are a must!! also, fruits that are in season right now, pigs in blankets, lots of finger foods. chips/celery and assorted dips... [chocolate-covered] pretzels and strawberries.

Hollie said...

fruit/veggies and CHEESE!

Anonymous said...

I love bruschetta on toasted french bread and also fruit skewers, which are basically pineapple, strawberries and mango marinated in fresh chopped mint and lime juice.

Jools said...

I love pita and tzatziki! But I like to make adip with greek yogurt/lemon/garlic/pepper and dip in carrots, cucumber and raw mushroom... Divine!
Enjoy your dinner pretty mama!

bussbuss said...

okay, now i'm staaarving!

my two cents: if you like olives, olives wrapped in crescent rolls always go fast at our parties... just slice the triangle dough into fourths and wrap the each piece of dough around each olive, bake as the pillsbury dough boy tells you to (15 min i think).

also, we make little roastbeef open-faced sandwiches and people love them. i normally make a good grainy bread (but you can just buy a good one), smear on a little mayo, spicy mustard and horseradish, top with good roastbeef and horseradish cheddar cheese, sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.

now i want a sandwich...

after all these awesome suggestions, please let us know what you end up making!

nichole said...

Guacamole, spinach and artichoke dip and dates wrapped in bacon. Always my favorites!

art lover said...

Mmm, I brought onion rings to a party once that went over great! They are low fat too but taste great...Here's the recipe:

http://thebittenword.typepad.com/thebittenword/2009/07/baked-onion-rings.html

Even if you don't use them for the party you must try these. They are guilt free and SO good!!

DapperPaper said...

I'm never disappointed if there's pizza!

or some mini version of something like a burger (a slider i guess)!
but i also love pizza and burgers.

NO, i don't have an unsophsticated palette. these are just fun and yum!

I have also seen some savory mixed nut recipes, one from Giada i think, that had rosemary and looked DELICIOUS. I would be pretty excited to see those!

DapperPaper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mina said...

I found this recipe for "Mystery Rolls" on Pioneer Woman's site: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/03/yummy-delightful-mystery-rolls/.

They might be the fattiest thing ever, but they are amazingly delicious and so popular. Everyone I have made them for loves them.

DapperPaper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara said...

CHEESE! And anything from this list: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/19/dining/19mini.html

Catherine said...

Yeah so I was gonna suggest tapenade, and also the date+goats cheese+proscuitto. And brownies are fab - little square ones? Maybe with sea salt like those yummy ones you featured t'other day?

But some smart ladies got there first!

Have a great time!

Marina said...

I get pretty happy about cheese, especially brie, especially with quince paste or some kind of chutney.

Becca said...

I just had a party for my supper club Eat Good For Good (www.eatgoodforgood.com) and served prosciutto-wrapped grissinis. You can buy these italian breadsticks and wrap prosciutto around them - they delish and pretty and look like a prosciutto lollipop. Your guests will be obsessed!

sadie said...

I absolutely love goat's cheese in dates. It's super easy to make (just slice the dates open and shove in a slice or gob of cheese), and really delicious. OR.. baked brie with fig spread (also super easy -- just slice open the brie, add the spread, and bake until melty)... pretty much anything with cheese!

{lovely little things} said...

You can never go wrong with deviled eggs. I'm also a big fan of bacon-wrapped goat cheese stuffed dates...yum!!

Jen said...

Pigs in a blanket were a huge success at our New Year's Eve party! The guys jumped on them, and they were gone in no time! I'm also a big fan of either buffalo chicken dip or seven-layer Mexican dip. Yummmm! Sounds like a fun evening you're planning.

almalu said...

i love little pieces of pizza!!!

Mattos said...

I love tortilla wraps, sometimes called pinwheels.
take a tortilla and smear cream cheese on them, plain or herb seasoned and then add whatever you want, I love chopped green olives in mine, you can add more substance by putting thin sliced lunch meats.

Another, pickled asparagus wrapped in ham with cream cheese smeared on it.

Both of these look cool on a plate.
I have asked for both of these to be at my funeral. I know weird, but don't ask, have been to a lot lately.

One last point, anything with cream cheese is always a crowd pleaser.
congrats on the bambino, I have three, busy busy
fantastic blog Happy Party, Enjoy

Jacqueline Powers said...

How about a watermelon and mint salad, or sliced cantaloupe? I love serving fresh fruit to balance out the saltiness of savory treats like mini hot dogs. Plus there's nothing more refreshing on a warm evening than cold fruit. Have a great party!

Christine said...

I love to have extremes, something healthy and something ridiculously decadent.

writer.elh@gmail.com said...

I'm a sucker for bacon wrapped water chestnuts. Yum. I know it sounds kind of fancy, but not really, as it takes no time at all to prepare.

Tangela said...

I always bring spinach artichoke dip with pieces of "Texas Toast" to smear the yumminess on.

La Feem said...

If you want to impress the easiest ever is baked brie with toasted almonds. Turn the oven to 350, pop in the brie let it get nice and melty, give sliced almonds a quick toasting in a pan, take out the brie, throw the almonds on top and slice up some baguettes. Your guest will love it, so easy and yummy.

amy said...

spring rolls! always spring rolls. ooh and chicken satays x

Gina said...

My friends beg me to make queso dip whenever they come over. All it is - one can of Rotel and half of the velveeta cheese "brick" melted together...delicious! Who doesn't love fake cheese? :) Serve with tortilla chips (the scoops ones are especially handy for getting all the chunky cheesy goodness) I'm sure the party will be a hit! Good luck!

ampersandity said...

TJ's kettle corn, choc-covered pretzels, pita chips & hummus, and if you want to up the ante a bit, homemade bruschetta. :]

Courtney said...

I still remember these appetizers you posted months ago: http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2010/01/grilled-cheese.html

YUMMM

SKVD6 said...

CRAB TOASTIES!!! SOOO YUMMY & EASY!!! :) Here's the recipe & pics!

http://skv6.blogspot.com/2010/02/crab-toasties.html

Lori M. said...

a nice plate of all those different kinds of cheese that one wants to try. ( and of course lots of crackers) olives to go with them too.
lori

Kirsten said...

When I serve tater tots with fancy ketchup, mustard and horseradish-creme-fraiche sauce, people love it! It's simple, a fun high-low combo, and they go like hot cakes.

SAJ said...

Aged gouda and this amazing fig spread from wholefoods. Crowd pleaser every time.

Kristin said...

Hi Joanna,
Love your blog, particularly the decorating ideas.

Whenever I have guests, I always make a cannellini bean dip that is fantastic with crusty bead, pita, or even pita chips. My mom has been making this for years and it's a crowd pleaser.

In a food processor, blend one 15 oz. can of cannellini beans (drained and rinsed), one garlic clove, handful chopped parsley, salt and pepper, and good extra virgin olive oil. It's so easy and always gets rave reviews.

Enjoy your party!

Deepali Kalia Filling Spaces said...

Samosas the crispy goodness with potatoes! The oh so tasty indian snack!

Kirby said...

Dates stuffed with spicy almonds. So tasty and easy!

Mary said...

Cheesecake filled strawberries. Way easy to make. Philly makes a tub of filling in the fridge section of super markets. Just scoop out a straberry & pipe in the ready-made filling. Dust with chocolate.

K. said...

ina garten's gougeres. they come out perfectly every time and taste delicious with bubbles (even nonalcoholic ones for mama!).

Laura said...

Everyone loves bacon-wrapped dates. My sister makes 'em. Wrap a pitless date with a little bacon, toothpick through the middle (optional), bake at 350 for 15 mins.

Anonymous said...

I had a similar gathering with friends close to the due date of my first child. We had chocolate fondue with fresh fruit and I pigged out! So good!

lauryn said...

thought this would make you happy johanna! http://babyandwool.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/happy-easter/

Kate said...

deviled eggs with capers and ham biscuits--preferably Virginia ham with a soft, doughy roll

Naomi @ NIMO. said...

I just had people over for easter and the absolute favs were homemade guacamole and cherry tomato & mozarella sticks.
Both are super easy to make and people love them!
Just get cherry tomatoes,tiny mozarella balls and fresh basil, stick one of each on a toothpick. Wait till the guests arrive to add some olive oil, balsamico, salt and pepper (they look less appealing with the dressing on top) - and you're done :) I have a pic on my latest blog post
Happy saturday-party,

{ella} said...

homemade salsa! or anything with cream cheese! or something I'm not expecting!

Makenzie said...

peanut butter on celery...that always is a yummy one for bbqs ;)

MsK said...

My grandmother Maelene's traditional "cheesettes" are always a crowd pleaser when my husband and I have parties. They also have been at every shower and wedding in my family since she started making them in the 1960s. Here's the recipe if you want to try it.

Preheat oven to 325

In a bowl, combine:

8 oz grated cheddar cheese (as sharp as you like it)
2 C self-rising flour
2 C Rice Krispies
2 sticks of butter, melted (oh yeah!)
Optional (but I never do it):
cayenne pepper to taste

Mix ingredients by hand - it just works better this way and we loved to do it as kids.

Roll into small balls and flatten with two fingers, but don't make them too thin.
Place on cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes or so until slightly crispy. (You can test them and see if they're done - which is the best part. They are amazing when they are warm.
Have a fun party!

Kristin said...

antipasta platter - there's no cooking involved and leaves plenty of time to enjoy your company. prosciutto, salami, provalone, marinated artichokes, olives...what's not to love?

Sophie said...

If you put anything on a puff pastry it will be delicious. People love it!

lingismyname said...

One of my favorites is mushrooms stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese+chopped chives with bacon wrapped around the mushroom. Bake for ~20-30 min at about 400F or until the bacon is crisping/mushrooms are browning. I've always eyeballed this so I can't guarantee the time/temp is OK but it is so delicious that I think you should give it a try! I've tried it out with fried up bacon bits in the cream cheese mixture, which works well if you just want a hint of bacon and not have a mouthful of grease. Guacamole is another favorite as well.

Anamaria said...

Maybe it's because I'm a health nut..
But I always love seeing fresh
Fuits
&
Veggies.
The best way to eat them is with
Hummus
&
Yogurt.
Especially with extra spice and honey.

Eriannejoy said...

You can also make pig 'n blankets with a few cans of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and cheese(: Easier than puff pastry(:

Andi said...

funny how food always gets so much attention! a friend of mine makes goat cheese and roasted tomato crostini. Toast the bread, smear on goat cheese, top with a roasted tomato (slice them and cook them low and slow in the oven with salt and pepper) and julienned basil. Yummy! I always look forward to them when I go to her house!

krista said...

try this once and you will be hooked:

little toasts (i got mine from trader joe's but any baby toasts would work) with chunks of cheddar goat cheese (i'm sure any cheese store would have this) and then topped with a slow roasted cherry tomato.
to do the tomatoes, halve the cherry toms and place in a baking dish (split side up) and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. roast for about an hour at 250.

honestly, these ingredients together will make magic in your mouth.
magic.

Jaymie said...

What about salad cups like these: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1842387

You can even buy premade chicken salad and just sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and call it over.

domestikatedlife.com said...

I take a cue from one of my favorite restaurants and serve bacon wrapped dates stuffed with gorgonzola.

They look super fancy and gourmet, but they're actually SUPER easy. You just slice open the dates, drop in a crumble or two of gorgonzola cheese, and wrap a half a piece of bacon around them to seal it back up. Pop them in the oven for 15 minute and serve!

They're so decadent and gooey and delish, and the whole plate is usually gone in about 30 seconds. Huge crowd pleaser. YUM

jane said...

what fun! i l-o-v-e all those things - especially deviled eggs and brownies... you can eat double, one for you and one for the babe:)
xx

jamie.lowe said...

jalapeno cream cheese wheels--- big family hit! take a flour tortilla spread a mix of cream cheese and jalapenos then roll freeze for 30 minutes cut into pinwheels and serve with salsa... soo amazingly good and so simple!

F. said...

Me & husband do apero dinatoire ( aka fancy french for friends over) and do roquamole ( guacamole with roquefort , recipe from nigella lawson book) and fancy popcorn (w cayenne pepper, paprika, sugar, salt-cheap and plenty once everything else is finished)f
French cheeses, cut up saucissons, black olives, salmon tartare or marinated anchovies on crostini , ok i think foodie me got carried away.. but hey hope i can inspire.. x

Lana said...

Hi Joanna! I just started reading your blog and I absolutely love all of your postings, photos, etc. It's become my favorite thing to read in the mornings with my coffee :)

For parties, I love to make mini croque monsieurs! Take a baguette, slice it into rounds, slather some pesto on one round (or just use cheese), make a mini sandwich and then shred some cheese on top, pop into the oven, et voila! easy and tasty

michelle said...

LOVE homemade guacamole & salsa. and they're super easy to make. Also recently I made homemade potato chips with homemade vegan onion dip :)

or a great treat is plain hummus with cinnamon mixed in it. serve it with sliced apple. Delicious and easy.

Amy E Jones said...

I had the best edamame the other day with chili flakes, shallots, garlic and lime juice. Yum! I usually take a wedge of camembert, sprinkle with toasted walnuts and brown sugar and then drizzle with mayple syrup and bake until melty. Serve with baguette.

Christine said...

I love serving prosciutto wrapped melon- it's super elegant and really easy- NO COOKING! Also, a nice tomato and fresh mozzarella platter with basil and EVOO is great served beside grilled baguette. Sublimely delicious and simple!

maryp said...

take wonton wrappers, cut them on the diagonal, put them on a cookie sheet, brush them with an olive oil/water mixture and bake them for a few minutes at 375. they don't take long at all, so you have to watch them. once they're brown and crispy, sprinkle them with salt and let them cool!

great with hummus or other dips. :o) have fun!

Anna/Quilted Giraffe said...

Cheese, and lots of it! I also have a huge craving for old-fashioned sour cream and onion dip right now.

Oh, and olives.

Anonymous said...

Here is the recipe for an amazing dip that my guests always love:

Swiss & Bacon Dip
8 sliced bacon (chopped), fried
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cup swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 rounded tsp Dijon mustard
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup smoked almonds (coarsely chopped)

Mix together- except almonds.
Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes.
Sprinkle with chopped almonds.
Enjoy it wih crackers, flat breads or rye.

Also ...just tried this tart for Easter and it would be great for your party as a sweet treat with the regular brownies :
http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/blueberry-tart-00000000017216/index.html


BTW, Congratulation Mommy and Daddy-to-BE!!!!


Italian Girl (living in US)

Cassandra Marie said...

Oh man...I recieved the "Cooking with All Things Trader Joes" for Christmas and love making these Spicy Tropical Shrimp Boats:

http://www.cookingwithtraderjoes.com/uploads/Cooking_with_Trader_Joes_recipes.pdf

They are super tasty and really easy to make!

Have fun! :)

Ginny Cook said...

so easy to make and delicious to eat:
proscuitto-wrapped dates. wrap and bake in the oven for 10 min at 400 degrees or so (maybe 375). i like to call them pork candy!
-ginny

Sheila said...

Love seeing meatballs in a crockpot with bbq sauce...and really get silly crazy to see veggie pizza you know the kind on crescent rolls with cream cheese herbs and fresh veggies all chopped on top!!! Yummo!!

Dr. Dorothy Valcarcel Craig said...

What about something from the Cake Love book? The cakes and other goodies are decadent!

s and c said...

Sausage Rolls

http://sangamon-cooks.blogspot.com/2009/05/sausage-rolls-ok-so-these-things-are.html

These are the best! If I am having a party people ask if I will be making them and if they are running late they call to make sure I save them some!

jessica quadra said...

i love pigs in a blanket! i had them at my bridal shower. :)they make me happy.

Rachael said...

I always like to serve a big green salad with yummy fixins like dried cherries, blue cheese, and toasted pecans. Salad refreshes the palate and makes you feel less guilty for eating your weight in guacamole (another favorite to serve/eat at parties).

sharonlei said...

Crab and Creamcheese won tons are my fav! Yummy. Wow, baby will be here soon! How awesome Joann.

xx Love & Aloha

Holly said...

Taco dip!

Rachel said...

quick and easy, and oh so delicious:

have fruit with dip-one block of cream cheese and one jar of marshmallow creme mixed together.

It is soooo good :)

Myra - twigs and honey said...

I LOVE mini quiche!

Sarah said...

Okay, this will inevitably make me hungry, but here goes!:

scallops wrapped in bacon

hummus & pita chips

pickle & olive tray

cheese squares

tiny cucumber sandwiches

brownie bites

pinwheels

strawberries dipped in chocolate

mini meatballs

homemade jalapeno poppers made with cream cheese, but baked - not fried in breading!

cherry tomatoes stuffed with cream cheese


okay, I need a snack!

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