As the host, you can be the life of the party, if you like, or just the life behind the party. Preplanning will keep your get-together lively and running smoothly.
Guests will be hungry at events held close to dinnertime, less so at late evening gatherings. It’s always a good thing to be organized and prepared.
For small gatherings of 8 to 10 guests, three or four types of appetizers are suitable. For parties of up to 45 guests plan on 6 varieties of appetizers. For more than 45 guests offer 8 choices of appetizers.
Plan on about 12 bite-size servings per person for cocktail parties. Hot appetizers and shrimp go fast, so provide plenty.
Estimate that guests will eat about half of what they would at an all-appetizer party if a full meal is to be served later.
Keep extra nibbles in your freezer and have the makings for things that can be assembled at the last minute in your pantry or refrigerator. Good options include crackers, cheeses, nuts, candies, smoked meats, olives, and vegetables for dipping.
Asparagus Wrapped In Prosciutto
Wrap strips of thinly sliced prosciutto around steamed asparagus. So simple!
Cheese Stuffed Pecans
In a medium-size bowl bring 1 cup finely shredded Gouda cheese to room temperature. Add 3 tablespoons sour cream. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Mound a teaspoon of cheese mixture onto the flat side of 20 large pecan halves. Top with an additional 20 pecan halves (flat side down). Cover and chill for 1 hour.
Cheesy Basil Shrimp Pizzas
Arrange three 6 to 8 inch Italian bread shells on a baking sheet. Brush 1 tablespoon garlic olive oil over bread. Top with 3 sliced roma tomatoes. Peel, devein, and remove tails from 8 ounces cooked medium shrimp. Halve shrimp horizontally. Top pizza with the cooked shrimp and 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese. Bake in preheated 425 degrees oven for 5 to 6 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil.
Nutty Sweet Brie
Place one 8 ounce round Brie cheese in a shallow baking dish or pie plate. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup chopped nuts of your choice, and 1 tablespoon honey. Bring mixture to boiling over a medium heat. Stir constantly. Pour sauce over warm Brie. Serve with assorted crackers.