Hosting a get together in the near future? The key to putting on a memorable party is often the selection of food and drink that you decide to serve. In some cases, you may want to open with appetizers and then serve a full meal. If your party is more casual, sometimes a respectable menu of appetizers will suffice. In either case, creating unforgettable and tasty appetizers is a must to keep your guests happy. Here are a few tips for preparing and serving impressive appetizers at your next party.
Know Your Guests
Think about your guests before you create your appetizer menu. Do you have vegetarians attending? Then you may need to check out vegetarian recipes. Are they a health food oriented bunch? Even the best presentation can't overcome serving food that does not appeal to your party attendees. Take the time to create a diverse selection. For instance, antipasto kabobs featuring pepperoni, olives, cheese, and salami are a fun choice for meat lovers. If you have vegetarians coming over, also serve a savory cheese dip with sourdough bread. Appetizers that appeal to both groups include tomato-avocado toasts, artichoke dip, and walnut balls.
It's All About Presentation!
Make your appetizers easy to select. Since guests won't be sitting down for a formal meal at this point in the evening, your appetizers should sit easily on small plates and be eaten by hand without trouble. Keep in mind that your guests may be standing or walking around while they eat your appetizers. Set up a table along one wall of your party space with the appetizers displayed and labeled. You don't have to use expensive cookware or platters to serve your appetizers, but go above and beyond paper plates as serving dishes. Make the food table more cheerful by adding seasonal decorations, such as bright flowers in the spring or autumn decorations around the Thanksgiving holiday.
Keep Food Hot
Appetizers that are meant to stay warm, such as meatballs or certain dips, should stay heated throughout your party. Chafing dishes, such as the ones found at Bed Bath & Beyond, manage this task quite nicely. Thanks to Sterno fuel sources, you can keep your metal chafing dish or other food warmer at an adequate temperature for hours. Best of all, you won't have to keep reheating dishes or checking the temperature on a stove. Your chafing dish will remain above 100 degrees Fahrenheit – provided you keep the dish covered – and your guests can enjoy the appetizers as they were intended. Get a chafing dish with a clear top so guests can see what's inside without having to lift the lid and let heat escape.
The success of your next party may hinge on the food selection you provide. Don't drop the ball by having poor appetizer presentation or letting your food get cold before the night is through! With a few bits of preparation you can throw a bash that leaves your guests both impressed and ready for your next get together.
Lena Simon loves to hold a party for any reason and in any season. When she's not entertaining, she's looking for ideas and then writing about them. You can read her interesting posts on many of today's top websites and blogs.