Whether you’re hosting a cocktail party or a casual backyard soiree, serving memorable party food is essential to a successful get-together. Here are a few simple recipes to get you started:
Hor d’Oeuvres Recipes
- Antipasto – Rachel Ray suggests laying out a mixed antipasto platter with Italian meats, cheeses, olives, mixed nuts, marinated veggies, and bread or celery. This only takes seconds to prepare, and guests can create their own unique combinations.
- Goat cheese stuffed peppers – This little snacks are easy to make and bursting with flavor. Fill piquillo peppers (you can find them in the jar) with goat cheese, scallions, fresh mint, lemon zest and juice, and red-pepper flakes.
If you will be serving alcohol, it is good practice to also serve a delicious non-alcoholic drink as well. And don’t underestimate the value of keeping fresh water available to your guests. A frosty water pitcher with lemon, orange, strawberries, and mint leaves is a beautiful addition to any table.
- Champagne Cocktail – For a sweet, fizzy treat, serve champagne with Angostura bitters, a sugar cube, and a lemon or orange twist for garnish.
- Limeade and Lemonade (non-alcoholic) – For a late afternoon summer shindig, a fresh squeezed limeade or lemonade is just the thing. Cut with seltzer water for extra refreshment. Heat 1 ½ cups of fresh-squeezed lime or lemon juice with 1 cup of sugar until sugar is dissolved, then stir with 5 cups water and refrigerate.
For some parties, it is a good idea to serve heartier food in addition to hor d’oeuvres. The last thing you want is for people to be running off for dinner instead of staying to enjoy the party. Choose foods that are satisfying but still easy to eat.
- Finger Sandwiches – Take a cue from tea party food and serve cucumber sandwiches. Combine 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, a chopped cucumber, garlic salt and chopped dill. Spread the mixture on white bread and top with wheat bread, then cut off the crusts and cut into quarters.
Now that you have the meal planning taken care of, you can relax and enjoy your guests. Now all you need is a perfect summer night!
- “‘Five-Minute Party Starter’ Antipasto Platter”, Rachael Ray
Get more tools for planning healthy meals here.