Need Help W/ Party Menu - Several Questions!

Lounge By prterrell Updated 23 Nov 2009 , 9:48pm by indydebi

prterrell Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 4:51am
post #1 of 13

At a cocktail party (at dinner hour), would you rather have finger-food type desserts or cake?

At an up-coming holiday party I am trying to decide whether to serve a couple platters with different types of mini-desserts or to have 2 cakes or one platter of mini-desserts and one cake.

Here's what I have on the menu thus far (I want 8 total dishes):

1- hot veggie trio: pancetta-wrapped asparagus, stuffed mushrooms, sesame green beans
2- roast beef w/ potato rolls, red onion, horseradish cream, dijon
3- mini crab cakes OR seafood dip w/ crostini
4- fruit (grapes, pears, apples) and cheese (butterkase, bleu, emmentaler) platter
5- crudite
6- sweet/dessert ________?
7- sweet/dessert ________?
8- ????

For the 8th dish, should it be another something sweet (so 3 sweet dishes and 5 savory dishes) or something savory (so 2 sweet dishes and 5 savory)? I'm thinking of perhaps a chicken dish, or is that too heavy on the savory dishes?

Oh, here are the planned drinks:
egg nog*
either cranberry-pomegranate punch or Wassail (which would be better: 2 cold "punches" or one cold and one hot?)
red and white wines (one of each, probably cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc)
Water and sparkling water
*(w/ brandy and rum on side for those that want to spike theirs)

12 replies
JanH Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:39am
post #2 of 13

Finger food type desserts because then I could have several different ones instead of one larger piece of cake. icon_smile.gif

KristyCakes Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 1:17pm
post #3 of 13

How about a salad? I love the one with red onion, candied pecans, dried cranberries/cherries and blue cheese... We also have a holiday party with a very similar menu. I usually offer 2 meat dishes - sliced beef for sandwiches like yours and then something else. The ham one year was NOT popular. The apple suffed pork loin was a little more popular. This year I will go with a baked prociuto/cheese wrapped chicken (sliced). Enjoy the party! And my hint from last year.... buy a new Pyrex dish! 10 minutes before guests arrived my 9x13 cracked in the oven sending beef juice to the bottom setting off every fire alarm in the house! Smoke will billowing out all the doors when guests arrived. Luckily we knew them all - it was quite a funny show. I have to say though, it really put the party in perspective! I felt absolutely no stress afterwards because I figured the party could only get better! hahaha!

prterrell Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 2:49pm
post #4 of 13

Thx KristyCakes, but I'm trying to keep it to foods that don't require a fork or sitting down to eat comfortably. icon_smile.gif

prterrell Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 4:48pm
post #5 of 13

More input please!

LaBellaFlor Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 5:22pm
post #6 of 13

I like the selection of mini desserts. It will be easier to eat then having a slice of cake and everyone LOVES to have choices of several desserts. I think it would be great to maybe add a lamb appetizer as you are also serving cabernet sauvignon. You'll have two things for the red and if you add a poultry, you'll have two meats (the seafood selection) to go with your white. Your other appetizers go with both.

Deb_ Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 5:35pm
post #7 of 13

I also like finger type mini cutting/serving needed.

For the last thing how about chicken/beef/lamb or shrimp skewers (not all just 1)


I do a Caprese Salad on mini skewers that are awesome drizzled with a vinaigrette......cherry/grape tomatoes, fresh mozarella and fresh basil leaves threaded around them.

BTW time and place of this delicious sounding party and I'll bring the Caprese Salad skewers. icon_razz.gif

CakesByJen2 Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 6:01pm
post #8 of 13

For a cocktail party or buffet, I'd definitely prefer an assortment of mini-desserts. (1) Easier to eat, and (2) Get to try more than one thing without eating or wasting too much.

I'd serve regular cake if it was a sit-down dinner party or just a coffee & dessert party, but if everything else is bite-sized finger foods, the dessert should be too.

indydebi Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 6:18pm
post #9 of 13

See my pics on my flickr link: for some display ideas. The "art gala" ones and the "25th anniv" ones.

Instead of a regular ole boring crudite tray, do crudite cups (there's a pic on the link). A big blop of ranch dressing in the bottom of a shot glass, then insert julienne strips of celery, green pepper and baby carrots in the glass. An easy finger food they can take, walk around with and easily eat with their fingers. Don't even need a plate!

Another is the Shrimp Shots. A dollop of cocktail sauce in the bottom of a small glass (again, pics on the link) with 2-3 good size cold shrimp in the glass. You wouldn't believe how impressed people were with this super simple to make item!

I also agree that if all the foods are finger foods, then the dessert should be also.

prterrell Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:55pm
post #10 of 13

Thanks for your help, everyone! Debi - love the crudite cups! Would that work w/ disposable shot glasses?

I've decided to add:
grilled lamb meatballs w/ tzatziki sauce
grilled chicken wings trio: mango, plum, and cherry
mignardaise platter (eclairs, cream puffs, cannoli, mini fruit tarts, mini cheesecakes, brownie truffles, petits four OR mini cupcakes)

One last question: should I serve a hot punch or a cold punch? All the other drinks except the coffee are cold...

LaBellaFlor Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 7:58pm
post #11 of 13

I say cold and maybe offer some hot tea or cocoa with the coffee.

So...are we invited? icon_biggrin.gif

Deb_ Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 9:36pm
post #12 of 13

Hot apple cider with Southern Comfort is nice too............. icon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 9:48pm
post #13 of 13
Originally Posted by prterrell

Thanks for your help, everyone! Debi - love the crudite cups! Would that work w/ disposable shot glasses?

That's what I used! You can get them at GFS ... 50 to a pack.

Yeah, I was getting a LOT of positive feedback ... mostly from folks telling "I'm stealing that idea for my family Christmas dinner!" icon_lol.gif

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