Planning a party - the latest trend is Appies ONLY!

bizzybutlerMarch 21, 2010

Serving small appies plates and using tall 42" high tables create a Lounge atmosphere in your home or venue and stimulates conversation and guest mobility. A party atmosphere is almost instant when your guests are mingling! If you want to kill your party, have enough chairs for everyone, feed them a big buffet and watch them leave by 11:00 PM... :(

For the best parties - Serve appies all night long and offer at least one fabulous cocktail or martini!

Cocktail Parties & Martini Bars are our most popular catered events!

You only have 30 seconds to make a great first impression.Greet your guests with a Champagne Cocktail, Signature Martini or Bellini and set the mood for the rest of the evening!

If you are planning to host a party for 30 - 75 guests, welcome them with a beverage and provide your guests with a variety of hot and cold appetizers throughout the course of the evening. ItÂs nice to pass the appetizers on a tray, if you have help, or simply set up a buffet table with small chafing dishes and assorted platters for self service. Make your party memorable with quality food, presented beautifully and ensure that no one leaves hungry!

The average cocktail party will require approximately 24 hours of work which entails planning the menu, purchasing the food and decorative items, making the appetizers, setting up the room and the bar area.

Bizzy ButlerÂs DIY Catering Advice

3-4 weeks before party Send out invitations with RSVP request, arrange for entertainment if required. If you want to ask a friend or hire some help for your party, arrange it now. Everyone needs a little advance notice.

If you need to rent tables, chairs, linens or stemware, place your order as early as you can. You can always adjust the order the week before once you have your guest list confirmed. If you want to order balloons or balloon bouquets for the room, place the order early and ask for delivery on the day off the party.

2 weeks before the party Plan the menu, decide on the cocktails you want to serve, print the recipes and keep in a separate folder for easy access and confirm your guest list. Plan your menu based on your kitchenÂs ability for both cooking and refrigeration. Perhaps you can borrow an extra fridge from a neighbor or rent one and have it delivered to your garage. Ensure you have adequate refrigeration space for the party food and enough ovens for reheating appetizers. Be Food Safe: Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.

1 week before the party Shop for decorative accessories: balloons, tablecloths, napkins, order flowers, banners, poster boards with pictures, if applicable. Purchase 3 napkins, plates, cups, glasses per person and buy extra TP for the bathrooms.

4 days before party Shop for all the non-perishable grocery items, liquor & mix. Prepare food items that can be frozen, without comprising the quality of the end product. Make name tags for all the menu items and place them on the platters or serving vessels you plan to use to ensure you have everything youÂll need the day of the party. List the key ingredients on the appetizer tags for guests with allergies or particular taste.

2 days before party If possible, decorate and set up the buffet table with dishes, platters etc. Set up the bar service area with glasses, wine buckets, coolers, and bar supplies. The more you do now, the less work it will be for you later.

1 day before party Prepare & cook the appetizers that can be kept overnight in the fridge such as meat items, cheese tortes, vegetables, dips, sauces, garnishes. Set the buffet table with chafing dishes and platters youÂre going to use, set out the appetizer name tags, organize the bar area, decorate.

Day of the party Purchase all your fresh bakery products and produce first thing in the morning. Purchase helium balloons the day off the party. They only last for a day. Finish food preparation. Take time to get dressed and sit down for an hour before the party and enjoy a cocktail before your guests arrive! EnjoyÂ

How much to purchase?

ï 3 napkins, 3 plates, 3 cups per person.

ï 3 wine, hi-ball, beer glasses per person

ï 1 lb of ice per person

ï 4 large coolers  one with clean ice for the bar drinks, one for beer, one for white wine and champagne & a cooler for bottled water and non-alcoholic drinks.

ï 3-5 Appetizers per person, per hour for a cocktail party in lieu of dinner

ï 2-4 Appetizers per person before dinner.

ï Buffets or Dinner Parties:

5-7 ounces of cooked meat entrée (per person)

4 ounces of each side dish (up to 3 side dishes)

3 ounces of salad greens

4 ounce dessert serving

Example: 7 oz x 40 guests = 280 ÷ 16 oz = 17.5 lbs of Beef Tenderloin

You need to allow for a certain amount of shrinkage when cooking meat. Generally speaking, cooking losses range from 1/4 to 1/3 of the raw meat weight or an average of between 15% and 30%. Cooking losses in small roasts and portion cuts tend to be greater than in larger cuts.

ï Bar Service

16 oz of non-alcoholic beverages (minimum per person)

Wine and cheese party  1.5 bottles of wine per person

3.5 cocktails/martinis per person ( each cocktail is approx. 1.5- 2 oz)

Example: 2 oz martinis x 3.5 drinks = 7 oz x 40 guests = 280 oz ÷ 26 = 10.76 bottles(26 oz)

In this case, I would purchase at least a dozen bottles. If your guests are light drinkers or heavy drinkers, youÂll need to adjust the quantity to suit. ItÂs better to have a little too much than not enough!

©BizzyButler Catering and Concierge October 2009

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