Fuss-free (almost) Finger Food Party

shmacoAugust 22, 2002

I am hosting a party for about 70 adults this summer (outdoors) and would like to do as little as possible on the day and just enjoy myself (for a change!). I have decided on a finger-food (served) and desserts party which I have organised to allow as much forward-preparation as possible.

After making so many notes and plans - I thought it might be worth sharing my menu etc here.


Before guests arrive, I plan to set up a table with the following:

Cheese and Fruit Platter with Crackers

Three Dips with Crusty Bread (Spinach dip, crab dip, guacamole)

Marinated Olives

Chocolate-dipped strawberries

Champagne cocktails

Jugs of Sangria

Finger Food: (ready made, only requires heating, served around to guests on platters in 15 minute intervals)

Pizza Swirls (made and frozen weeks ahead)

Fish Bites with Lemon & Tartare Sauce (bought frozen)

Mini Quiches (made and frozen weeks ahead)

Meatballs with Tomato Sauce (made and frozen weeks ahead)

Asian Spring Rolls with Sweet & Sour Sauce (bought frozen)

Mini Spicy Beef Empanadas with Salsa (made and frozen weeks ahead)

Mini Sausages with dipping sauce (cooked the day before)

Thai Chicken Balls with Dipping Sauce (made and frozen weeks ahead)

Shrimp with dipping sauce (peeled on the day)

Marinated baby octopus (made the night before)

Oysters with two dressings (made on the day)


Various purchased cakes served with tea & coffee:

Pecan Pie

Chocolate Cake

Lemon Cheesecake

Mini Muffins (citrus & chocolate)

With everything ready to go, IÂm hoping to enlist the help of family throughout the night to keep things going into the oven and the platters circulating amongst guests. To this end, I have prepared a timetable of what needs to go in the oven at what time so if anyone wants to help, we know what needs to be done when.

Wish me luck!

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shmaco, wow! You have no idea how much respect I have for you at this moment! Your menu sounds great, but even more importantly, it sounds like everything is planned to the detail. Can I hire you? ;-)

I would love your recipe for Thai Chicken Balls with Dipping Sauce, if you have time to post it.

How do you plan on keeping your dips and cheeses cold? (this is something I'm trying to figure out for my own party. I'm in Texas and can expect 95 degree weather for my party in 2 weeks.)

How long have you been planning? I am so impressed!

I know you will have a wonderful party!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2002 at 9:27AM
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Thank you so much for your kind post!

I have been planning this one for a while. I throw a lot of parties and often find myself so stressed and rushed on the day that I barely have time to shower before the first guests arrive! So this time I have vowed to be ultra-organised, with basically everything made ahead and just requiring reheating.

I live in Sydney, Australia, which also gets quite hot in summer (the party's in November) so I am planning to only have the dips and cheese out for an hour or so until the other stuff is ready.

Here is the recipe for the chicken balls - I apologise that all measurements are metric:

Spicy Hoisin Chicken Balls
(Makes 60)

1 kg chicken mince 1 T light soy sauce
3 cups breadcrumbs 2 t ginger
1 small onion, chopped 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed 1/4 teaspoon 5 Spice powder
1 egg, beaten 1/3 Cup oil for frying
1/4 cup hoisin sauce

- Heat oven moderate
- Combine mince, crumbs, onion, garlic, egg, sauces, ginger, sesame oil and spice.
- Mix well and shape into 60 balls
- Heat oil and cook balls in batches until browned. Drain on absorbent paper.
- Transfer to oven tray and bake 15 minutes or until cooked through.

I'll keep you posted!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2002 at 9:45PM
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Sounds like my kind of party planner! I am also a list person, with everything detailed weeks before, with a count down to the last food item.

Just make sure you add a line item on your list for that shower! An make a master list of your menu so you know you've pulled overthing out of the fridge and served it.

Have a great time, seems like you've got it covered.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2002 at 10:52PM
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