Why am I so intrigued with mini food???

eileenlaunonenFebruary 2, 2008

I know its weird but I just am intrigued with mini burgers mini hot dogs mini rueben sandwiches...Ive noticed numerous restaurants in my area are introducing this to the menu...I just bought mini pumpernickel bread Im gonna add mini rueben sandwiches to my Super Bowl menu!What else have you seen that they miniturized. I buy mini rolls from MARTINS brand and fry up little chicken cutlets toppped with roasted red pepper fresh mozzarella and basil there the size of a half dollar and everytime I make them for a party they go like wild fire!!!

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Ever since I had afternoon tea at a hotel with my aunt when I was about seven years old, I have had a strong affection for mini foods, particularly tea sandwiches and dessert "bites".

Our Friends of the Library group has a huge used book sale every spring and the first day is totally wild, with many book dealers in addition to mobs of book lovers. For the last 10 years, my contribution has been providing lunch for 30 to 40 volunteers on opening day.

I call it a "Grab 'n' Go" lunch and everything on the menu is tiny and doesn't require eating utensils. I use those Martin's rolls for sandwiches, and also mini bagels, mini croissants, silver dollar rolls and different types of breads for traditional tea sandwiches. I make miniature cheescakes, brownie bites, and assorted tassies and cookies for dessert, in addition to a fruit and cheese platter, dips and other bite sized items. It's so much fun planning it and most of the volunteers make multiple trips to the lunch buffet when they get a chance to take breaks.

The only downside is that I have to take the food in the morning in coolers (no refrigerators at our site) and no time or equipment for heating so I can't serve anything hot.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 9:22AM
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What else have I seen that they've miniaturized? Toilet paper rolls, or what they call "regular size" rolls. Hee hee, not food, but I couldn't resist.

A long time ago one of the rare times I watched "Behind the Bash" the chef made a bunch of miniature food like the hamburgers and such. They were cute!


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 9:31AM
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And paper towels and facial tissues and... Some of the TP rolls are a bit shorter too...

On the plus side for the mini foods, they give you a taste of the things you're not suppose to eat and still let you stay on your 'diet'...


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 10:13AM
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Mini food has no calories or fat, right?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 10:42AM
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Mini foods are dangerous!...you can eat a mountain of them and not think about it! Mother's with kids who are picky eaters have long known that fact. Make a big sandwich and they will eat 2/3's of it...cut that same sandwich into little triangles and they will eat it all in a blink!
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 11:38AM
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My mother used to do the mini hot dogs in an electric pot with kraut and beer and serve yourself on the little peppridge farm rolls. I loved that, but it seems like I don't know enough people that like kraut to make them:(
Also love mini chicken salad sammies on mini croissants, mini pita or any little breads. Like Mom47 said, diet food.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 1:58PM
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I love those mini tacos and mini burritos.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 12:24PM
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I like mini food also. Appetizer parties are some of my favorite or tapas. I like to get a little bit of everything I guess and it is appealing to the eye (to me).

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 12:55PM
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Linda C, when my kids were very small, I used to break a cookie in half and give them "one for each hand." It worked for a while, but they soon caught on that they were being cheated. ;-)


    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 1:30PM
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I also love mini foods. And I own lots of mini things. mini cheesecake pans, mini muffin pans, mini tart pans, mini cake pans, mini loaf pans, mini springform pans...I also do dollhouses, and used to collect miniatures. Sometimes hubby worries why I married him. LOL.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 1:47PM
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I make mini cheesecakes. Take paper or foil muffin liners, lay out in a muffin pan. Put a vanilla wafer cookie in the bottom of each. Make any good vanilla cheesecake recipe, pour over the cookie, about two-thirds up the muffin liner. Bake at 250 for about 30 minutes. That's it!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 4:42PM
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I like mini food too, which is one of the reasons I like Japanese food - sushi, gyoza, etc. Appetizers have always been one of my favorite foods, and it started when I was reading my mother's cookbook as a small child. When I was nine, I used to make cookies for her tea parties, and I would make them very small and dainty because that's what I had learned that one was supposed to do for ladies. Then I would go around with a silver platter to offer the cookies, and some of the women would not know how many cookies they should take, since they were barely a biteful each. If anyone took what I considered too many cookies at one time, I would look shocked, and some of them would put a few back. I guess in Texas people were expected large cookies. I liked making little tea sandwiches too, and my sister and I also had our own tea parties. My mother took movies of some of these, which I should really put on YouTube. I was actually quite funny as a child, although I hated it whenever anyone laughed at me (which was frequently). I loved formalities as a child, but for me it was part of play or pretend. My sister and I liked to pretend we were royalty - we probably heard too many Cinderella and Snow White stories.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 6:39PM
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I don't know what it is, but count me among those who like mini food too.

The author of one of my favorite food blogs, Vegan YumYum has a similar fascination. There is a whole entree on mini-trifles prepared in shot glasses and the like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vegan YumYum

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 6:59PM
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hmm... "entry" not "entree"!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 8:22PM
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I perused this thread for a mention of "sliders", but didn't see one. Sliders apparently are a trendy thing these days, although old hat to White Castle burger joint customers. Do a Google search to learn more.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 12:21AM
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Every year at Christmas, I prepare a tea for friends after a house tour. Besides tea sandwiches, pecan tassies, & mini fruit tarts, I make mini ham biscuits which are popular. Occasionally, I'll make a vegetable terrine in a small pan used for making 'party rye' that provides mini sized slices.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 1:56AM
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Oh I just love mini's too. Eileen, a few months ago Bon Appetite featured mini meatball heroes. And I make mini spring rolls- does that count?

If I had the time every one of my meals would be cocktail party fare (even if I couldn't have the cocktails along with them...well not if I wanted to get anything done).

Kim- I love the mini hot dogs in the crock pot idea! I wish that they made mini brats.

The small foods on small plates is another trick that I use to get my son to eat. It's not that he's picky, he's just not a big eater so I like to make sure that what he does eat is important. Unfortunately I had started calling these meals "cocktail parties" so now he does too. It's only a matter of time before social services is knocking on my door.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 7:39AM
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Jim , "sliders" are very trendy now. Here is the recipe that appeared in Bon Appetit. I made them awhile back and they were very popular.

Meatball Sliders Bon Appétit : September 2007. I served them in small puffs because I couldn't find small rolls. Next time I'll make small savory rolls.

1/2 Lb ground beef
1/2 Lb ground pork
1/2 Lb ground veal
1/2 Cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 Cup water
8 Tbl freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese divided
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 Cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
1/4 Cup vegetable oil
2 Tbl olive oil
1 Cup chopped onion
6 garlic cloves chopped
1/4 Cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 Tsp fennel seeds
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 14.5-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
Arugula leaves (optional)
small soft rolls split horizontally

Mix all meats, panko, 1/2 cup water,6 tablespoons cheese, egg, egg yolk,1/4 cup parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2teaspoon black pepper in large bowl.Form into eighteen 2-inch-meatballs.~

Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working n batches, fry meatballs until brown all over. Transfer to plate. Pour off drippings from skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Add olive oil to skillet. Add onion, garlic, basil, and fennel seeds.Saute until onion begins to brown,about 5 minutes. Add all tomatoes with juices. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to low,cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer,stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Puree sauce in processor until almost smooth. Return to same skillet.Add meatballs. Cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, stirring occasionally,about 30 minutes longer.

DO AHEAD:Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.

Place arugula leaves on bottom of each roll, if desired. Top each with meatball. Drizzle meatballs with some of sauce and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and 2 tablespoons. cheese. Cover with tops of rolls.

I also like mini Rubens using cocktail rye and mini bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon .

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 8:34AM
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Mini food, appetizers, tapas, there is definitely a trend going on; we have many bistros in Montreal where you pick 5 or 6 items from the menu and call it a meal, that's how the menu is set up, all small portions, from soup to dessert. The waiter brings the food according to the items your table has ordered.

I went to gourmet event this fall and dessert was set up in another room, miniature sizes of a wide assortment of desserts , people went bonkers over that. Specially after a long sit down formal dinner.

I don't think you eat less with mini-food but it's way more fun and appealing than an enormous main dish in a huge platter, like some restaurants do.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 10:11AM
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Chase, The White Castle sliders are a completely different beast. Small, square, "steam grilled" burgers that tend to slide right down (and occasionally slide right back up).


    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 12:47PM
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You're right about the White Castle sliders, Nina. But sliders have gone upscale now. One restaurant (in Baltimore I think it is) offers truffle sliders at $18.00 each. That violates the principle of sliders in my opinion. But all restaurants (except White Castle) seem to be gussying the up to various degrees.

The basic slider theme is a 2 oz. burger on a dinner roll with garnishes. You get several on a plate, not just one. At White Castle you buy them by the bagful.

Sliders are just one example of the mini-food phenomenon Eileen has noticed.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 3:03PM
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love the White Castle!!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 8:48AM
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