Recommendations For Appetizers

Recommendations for appetizers. Normally cheese trays and food trays are pretty good staples. They are pretty easy to setup and you can get really nice selections. What you serve for appetizers should be...

What you serve for appetizers should be based on what you are serving for a main course and what your dinner party is all about.

Brian Hay, a chef and culinary instructor at Austin Community College and a sommelier who also teaches for the International Sommelier Guild, says, "Normally cheese trays and vegetable trays are pretty good staples. They are pretty easy to setup and you can get really nice selections."

If it is a meal with several courses, you will want to keep the appetizers light so that guests do not get too full before sitting down to the actual dinner. On average you will need about 5 - 6 appetizers per guest if you are going to keep them light. Then on the other hand, it's perfectly okay to do an entire dinner of appetizers if it's an informal gathering. For a party with no sit down dinner and just appetizers instead, plan on about 20 appetizers for each person for the first hour and 6 appetizers per person for each following hour. This means if you plan a 4 hour party, you should plan on having 38 appetizers per person.

Many stores sell premade cheese trays, cheese and meat trays, vegetable trays, fruit trays, or other appetizer trays, or you can always make up your own, which tends to be much less expensive.

Theme parties let you get a bit more creative with your appetizers. Hay says, "If you are trying to do a Halloween party, then you probably want to do something a little off the wall for Halloween. If it's a Christmas party, you probably want to do something that's a little bit more festive. But there is no set "rule of thumb"; I have seen practically everything done."

Around the holidays you will find a ton of mini cookbooks at the check out counters at your local grocery store. These cookbooks will offer a variety of ideas for appetizers for holiday parties. You can also check in other cookbooks, and the internet is a great source for finding recipes for appetizers that will tie into the themes of your more unusual parties. If you've been to a party where you had an appetizer you really liked - ask the host for the recipe; your host will be flattered.

The key to serving appetizers is to provide a large variety so your guests can choose what it is they would like while avoiding anything not suited to them. You may want to have a variety of flavors such as sweet, salty, spicy, and mild. Just be sure to let your guests know what each one is. Try not to do any that would be too messy and, if possible, provide items that can be served and eaten with a toothpick as the only needed utensil.

Appetizers can be served while people are arriving and waiting for dinner to begin, usually for about half an hour. You don't want to pass appetizers around too long, as people will tend to fill up on them instead of dinner!

© High Speed Ventures 2011