Party Food Basics

I love parties, especially when they include food. I also love to throw parties, but I don’t believe in slaving over a hot stove while everyone else has fun. Through my years of trial, error, and absolute disasters, I’ve come up with a few pointers regarding the best types of party foods. Keep reading for all my tips and feel free to chime in with any of your suggestions!

The first step to throwing a successful food-centric party is to make the foods easy to prepare. For me, the best way of doing this is by serving simple, bite-size recipes that not only are quick to make, but quick to eat. Jen recently had a great post about food on toothpicks that I think goes exactly with what I’m saying. The bruschetta pictured above is one of my favorites. All I have to do is toast the sliced bread at high heat, quickly rub the hot slices with some garlic cloves, and sprinkle with chopped tomato and basil. Bang! One appetizer down.

Back to Jen’s post though, one of the easiest things to do is make snacks on skewers. The above is a fig, brie, and prosciutto skewer. In place of a fruit and cheese platter, just skewer the ingredients and arrange neatly onto a platter. Not only is it quick, it’s absolutely delicious. Plus, the pieces are individual servings, so people won’t be double-dipping or sticking their fingers into community food items (GROSS). Plus, they photograph so well, don’t they?

My final tip for entertaining with food is somewhat the opposite of what I just said: allow people to serve themselves. I know, you risk the whole double-dipping, licking fingers, contamination thing, but I find that by putting out a nice cheese and fruit tray and providing the proper serving utensils, the cheese board becomes a conversation starter and “hot spot” for the party. Nothing starts a conversation like food, and this is one way to get the party started.

My keys to party food are: let people serve themselves, don’t go overboard with presentation, and make the food the centerpiece. Do you have any favorite entertaining tips? Let us know!

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