Originally Posted by southern-cookin-mom88
I am currently planning my wedding. I am trying to lay out the menu. I need some idea for appetizers or finger foods to serve. Thanks so much for the help!!!
Well first, congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
Second, we did this for my sister's wedding 16 yrs ago....my mom and I cooked everything (I was in high school) with a bit of help from Dad and my brother. A couple of close family friends from out of town came in 4 days early to help us finish the deed. It was a little stressful but lots of fun and gives you such a sense of pride when the food is a hit. If you're cooking your own food you probably are doing everything else, too, just like we were, so I know you'll have your hands full.
Presentation counts for a LOT even if the food you're serving is relatively simple. My mom has a book that we use for special events and has some really good, simple ideas, called Garnishing: A Feast for your Eyes. It comes with step-by-step instructions, cut out patterns and relatively simple designs that still have a lot of visual appeal.
Amazon.com: Garnishing: A Feast For Your Eyes (9780895864765): Francis T. Lynch: Books
For my sister's wedding, I was in charge of the Melon Swan Fruit Salad Bowl:
Here's the pic out of the book for the same:
I have used the same garnish for many parties since, and it's really easy to do and always a huge hit. Most recently I filled the melon swan with a yogurt fruit dip and surrounded it with strawberries, pear slices and chunks of melon on toothpicks for dipping. The swan itself can be done the night before and refrigerated, and the dip can be made days in advance and frozen if necessary.
Here's the yogurt fruit dip I used:
YOGURT FRUIT DIP
Yield: 10 servings, 2 Tablespoons each
1 container (6-ounces) raspberry nonfat yogurt
3/4 cup thawed sugar-free whipped topping
Mix ingredients until well blended; cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Serve as a dip with fresh fruit.
A really simple garnish for trays of veggies with dip is to hollow out a large bell pepper (or several if it's a large tray) and put the dip in that. Another easy one is a pineapple speared with toothpicks and bite-sized blocks of cheese.
Some other things to do that are easy to make in advance and store for later use:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
1 cup finely chopped, unpeeled apple
3/4 cup finely chopped dates
Garnish: apple slices
Combine cream cheese and milk, mixing well. Stir in the pecans, apple, and dates.
Garnish with apple slices, if desired, and serve with assorted crackers or as a sandwich spread on bread—especially good on rye bread or pumpernickel.
I always serve this with the little baby bread slices and it's wonderful. Last time I made this everyone asked for the recipe.
PINEAPPLE CREAM CHEESE BALL
1 large can crushed pineapple—well drained
16 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup diced bell pepper or less to taste
Salt to taste
2 cups chopped nuts (reserve 1/2 cup nuts)
Soften cream cheese; combine with other ingredients. Shape into ball.
Cover and refrigerate until firm. Roll in reserved nuts.
Serve with a variety of crackers or bread.
As for meats....I like the cold shrimp idea a LOT! Sausage balls are always a hit, so are Lil Smokies. Cold cuts and sliced cheese arranged with fancy crackers would be simple, easy crowd pleaser. You can also make a huge batch of chicken salad and make a bunch of baby sandwiches, maybe use a cookie cutter to cut the sandwiches out in fun shapes.