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Old 10-13-2004, 09:17 PM   #1
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Help with menu

well, here goes for my first post!

My son will be baptized in a couple of weeks and immediately following the baptism, we will be having a gathering with everyone at our house.
I am looking for recipe ideas as to what to serve. The catch is that everything will need to be prepared ahead of time so I can just set it out when i arrive home, moments before all our guests.
We are expecting around 35-40 people.

Thanks in advance for your help.
I have already found some great recipes here and I look forward to trying out even more!

Michelle
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Old 10-14-2004, 03:51 AM   #2
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Welcome onboard!
I would go with a ham, and a variety of salads and desserts.
here's a recipe for a pasta salad that's great for a crowd...

Antipasto Pasta Salad

1 lb. seashell pasta
1/4 lb salami, chopped
1/2 lb. Asiago cheese, diced
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 lb. pepperoni, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
1 (6 oz.) can black olives, drained and chopped
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian salad dressing mix

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, and cool under cold water.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, salami, pepperoni, Asiago, black olives, bell pepper, and tomatoes.
Stir in the envelope of salad dressing mix.
Cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour (overnight is fine).
To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, parsley, and Parmesan cheese (can also make night before).
Just before serving, pour dressing over the salad, salt & pepper and mix well.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-14-2004, 04:36 AM   #3
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Hmmm make some giant meatballs and keep it warm in like one of those containers that keep food warm and fresh.
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Old 10-14-2004, 07:48 AM   #4
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Welcome to te boards! I'll ask the same questions I ask of my catering clients -

-Who are your guests? (mainly adult - young,old, children)
-What time of day is the reception?
-Do you intend for this to be a 'meal' or appetiziers?
-What's your budget?
-What are your cooking skills and will you have help doing the prep?
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:33 AM   #5
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Thanks for the welcome!

In answer to your questions...

Who are your guests? (mainly adult - young,old, children)

There will be a mixture of all ages, children to adults, although most will be adults

-What time of day is the reception?

The baptism is at 1:00 so the reception will be around 2:00 or so

-Do you intend for this to be a 'meal' or appetiziers?

I was thinking more appetizers because of the time.

-What's your budget?

Let's say I would try to keep cost down

-What are your cooking skills and will you have help doing the prep?

I will have help with the prep (my mom and sister) and as for my cooking skills... not advanced but surely not beginner either.

I look forward to your response.
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Old 10-14-2004, 04:31 PM   #6
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Cool - now I know where to go with some suggestions and recipes! You have to give me 'til tomorrow, tho, cause my day is just nuts right now.
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Old 10-15-2004, 08:31 AM   #7
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Someone above suggested a ham, and I think that's a great idea - it's gonna be close to T-giving, so turkey/poultry may be a bit much. If you want to go that route, maybe (trying to keep it all 'finger food' that won't require forks, etc):

- a ham with little sweet potato biscuits (or regular) And if you wanted, you could even premake little sandwiches with the biscuits, and just have them ready to pick up and eat. (honey-mustard sauce, or a peach chutney would be yummy)
- cherry tomatoes stuffed with rice salad
- a couple of yummy dips; I just did a lemon/artichoke dip and a roasted red pepper dip w/spiced pita chips for a party, and it was a hit.
- some little tarts with fillings (you can buy premade phyllo shells in the frozen section - very handy! Fill 'em with a crab or other seafood salad, or a goat cheese/herb filling; or little quiches
- a savory tart or 'torte'
- an assortment of little bruschetta/crostinis - roasted sweet potato, or zucchini/parm, or mushroom/onion
-consider a fruit and cheese platter - always a hit with the kiddies!!
-also consider a crudite platter - raw veg and dip; use some unusual veg, like asparagus or snow peas that have just been steamed for a few minutes, plus the 'usual'; instead of plating them on one platter, think about serving them individually in different containers, (ie the asparagus in a tall, clear glass); and doing maybe a red bell pepper container for the dip.

Are you making a cake? Or just buying one?

Let me know if any of this appeals to you, and I'll get the recipes!
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Old 10-15-2004, 10:59 AM   #8
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I love marmalady's suggestions and here are some more:

Quiche - Make ahead and serve at room temperature.

Cocktail Sandwiches - Make a variety (chicken salad mixed with pineapple bits and walnut bits etc to jazz them up a bit), dill, cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches

Chicken Kebab made like a Satay: These are medium chicken cubes marinated in soy, ginger, coconut milk and cilantro, brown sugar, some curry powder and then grilled. You can make this days ahead, cool and freeze. You can then reheat them in the oven and serve with toothpicks and a peanut dipping sauce.

Layer dip: Don't know many people who will not enjoy this.

Refried Beans (you can use readymade cans) and jazz them up by sauting them with some fresh garlic and cumin powder along with some chilli powder, Followed by a layer of salsa (readymade is fine), followed by sour cream mixed with some guacamole, followed by grated cheese, followed by green onions and olives.

Fruit salad - Grapes, cantalope, honeydew and watermelon (if it's still available where you are) or you can thrown in oranges and pineapple (canned is fine as well) and let the flavors mingle in the refrigerator. It's always a hit and healthy too.

Cheese Platter - To keep cost down, purchase assorted chunk cheeses and then cut them into cubes and serve them with assorted crackers. If you are a member of SAMS club or COSTCO you can get those crackers in large boxes.

For dessert assorted cookies - I love to bake so I make a few kinds ahead of time and just store them in an airtight container. I love biscottis and jam thumbprints and these can be made a week ahead without a problem or the worry that they will go stale.


Goodluck
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Old 10-16-2004, 05:18 PM   #9
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Lots of good suggestions here! I am a huge fan of crockpots in situations like this. Someone suggested meatballs, which are excellent in a crock. Here's one that sounds horrible but is fantastic, and you can prep it before you go to the baptism, letting it cook on high while you are there. Actually, the longer this cooks, the better. It even won a little cooking contest we held at work one time, beating out my ridiculously easy Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake, if you can imagine! :-)

Lee

SWEET & SOUR KIELBASA

1 pkg. any brand kielbasa
10 oz. chili sauce
12 oz. grape jelly

Broil kielbasa (optional - I didn't). When done, pat off the excess grease with paper towel and cut into slices. Mix chili sauce, grape jelly together in a crock pot. Mix in kielbasa. Heat several hours, the longer, the better - the kielbasa should have a very soft texture. Serve with a slotted spoon and toothpicks.
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Old 10-16-2004, 05:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSis
Lots of good suggestions here! I am a huge fan of crockpots in situations like this. Someone suggested meatballs, which are excellent in a crock. Here's one that sounds horrible but is fantastic, and you can prep it before you go to the baptism, letting it cook on high while you are there. Actually, the longer this cooks, the better. It even won a little cooking contest we held at work one time, beating out my ridiculously easy Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake, if you can imagine! :-)

Lee

SWEET & SOUR KIELBASA

1 pkg. any brand kielbasa
10 oz. chili sauce
12 oz. grape jelly

Broil kielbasa (optional - I didn't). When done, pat off the excess grease with paper towel and cut into slices. Mix chili sauce, grape jelly together in a crock pot. Mix in kielbasa. Heat several hours, the longer, the better - the kielbasa should have a very soft texture. Serve with a slotted spoon and toothpicks.
qsis
I've done this one almost every Christmas, only i've used the cocktail franks instead of the sausage..Like your idea and will give it a try. Thanks,
kadesma
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Old 10-16-2004, 11:51 PM   #11
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You will definitely want to go with some cold things and for something warm, a crockpot food, as was mentioned. I'm not sure if anyone mentioned Deviled Eggs, but they would go great with ham, potato salad, macaroni salad, etc. One thing that you could do is put a block of cream cheese in the middle of a platter (you may want to do a couple platters) and surround it with Wheat Thin crackers. Then when you get home and are ready to serve, dump a jar of salsa over the cream cheese. This sounded weird to me the first time I tried it, but you wouldn't believe how wonderful this is!

:) Barbara
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Old 10-17-2004, 03:51 PM   #12
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chicken nuggets (kids love them)
stuffed mushrooms
sweedish meatballs

a couple things I like to make using puff pastry:(allow pastry to thaw)

I take dijon mustard and spread it over the inside of the pastry, then add thin sliced ham (luncheon meat ham), and cheddar cheese, roll it up, brush the outside with and egg wash, bake until brown (yummy).

A dessert I make with puff pastry is called walnut twists. make a mixture of finely chopped walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Brush egg wash onto the pastry. Press the nut mixture onto the pastry. Slice the pastry into 1" wide x 5" long strips. Twist the strips, and bake til golden and puffed. Allow to cool a bit then sprinkle powdered sugar over them. Kids and adults will love these.

Spinach pie is great too, but involves a bit of work with the phyllo dough. All you do is thaw the phyllo dough. Make a mixture of thawed chopped spinach (press out all the water), crumbled feta cheese, cooked chopped onion, 1 egg. Layer approx. 20 sheets of feta in a glass baking pan, brush each layer with melted butter, then add the spinach mixture, and add another 20 layers of phyllo with butter on each sheet. Bake until golden brown. This is best served at room temperature.
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Old 10-17-2004, 05:16 PM   #13
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Amber,

Re: the first appetizer, the one with ham, cheese and puff pastry ... Do you slice the roll into pinwheels before you bake it or after?

I have some puff pastry in the freezer and this is a great way to use it.

Lee
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Old 10-18-2004, 11:30 PM   #14
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Wow, thanks for all the great suggestions!

marmalady, I would love the recipes for the cherry tomatoes stuffed with rice salad and the two dips you mentioned. Also, the sweet potato biscuits sound great and I think I will do a ham.
Do you also have a recipe for the goat cheese/herb filling you suggested for the little tarts?

Yakuta, the refried beans you suggested sound great as well. Do you serve that warm?

I will be buying a specialty cake made by a friend of mine.

Thanks for all your great suggestions. I think I may be getting my crockpot out for this one too. :-)

Michelle
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Old 10-18-2004, 11:45 PM   #15
 
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Would you like a recipe for a mass of clam chowder (made in advance, just keep it on "simmer"), a "spinach dip" likewise made in advance, with pumpernickle bread, hollowed out; "Shirley Temple Cocktail" aka "Horse's Neck" (quickly made!) ...the obvious suggestion of sliced deli meats with various cheeses, buns, and pre-sliced pickles and relishes with a bottle of "normal" and a bottle of "hot" mustard?

At 1400, most people don't want anything greatly "heavy", and, when you're "hosting" you want people to "circulate" and chat...small styrofoam bowls and plastic spoons make the soup go a long ways, a sandwich format reduces the hopeless clean up task, and gives way to an easy way of consuming leftovers, aside from its a fair deal easier in prep time..., and in mid afternoon form, most will just want to "pick" at things...no need to blow the budget!

Lifter

(Been there, done that!)
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Old 10-19-2004, 06:25 AM   #16
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Here ya go! Happy Cooking!

RED PEPPER DIP (note - for 30 people, I'd probably double this)

makes 1 ½ cups

3 chopped scallions
1 clove garlic minced
1tsp. olive oil
1 7 oz. jar roasted red peppers
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh thyme
¼ tsp. black pepper
8oz. cream cheese
2T milk

Saute onions, garlic in oil, til tender. Stir in red peppers, salt/pepper, thyme; cook 1 minute. In food processor, add red pepper mixture, milk and cream cheese and process til smooth. Refrigerate for 6-24 hours to blend flavors.

LEMON ARTICHOKE DIP

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
2/3 cup cream cheese
2 cans artichoke bottoms, chopped finely
Zest of two lemons
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped chives
salt/pepper

Whiz sour cream, mayo, cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, in food processor. Place the mixture in a bowl, and fold in the artichoke bottoms and chives, season w/salt pepper.

(NOTE - the above two can be made 2-3 days in advance)
********************
RICE SALAD FOR STUFFING (I THINK THIS AMOUNT SHOULD BE OKAY JUST FOR STUFFING THE TOMATOES - NO NEED TO DOUBLE)

RICE SALAD

makes 4 servings

Salad:
2 cups cold cooked rice
1/2 cup minced red onion*
1/2 cup mined green pepper*
1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup minced celery*
4 cups romaine lettuce, cut in small pieces*

* remember to keep these all very tiny, so they fit nicely in the cherry tomatoes

** - You could add some tiny baby 'salad' shrimp to this if you like.

Dressing:
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. horseradish
2 tsp. dijon or deli mustard

Combine all salad ingredients; combine dressing ingredients; mix together.


******************

GOAT CHEESE TARTS (I would at least triple this for 30 people)

Makes 20

8oz. goat cheese
3 ounces cream cheese
1T minced scallions
1 clove garlic
1tsp. black pepper
1oz. melted butter
2T minced parsley
1 tsp each minced fresh thyme, basil and oregano
5 7x7 egg roll wrappers*

*If using the premade phyllo cups, just ignore directions for making the egg roll wrappers.

Preheat oven to 350. For filling, mix goat and cream cheese, scallions, garlic mashed, and pepper with a fork.

Brush excess starch off egg roll wrappers and brush with melted butter; cut each into quarters. Fit into mini muffin or mini tart pan, pressing down gently to form a cup. Bake til golden brown and crisp, about 9-10 minutes; transfer to rack and cool.
Fill the cups using a spoon or pastry bag. Sprinkle with parsley. Additional toppings - roasted red pepper, roasted yellow pepper, sliced green olives.

******************

I can't find my recipe for sweet potato biscuits - let me know if you need it, and I'll search some more.

Good luck!
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