We recently had between 25-30 people over for the first shindig at our new place. I decided to cook a ton of food (though I had lots of help!) to serve, since I was so excited to have more counter space and a larger kitchen.
At the moment, things are a little sparse in terms of furniture, but between us and some friends we had enough folding tables and chairs to get us by.
Most of these recipes I found on Pinterest or Allrecipes.com. I’ll try to provide all the links. I was feeding kids, vegetarians, and some gluten-free folks, so I was trying to have a lot of variety in my menu selections. I was also feeding my husband who is uber picky. Prepare for a long post cause there was a lot of food.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Mini spinach quiches
Apple and Brie bruschetta
Peanut butter and jelly on rice cakes
Taco cups (w/ sour cream, guac, and salsa)
Chicken Parmesan meatballs
Bacon wrapped dates with goat / blue cheese
Veggies and dip
Honeycrisp apple sangria
Gluten free cupcakes (yellow cake)
Italian wedding cupcakes
Oreo marshmallow treats
Red velvet cheeseball (w/ vanilla wafers)
And wings. But we ordered those from Wingstop.
Surprisingly, I did not have too much food left when it was over with. Just some bacon wrapped dates, a couple quiches, and some taco cups. Below are some pictures along with any substitution details I made, and some links to the recipes/pins.
The first picture has wings, pizza dip, and buffalo dip. I think the veggie tray is in the back there somewhere as well. My friend, Kim, one of our regular Orkfest attendees, makes Buffalo Chicken dip that is somehow soooo much better than the kind I normally make. So I asked her for the recipe, and this is what she uses. I did not buy canned chicken; I used a small crockpot and slow cooked the chicken in the buffalo sauce for about 8 hours before it went in the dip. I always used tortilla chips for this dip, which keeps it gluten free. The pizza dip recipe I didn’t make any modifications to. This time I used tortillas, but I often like to make crostini from a baguette to dip in this. I The wings, as I said, were from Wing Stop, which is a wings chain that started out in CO that I discovered during our time in Chicago. Thankfully, there are a couple in Charleston. We ordered four flavors: Cajun (my favorite), lemon pepper, mild, and Louisiana rub.
You probably notice the plastic wine glass (what can I say we are classy folks … and also I don’t own 30 wine glasses) on the table. It is filled with the honeycrisp sangria. The beverage contraption it was served in is new, and I love it. Holds 3 gallons and has a little removable tunnel in the center for ice to cool without watering down the drink. Yes, I got it from Amazon. It has cinnamon sugar as the ring coating the lip of the wine glass. The sangria was gone very quickly, so I think it was well-received. The base called for un-oaked chardonnay, and I went with La Vuelta which I got from Total Wine. I did modify the recipe slightly – used less cinnamon sticks and cloves than were called for.
I made some mini-quiches, which was a bit of a long process. I have only a single 12 count mini muffin pan, so it had to be done in batches. Also, I made three different filling kinds – a vegetarian version (no bacon), standard (onions and bacon), and the Jesse version (bacon but no onions – I only made like 6 of these). I think I had a total of 5 of these left at the end of the party. The recipe was great as is, but I think it was actually meant for normal sized muffin tins, so I had some left over.
Next up we have the taco cups (sorry for the blurry picture). They are easy and I only have a pin for them (the recipe is in the description). I made these for a game night a while back, but with no toppings. This time I also made guacamole, and left out sour cream and salsa for toppings. The cups are built with a wonton wrapper as the base. I made mine with ground beef, but I imagine if you wanted to get fancy with pork or chicken I imagine it would still work swimmingly.
The two different types of bruschetta that I “made” were really mostly put together by some of my guests who got there while I was still working on them (thanks if any of you are reading!). The slightly easier one was an apple brie bruschetta. I used honeycrisp apples, brie cheese, pecans, and a drizzle of honey. The base was baguette slices that had been brushed and broiled into crostini. On the left below, we made a few on some almond nut crackers so that the gluten free folks could enjoy them.
The other kind was an asparagus goat cheese bruschetta. I used normal baguettes, and I subbed red wine vinegar in the mustard sauce … which also used just a standard dijon mustard. Instead of putting the mustard on the bottom of the bruschetta (seemed messy), I put it as the bottom layer, then added the goat cheese and other toppings. Both bruschettas were good, but the asparagus one was my favorite because it was just something quite different!
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs were another thing we made. Had a lot of help with these, too. FYI, ground chicken is pretty sticky to roll into meatballs. We made these smaller than the recipe said so there would be more of them, and I also subbed gluten free corn flake crumbs instead of breadcrumbs to make them gluten free. I liked these a lot too, and they got the seal of approval from my husband which has to say something. Anything with melted cheese on top of it gets bonus points, right?
Last but not least (for non-desserts), bacon wrapped dates stuffed with cheese. We varied it between goat cheese and blue cheese. These are easy to make and don’t really require a recipe, but if you want it here it is. I recommend staying away from thick sliced bacon (we used some for part of this), as it doesn’t roll as well. I also recommend overfilling with cheese. These are awesome warm, but are still delicious cold too. I feel like I will make them at least a bunch more.
Onto desserts! I made my first round of gluten free cupcakes. I started with this recipe, and then substituted Red Mill Gluten Free Flour and Xantham Gum for the traditional flour. I used store bought chocolate icing. My only note: don’t lick the batter spoon. Thankfully the cupcakes tasted better than the batter. The other cupcakes I made are Italian Wedding cake, which I hadn’t ever made. They were okay, but not my favorite thing.
The oreo marshmallow treats were made using this pin. These were the one “fail”. They were made correctly, but I don’t think they were very good. Weird consistency, a little chewy. No crunchy krispiness. A few of the kids seemed to like them, so at least there is that!
The red velvet cake cheeseball I have made once before, but it was worth doing again. Pretty easy to do, and served with vanilla wafers. Nom!
I’m gonna skip the picture of the PB&J rice cakes, which were really made for a few of my kid guests who really love it.
I guess that is “it”. You have probably now had enough appetizer recipes for the rest of the year (hah!). It was a lot of fun to prep, and the party was a good time, so I’m calling it a success. Till next time …