If you have been to a few murder mystery parties before, chances are you've come across a difficult to manage hors d’oeuvre. Party appetizers need to be an amuse-bouche, or in other words, bite-sized and easy to handle if you want your guests to have a memorable experience at your party and be able to engross themselves in the mystery without worrying about greasy fingers, stained shirts from sauces and more than one bite morsels! Just say no to greasy chicken wings with runny ranch dressing.
With any party, the food is part of the event. Not only should it be reflective of your décor and overall theme, but the guests also shouldn't have to think twice about how they are going to deal with enjoying your selection.
The following top ten appetizers were chosen based on taste, size, appearance, and ease of handling. These choices can all be tweaked to fit your party theme, as well.
Like sushi rolls, pinwheels can be flexible as to what ingredients you want to add inside of the flour tortillas. Usually, there will be some protein (i.e. smoked salmon), a cream cheese component and something for crunch, like a cucumber or carrot. Roll up the tortillas, and slice into bite-sized pieces. The creamy element is perfect for holding everything in place and keeping the roll intact. There’s no dripping, and the flour tortilla will not leave any residue on your guests’ fingers.
Bake a batch of new potatoes and scoop out the soft centers. Salt and pepper the potato left on the skin, add a mound of cheddar, bacon bits, and green onions and stick back in the oven until cheese is nice and melted. Top with a bit of sour cream and minced chives and place on a platter. The potato skin is all that comes into contact with your guests’ hands, and if you select small enough potatoes, these can be bite sized and no mess, no fuss.
Bruschetta is a traditional Italian antipasto or starter dish. The basics for any bruschetta are grilled bread sprinkled with garlic and topped with olive oil and salt. Then, you can put your spin on the toppings, but the traditional route is diced tomato, cured meat and cheese with a bit of basil.
Cheese & Melba Toast Variations
Along the same vein as a bruschetta, cheese & Melba toast or cracker canapés vary from a thin piece of bread to a cracker as a base. Spread on a thin layer of cheese spread of your choice and top with a flavorful, savory food such as caviar, anchovies, smoked salmon or maybe shrimp. Or, go literal and offer a selection of crackers and cheese. In this scenario, place decorative tongs so your guests can grab their cheese slices - never expect them to use their hands.
Cherry Tomato Bites
This one is easy but packs a nice burst of flavor. Grab some beautiful cherry tomatoes, slice them in half, scoop out the seeds and spoon in a mix of cream cheese, crumbled bacon, minced green onions and a dash of Worcestershire. The guests pick these up from the smooth tomato skins and pop them in their mouths with one bite.
Piggies in a Blanket
Cannot go wrong with this timeless classic. Grab a roll of unbaked croissants and a package of cocktail wieners. Cut the croissant dough into small triangles (it’s already in bigger pieces to make larger croissants, but make it your own by slicing it with a knife). Wrap the croissant dough around the cocktail wieners and bake according to the directions on the dough – but watch over them until golden brown. It is that easy, and your guests will gobble these up without a disaster.
Veggies with Spinach Dip
This one is easy, healthy and a fresh option. Don’t make the mistake of putting a liquid dressing, such as ranch, as your guests will wear it after a few passes at this tray. Find a good spinach dip recipe that is thick enough to stick on the vegetable bites. Don’t place veggies that are bigger than bite sized on the tray, as your guests may double dip, and nobody likes a double-dipper!
If you can find bite-sized hamburger buns, then the sky is the limit on what you can put on your sliders. Pulled pork, grilled chicken bites, mini burger patties and any fixings you can think of can all go on your slider. However, stay away from sauces that may drip!
From Asian cuisine, spring rolls vary with how you want to prepare them. The wrapper, filling and cooking technique vary tremendously. Non-fried spring rolls typically include some pre-cooked shredded cabbage, pork, glass noodles, and carrots and are rolled in a thin rice paper. Non-fried is preferred as the fried varieties will leave your guests’ fingers greasy. In today’s health-conscious world, your guests will appreciate a healthier option.
Using decorative toothpicks, you skewer the meatballs (turkey, lamb, &/or beef) and place on the platter with some parsley as décor. With properly cooked meatballs, you do not need to slather sauce on them, as that has the potential to ruin your guests’ night with big smears of barbecue on their chest. Rather, put the flavor in the rub before grilling.