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Bridal Shower/Cocktail Party


TinDC
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I am co-hosting a bridal shower in a few weeks. It will be more of a cocktail party, probably 5-7 pm. So, along with cocktails, I need ideas for nibbles. No restrictions, other than I am not a gourmet chef, so simple is good.

Any ideas?

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If you want to take a shortcut and just buy some things instead of making everything from scratch, Trader Joe's has some good appetizer/hors d'ouvers type things. Mini-quiches, little spinach pies, etc. Also it can be fun to have a couple different cheeses with fruit and nuts and stuff.

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Tea sandwiches are the classic, and there are a million of 'em out there. One that I like to do is thinly sliced baguette (or good sourdough--mixed grain is very nice here) with a mini-slice of serrano ham, manchego cheese, and membrillo (Spanish quince paste). It's a good combination, you can make a few hours ahead because there's nothing to get the bread particularly soppy, and it's a little different than the cucumber and salmon thing. It also goes well with bubbly <_< .

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Tapenade on crostini? Just blend up some olives with a bit of anchovy, garlic, olive oil. Maybe top w/ a basil leaf? You could also make a roasted pepper topping w/ some store-bought peppers to put on other crostinis for some color contrast.

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I always like to make little rounds of cheddar shortbread. Kinda like homemade Cheez-Its. Easy to do, and a little unusual.

A bowl of nuts with a spicy-sweet coating would also be good, easy to prepare ahead of time, and not too labor-intensive. Just have to watch out for burning when you cook 'em.

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I have done meat and cheese or cheese and fruit fondue. I've also seen people who ask the bride for memory food: stuff she had grown up with, aps from the family trove, etc. Clearly I've been to one too many lately.

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Wrap shrimp in bacon, broil, and serve (at room temp if desired) with garlic mayonaise.

Thinly spread a bit of cream cheese or soft chesse like Boursin on pieces of smoked salmon or trout, then wrap around roasted asparagus spears.

Bite-sized pieces of good sausages make good cocktail nibbles, as do roasted tiny new potatoes. Both can be cooked in advance.

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One of my easy go-to finger foods is pitted dates stuffed with peanut butter, cottage cheese, or a soft, brie-like cheese (I like to use slivers of Mirabo, which has walnuts in it). I usually make an assortment of stuffings. They look nice on a platter.

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Wrap shrimp in bacon, broil, and serve (at room temp if desired) with garlic mayonaise.

Thinly spread a bit of cream cheese or soft chesse like Boursin on pieces of smoked salmon or trout, then wrap around roasted asparagus spears.

Bite-sized pieces of good sausages make good cocktail nibbles, as do roasted tiny new potatoes.  Both can be cooked in advance.

Thanks for all of the suggestions so far. For these bacon wrapped shrimp, do you use already cooked shrimp or raw? How long do you put them in the oven for?
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Thanks for all of the suggestions so far.  For these bacon wrapped shrimp, do you use already cooked shrimp or raw?  How long do you put them in the oven for?

(For Tripewriter) Until it is done. <_<

Start with raw shrimp and make sure that the bacon is sliced pretty thin so that it cooks. Under the broiler for probably 5-7 minutes or so.

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You can make some nice (and easy) savory tarts with pre-made puff-pastry. Spread Boursin or a similar soft, herbed cheese on the pastry, and top with your choice of ingredients. I've used roasted peppers, sauteed mixed mushrooms, caramelized onions. Bake for about 10 minutes. Here's a recipe with the specifics of time, temperature, etc.

And here's another one for a really easy salsa-baked goat cheese. This has been a hit every time I've made it - though I've been lazy and not made my own salsa. I used a combination of the fresh and the fire-roasted salsas from Trader Joe's. Yum!

I also have an old standby from a "best of" cookbook - it's a spread made with peas (frozen I believe) and bacon. You cook some bacon 'til it's crispy, saute some garlic in the bacon grease, then combine the peas and garlic in the food processor, season, and spread on those little toasts (again from TJ's) and top with a few pieces of crumbled bacon. Totally simple, but always gets raves!

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I am co-hosting a bridal shower in a few weeks.  It will be more of a cocktail party, probably 5-7 pm.  So, along with cocktails, I need ideas for nibbles.  No restrictions, other than I am not a gourmet chef, so simple is good.

Any ideas?

I need a variation on the theme this time with dietary restrictions: no meat, no dairy, and no chocolate. This will be a buffet so it's not limited to nibbles. So far all of the suggestions include all three restrictions. Any other ideas?

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I need a variation on the theme this time with dietary restrictions: no meat, no dairy, and no chocolate.  This will be a buffet so it's not limited to nibbles.  So far all of the suggestions include all three restrictions.  Any other ideas?

plain fruit salad--berries, melon, etc., in their own juices

pasta with olive oil and basil or other greenery

roasted vegetables in olive oil (I just did eggplant, cubanelle peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic, with some basil thrown in at the end)

orzo primavera Omit the cheese and use vegetable stock or water instead of chicken broth

and looking back at what I wrote, dates stuffed with peanut butter would seem to work

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(For Tripewriter)  Until it is done. <_<

Start with raw shrimp and make sure that the bacon is sliced pretty thin so that it cooks.  Under the broiler for probably 5-7 minutes or so.

Y'know, Mike, that is almost exactly what I was going to write. ;) Thanks!

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no meat, no dairy and no chocolate (poor thing):

veggies and hummus

baba ganoush (spelling?)

falafel

pita and hummus

Basically you could easily do a Middle Eastern Feast as there are plenty of veggie options and desserts don't generally use dairy or chocolate (baklava)

I don't know if others on the board would agree but you can get good, if expensive, take out/catering at Lebanese Taverna on Lee Highway in Arlington... there are probably other places to pick the stuff up from that are better or as good.

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I don't know if others on the board would agree but you can get good, if expensive, take out/catering at Lebanese Taverna on Lee Highway in Arlington... there are probably other places to pick the stuff up from that are better or as good.

I've put together some nice party spreads from the Taverna deli counter. If you that style of food, it is well worth a try.
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Cocktail party for 35:

cheddar and smoked paprika cheese straws

parmesan and rosemary cheese sticks

roasted olives with herbs (recipe stolen from 2AMYS)

marcona almonds

warm mascarpone stuffed dates (recipe stolen from Komi)

hummus with pita (purchased from Cava)

eggplant-red pepper dip with pita (purchased from Cava)

tiny meatballs in safron sauce

shrimp cocktail

cumin carrots

endives with mandarins, almonds, and goat feta (recipe stolen from Jaleo)

pastry tarts with crab Newburg

pastry shells with duxelles

samosas with sweet tomato chutney

potato and chorizo banderillas with aioli

asparagus and smoked salmon banderillas with lemon creme fraiche

manchego, membrillo, and serrano banderillas

pork picadillo empanadas

spinach empanadas

Stilton with candied pecans

assorted coctails and wines

dessert: spice cupcakes with maple buttercream

If I don't get off the damn computer right now and get back to work, I'm gonna be in trouble.

eta: recipes stolen, not actual foodstuffs! :blink:

Trying not to panic,

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