This past weekend George and I hosted a little get-together at our apartment. I love to spread my holiday cheer around, and hadn’t shown off the “new” apartment to many people before this weekend.
One of the biggest struggles I had was figuring out the menu. We didn’t collect RSVPs, so it was a bit hard to gauge how many guests were attending. Based upon what people did say, we were expecting around 15-20 people. The party was on a Saturday evening, with listed hours of 7-10PM, so we needed light food, but not a full meal. I didn’t want to spend the party cooking, so I looked for display-ready foods that could be prepared in advance.
For foods we prepared or purchased:
- A large cheese plate, with five kinds of cheese (see below for details)
- Triscuts, Wheathins, gluten free Lentil Crackers, and a sliced baguette
- A veggie tray with peppers, celery, cucumbers, and carrots
- Hummus, ranch dip, and guacamole
- Tortilla chips and salsa
- Deviled eggs
- Tomato poppers (made without meat, but with breadcrumbs instead)
For sweets we had:
- Fresh strawberries
- Snowflake sugar cookies
- Chocolate crinkle cookies
- Mint brownie bites
- M&Ms and Lindt truffles
For drinks we assembled:
- White, red, and sparkling wine
- Tons of various beer
- Hot apple cider
- Club Soda, tonic, coke, orange juice, etc
- Various liquors
The food went really well! I was so happy with the cheese platter because one guest, bless his heart, said it looked like the kind that you get at a restaurant. For the platter I chose five different types of cheese: horseradish, blue cheese, cranberry goat cheese, Vermont cheddar, and Brie. I tried to get different levels of hardness of cheese, and different levels of familiarity. The cheddar was the most eaten, with the goat cheese a close second.
In order to label the cheeses, I created little flags on toothpicks. It was a super fast DIY earlier in the day. I simply printed out the foods I wanted to label onto red cardstock. Cut into strips, I wrapped the end around a toothpick and secured with festive washi tape.
The flags were so easy, and it helped guests select their foods. As someone with a selective diet, I hate to ask people “does this have XYZ in it?” Labeling foods prevents that whole issue.
George and I don’t have too many platters, so I had to great creative for some of our display methods. For our veggie tray, I stacked peppers, cucumber, and celery sticks along the edge of a bowl. In the middle, I placed a smaller bowl filled with baby carrots. I guess it was like a DIY chip and dip bowl.
I made the brownie bites in a mini muffin pan to make them neat and easy to grab. I added some mint extract and crushed up Andes mints for a special surprise. The mini muffin tin worked out perfectly!
We had fewer people attend than we expected, but I was still surprised as to how much wine and beer we had left. So many people went straight for the warm cider, with some of our friends spiking it with vanilla vodka.
Most of the food was eaten, but now George and I have snacks for the next few days. I’m excited to find ways to use up the remaining fancy cheeses. Yum!
Much love to all of our friends who stopped by, and to all those friends we’ll be celebrating with soon! xo!