Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hors d'oeuvres and a Party on a Budget

Hors d'oeuvers - the word seems so fancy.  Really, it just means appitizers. 
So while shopping for a party recently, I browsed through the deli looking for appetizer platters.  It was shocking!  Shocking I tell you!  They wanted between $10-$20 per tray.  I did the quick math and figured I could accomplish the same for much much less.
I spent $15 for the ingredients for three dishes, a savings of at least half.
When you do your own party platters, you can pick out your own ingredients.  Plus, the vegetables and fruit will be fresher.  I've seen party platters before with strawberries that were past their prime and carrots and celery that were wilted.
You can also be a little more artistic with your display.  Use a pretty platter or bowl to display the food in.  It looks a lot nicer than a clear plastic tray.
Quick Tips for hors d'oeuvres -
Buy baby carrots, then you don't have to do a lot of peeling.  A quick rinse and they are ready for the platter
Buy your cheese pre-sliced.  Then, stack all the cheese, removing any wax paper between.  Cut cheese into four squares.  When it's pre-sliced, you don't have to mess about with a slicer, and the slices present better visually because they are all the same thickness.
Buy whatever fruits are in season. I found a great deal on grapes and pineapple, spending only a dollar each.  I splurged on the strawberries, which were out of season.
Make your own dips.  A carton of sour cream and a packet of onion soup make a great cheap dip.  Plus, it tastes better than store bought.  A packet of ranch dressing in sour cream makes a great dip for vegetables.
Along with my fancy smancy hors d'oeuvres, I also searved a "Pink Princess Punch".   This will give you a reason to pull out that lovely punch bowl you got as a wedding present and never used.  The recipe for this punch came directly from the 7-up web site:

Pink Princess Party Punch

2 2-liter bottles of 7UP
1 quart raspberry sherbet
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl.
Do not add ice.
*Variation- any flavor sherbet desired may be used.

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