As promised, I wanted to give you all some DIY tips on party food. I wish I had better photos, but I was too busy chatting with guests...sorry!!
My first suggestion is to decide right up front what your goal is regarding food. Full meal? Munchies? Hot or cold? Sweets only? For us, we decided that we didn't want to do a full meal since we had 20+ people attending Hannah's party. We planned a 1 PM party time so that people had a chance to have lunch first. We did want more than just Hannah's requested cupcakes, so we went with appetizers, and included one hot dish.
Our first appetizer was hummus on sliced English cucumbers. I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought I'd give it a try. Though I had all of the ingredients to make my own hummus, I went with store bought to save some time. We had garlic and chive hummus on the cucumber (about 3/4-inch slices) and it was AWESOME!!! I peeled part of the cucumber skins off, creating dark green stripes, and the crunch from the remaining skin was a nice addition. I will surely do this again, as it took next to no time to make and was very tasty.
Next, we did mini-caprese salads on skewers. Essentially, this is made up of three components, cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and mini bocconcini cheese balls. These were another hit, though I think the next time I make them, I will use smaller basic leaves. The ones I bought were quite strong in flavor. For an adult party, you could drizzle olive oil or balsamic vinegar over them, but since I knew there would be some kids, I left them plain.
Next was our one hot dish. I made Crab Rangoons and they were super yummy!! Click here for the recipe. I will be making these for my family many more times!! They tasted great and didn't make me a slave to the kitchen! My guests were begging for the recipe!! Personally, I thought they were a bit strong on the crab flavor, but that could easily be fixed with a touch more cream cheese. I also learned (after going to several grocery stores and walking in circles) that wonton wrappers can be found in the cooler next to the tofu and fresh pasta...who knew??
Along with all of these ideas, we also stood celery and beans upright in glass dishes, as well as colorful peppers. We used rice as a base for the peppers so they stood up higher in the glass I had.
Tomorrow I'll give some recipes for the beverages we had...they were delicious!!!