Appetizers for 75 to 100 people that won't break the bank.

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by LovesTimone, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. LovesTimone

    LovesTimone Christmas Day 2017

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    We are planning to have a party... the guest list is right now at around 75. We haven't decided when, yet but during the holidays. During the mid afternoon to dinner hour time frame, and it will be more of a open house, drop in and out sorta thing.

    So I am leaning toward appetizers, and what DH calls tray food... I want to keep it simple as possible maybe a couple of more high end selections ... but the rest easy peasy... Items that will hold up for a couple of hours.

    Help I just can't seem to get it together to start planning...:worship:

    :thanks:
     
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  2. pblack

    pblack Mouseketeer

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    Veggies, fruit, cheese and crackers, pinwheels, you could do a festive cheese ball or log with crackers, hot cocoa bar...i'm sure i have other ideas i just can't think of at the moment.

    ETA: antipasto tray...meat/cheese tray with rolls or crackers.
     
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  4. run.minnie.miles

    run.minnie.miles DIS Veteran

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    If your party won't be super formal, I think it'd be fun to do a dip theme. You could set up different stations based on what you'll be dipping with. You could do a big bowl of tortilla chips with things like queso, a fun pico, guac. A station with sliced baguettes with cheesy/warm dips. Another with veggies/fruits. You could even do dessert dips or fondue. ​
     
  5. Bren's Mom

    Bren's Mom DIS Veteran

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    Cheese, fruit and cracker platter
    cheese ball(s)
    crudités and dip
    chips and dip
    queso and tortilla chips
    cold spinach dip with bread
    buffalo chicken dip with tortilla chips
    sweet and sour meatballs, or Swedish meatballs
    shrimp cocktail
    deviled eggs


    toward dinner hour put out trays of cold cuts and cheese, rolls, condiments
    or put out a few trays of ziti, meatballs, salad
    or baked ham/cheese sandwich trays, potato and or pasta salad
    or trays of pinwheel sandwiches and some salads

    I wouldn't bother with anything sweet at this hour, personally.
     
  6. adamak

    adamak DIS Veteran

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    Hummus (make your own). Any sort of dip with cheese. Flatbread. Chinese dumplings if you can make them yourself. I can make 100 of them for 5 or 6 bucks. Peanut sauce noodles.
     
  7. TwoMisfits

    TwoMisfits DIS Veteran

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    So, if I was doing this and didn't mind a little work, I'd probably do a Christmas tea party. That way, unlike dips that can start looking shady if you have messy dippers, everything is daintly and singularly cut or served solo. Beverages are decided - teas - either iced or hot. And water...so that cost is CHEAP for 75-100.

    This menu would be my starting point...but it's adaptable (I know I'd do a dipped fruit, like pineapple or clementines in chocolate over sticking to this menu to give a gluten free desserty option)...https://www.afternoontoremember.com/menus/tea-menu/holiday-tea-menu-recipes
     
  8. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    75 is a lot of people to mess with anything frou-frou - especially coming and going. We do it yearly around the holidays for about that many - we do a huge pot of chili, cold cuts and cheese and buns, brownie bites from costco, chips and dip. It can be difficult to get in and out of your oven if your parties are anything like all the ones I go to (everyone hangs in the kitchen like we don't have other rooms in our house.) Things that go in crockpots work well. And its usually around $500 - just for food - it isn't cheap to feed 75 even just munchies.
     
  9. Grace&Carolinesmom

    Grace&Carolinesmom DIS Veteran

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    A couple of festive bites that are pretty easy....

    -Garlic melba toast topped with a smear of cream cheese, a piece of torn basil and sundried tomato(oil packed)
    -bacon wrapped water chestnuts with a spicy bbq sauce (prep day before into a few trays and bake before party and another in middle)
    -mini mushroom turnovers (can make a month in advance-freeze-then bake before and in middle of party)
    -small ham/tenderloin/turkey rolls on a tray
    -spiced nuts
    -deviled eggs
    -Swedish meatballs in a chafing dish
     
  10. TwoMisfits

    TwoMisfits DIS Veteran

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    If you didn't love the tea party idea, the next cheapest option might just be a simple dinner...
    Sliced ham, crockpot mac and cheese OR roasted fingerling potatoes (which can be room temp) OR an oil based potato salad, honey balsamic glazed roasted carrots OR roasted beets with pistachios and tarragon (both are great room temp), winter fruit salad (room temp - this is one I like to go with - https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/winter-fruit-salad/), rolls, and cranberry punch (water as the other only option - keep beverage options very few)...and a Christmas cookie table for dessert.

    If you keep the total dishes to 5-6, and have a focus on the in-season, cheap, easy to prep, and good room temp produce, you can do this cheaply...while still looking impressive and tasting great...and not even being that unhealthy...

    If you go with the above...the leftover carrots (or beets) can be blended and simmered into a quick soup...the fruit salad could be turned into a quick smoothie...the ham and rolls become sandwiches...etc...so if you go with this type of menu, you don't have to be worried about guest counts or tossing all the food at the end (or not knowing what to do with food that stayed in the fridge b/c you didn't refill anything)...
     
  11. afan

    afan DIS Veteran

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    There needs to at least be cookies. If this is in between meals, not everyone will want to eat savory/more meal type apps. If I've already eaten lunch and know dinner is later then I want a cookie or some cake etc, especially if it's around the holidays.
     
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  12. Ladyandthepuppies

    Ladyandthepuppies Mouseketeer

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    We always get trays of Chick-fil-A nuggets "for the kids" and the adults go nuts for them too. You can get the nuggets cold and heat them up yourself, they have Saturday night pick up for Sunday parties.

    You can make your own hot chocolate (not from a mix) in a crock pot.

    If there's a Trader Joe's near you, they make tons of fun appetizers and are reasonably priced.
     
  13. unrequited23

    unrequited23 Mouseketeer

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    If I could do this I would probably live on dumplings for the rest of my life.
     
  14. AntimonyER

    AntimonyER Mouseketeer

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    Cocktail meatballs or little smokies are a pretty cheap meat option. (Bonus, for a little extra money and work, wrap little smokies in bacon, secure with toothpick, sprinkle with brown sugar, and bake until bacon is semi crisp.) Chips and dip (make your own dip to save a TON, guacamole, salsa, buffalo chicken dip or velveeta queso dip are all good ideas).
     
  15. McKelly

    McKelly DIS Veteran

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    Buy subs, slice them in "appetizer" size slices, 1 inch. Throw a holiday pick on them to hold them together. Fast and easy.
    I find appetizers to be more costly than dinners. I think sandwich/salads are cheaper to serve. I like the idea of ham sandwiches and trays of cheesy potatoes and pasta salad. If you want it to be appetizer-ish, serve the ham with silver dollar rolls.
     
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  16. holden

    holden DIS Veteran

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    Tomato pie/Stromboli feeds a lot of people.
     
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  17. gottalovepluto

    gottalovepluto DIS Veteran

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    Absolutely this! Cookies, rice crispy treats, candy... all holiday themed make great little snack items for those with dinner plans. Also gives good odds that it will provide the kids something to munch on for a bit, even picky eaters like cookies or rice crispy treats or candy :)
     
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  18. adamak

    adamak DIS Veteran

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    :D

    I do live on them! It's not that hard to make. DC loves it and it's healthy. The ones I made have a lot more veggies than meat. I bought the dumpling skin from store. Mix ground pork or whatever meat with bok choy or spinach or green onion, chives, cabbage..etc. You can chop up the veggies or let the food processor does the work. Add some white pepper powder, garlic, little ginger, soy sauce, sugar, rice wine. Mix. Chill for 10 min then wrap.

    I made batches of them and freeze them. You don't even need to defrost before you cook. Just pan fried in low heat, or boil or steam. Now I'm hungry. :ssst:
     
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  19. Mrs. Ciz

    Mrs. Ciz DIS Veteran

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    On one of the high school/college threads, someone had a huge graduation party with a baked potato bar and toppings. She cooked all the potatoes ahead of time and then warmed them up for the party.
     
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  20. LovesTimone

    LovesTimone Christmas Day 2017

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    OP here, could you share your recipe for the dumplings.
     
  21. LovesTimone

    LovesTimone Christmas Day 2017

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    OP here,

    So I have been sorting through everything, I appreciate all the suggestions and you really helped me get my head in the game. I have a open concept home but total get the point everyone wants to hang out in the kitchen, and I do have a double oven which is amazing when the holiday or celebrations come around.

    So here's my sorta rough draft.

    Spiral ham - using as sort of the center piece of the table. Turkey breast sliced to go along with it, a basket of king Hawaiian rolls and some other small rolls to give it a mix, and some mustard's and this cranberry mayo stuff that I make.

    Antipasti platter - with prosciutto, and some other meats, lots of olives and jardiniere, and homemade garlic herb croutons this little gems are so good.

    Cheese platter, since we went to Paris our love of trying new cheese has really expanded... so I thought I would do several types...

    Baskets of crackers, and sliced baguette

    Also some fresh veggies, not really a veggie platter with everything together, but I do have these long leaf shaped dishes or plates, that are around 3 or 4 inches wide and about 20 to 22 inches long that I have used, like I alternated zucchini and summer squash slices, or broccoli and cauliflower florets, adding in some blue cheese and ranch for dipping.

    Spinach and artichoke dip, heated - I would buy the pre-made and doll it up a bit.

    I would like something else ... maybe a potato bar or mac and cheese bar - leaning toward mac and cheese- just trying to wrap my brain around how to serve... I was thinking crock pot and bowls, easier to manage....

    Kids table - meatballs and dips, corn dog nuggets, baby carrots, and the mac and cheese. ( another reason I'm leaning toward mac and cheese) Juice boxes.

    Dessert - Love the idea of holiday rice krispy treats, and holiday cookies.... and some fresh fruit.

    Beverages - I would make a drink station, with soda, tea, water, but then we will have some adult beverages - Beer, and this cranberry or berry wine spritzers which I can make up ahead of time, If I could find a decent drink dispenser... that spout doesn't leak I could go that route.

    I'm sure this will change some what but at least now I have a jumping off point...
     
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