Published December 29, 2012
| The Daily Meal
As we try to get over the "hump" of our week, we can’t help but notice that our monthly calendar is jam-packed with holiday dinners and parties. And we bet you’re in the same boat. If you're planning a bash of your own, we’re here to deliver the goods — a little menu inspiration.
More often than not, when you have a busy schedule you tend to serve familiar, quick-to-make dishes — and we understand completely. However, after looking at these drool-worthy bites you're sure to find some motivation to try something new.
After scouring our own recipe archives, those of our trusty Culinary Content Network members, and a sprinkle of our favorite catering companies, we have compiled a collection of 25 foods fit for any party. From comfort food bites and bold flavors to modern twists and extravagant displays, these dishes are sure to make a big splash at any soirée.
While there are thousands of dishes populating our site and sites like Pinterest, we thought it best to stick to the small stuff, so we've focused on bite-sized items that are perfect for cocktail parties.
And of course no cocktail party would be complete without signature sips, so stay tuned for 25 Party Drinks. All of a sudden, we’re very thirsty.
Warm Chips and Truffled Dip
"[This is] my easy, go-to party snack for years, or when watching a movie for that matter… it's always a hit." — Linnea Johansson, Perfect Parties
"These are my hands down favorite holiday dessert this season. They're easy, delicious, and make your look like a super star in the kitchen when you bust out the crème brûlée torch!" — Linnea Johansson, Perfect Parties
"These are inspired by turning easy beer bread into something extra special using locally made Marinated Balsamic Onions from The Rustic Fork. These are full of flavor and have a deep rich color from slow cooking of the onions. The balsamic onions are combined in the filling with either Brie or Parmesan for a perfect savory appetizer or a great dinner roll. [They're the] perfect size for making ahead and freezing, and great for winter soups and stews. You don't have to do the pull-apart version, just place the pinwheels in the pan and — voilà — instant dinner rolls!"
— Ellen Hartle, Bake It with Booze.
Mini Banh Mi Sandwiches
"Also known as a Vietnamese hoagie, a banh mi is a delicious Vietnamese street food that is quickly gaining popularity around the world. And it’s easy to see why: these beef or pork sandwiches are topped with a sweet and tangy mix of condiments to please the palate. Either way, these itty-bitty edibles are to be a crowd-pleaser."— Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park, Tiny Food Party
"The classic Indian snack food is served with raita, a traditional cucumber-mint yogurt sauce, to cool the palate and offset the spicy notes of the samosa filling. Set out big bowls of samosas and fresh cucumber-mint raita and get to dipping!" — Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park, Tiny Food Party
Red, Wine, and Blue Grilled Cheese
"These grilled cheese sandwiches are beautiful and delicious. They can be made in bite-sized portions with cocktail bread or simply sliced into smaller portions and served as an appetizer. The caramelized onion and red wine jam pairs perfectly with a great blue cheese. The combination is incredible and makes a beautiful addition to an appetizer course." —Jennifer Burcke, 1840 Farm
New York City's Canard Inc. takes a modern approach to the classic comfort food favorite, the Buffalo wing. Fit for the masses, this one-bite wonder is boneless and is fixed with a hint of blue cheese and a sprig of celery — no muss, no fuss.
STK Rooftop's Tuna Taquitos
The best kind of party food should be one that your guests can grab and munch on in one to two bites. New York City's STK wanted to create something light and healthy; an option for those looking to enjoy hors d'oeuvres but not feel heavy or full from them.
The Spaghetti and Meatball
The Spaghetti and Meatball from chef Bob Spiegel features a meatball stuffed with olive oil atop a miniature tower of angel hair pasta tossed with a reduced tomato sauce. Spiegel finds his inspiration from re-imagining dishes one might find in a grandmother’s kitchen to create surprising riffs on familiar themes.
Lobster Mac and Cheese
This brilliant pairing hails from Pinch Food Design—two favorite flavors, poached lobster and macaroni and cheese are combined with a simple swivel of a spoon. The question is, which side do you eat first?
Sweet Pepper Poppers
Sweet peppers filled with cheese and cream cheese, wrapped in bacon, brushed with barbecue sauce, these are always the first appetizers to disappear at my house. Great for kids and those of us who can’t handle the jalapeno, that’s me if you were wondering..—Milissa Armstrong, Miss in the Kitchen
Shrimp and Avocado Salad Appetizer
" One of the greatest tricks to a dinner party is finding menu items that look impressive without actually taking much work. This simple appetizer fits the bill — it only requires a few minutes of prep, but by showcasing it in the avocado shell you get a unique presentation that will wow any guests.—Ali Rosen, Video Producer, The Daily Meal
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