Shortcut Hors d’Oeuvres for Your Holiday Party

No time to cook? No worries! Shop for the hors d’oeuvres.

By FamilyTime


Whether you’re throwing a large or small holiday party, the key to success is to plan ahead. Good organization frees up your time on the day of the party so that you can relax once the festivities begin.

Luckily, a lot of party food is easy to come by, particularly if you live near good specialty and gourmet shops. Even supermarkets carry a lot items custom-made for a party.

So, make a list and go shopping!

Tasty Food

Enticing store-bought tidbits make your life easier and your party more fun. They can quickly add up, though, so pay attention when you shop. You might want to supplement them with a few of your own creations to keep the budget in line. 

Do not go overboard. Your guests will be happy with four or five selections. Concentrate on your favorites and those that best complement each other, and save other ideas for your next party.

Gourmet shops, bakeries, and markets both small and large are treasure troves for the creative host. Buy fancy olives, spreads, dips, breads, hard sausages, and cocktail nut mixes. Look for holiday cookies and cakes that are easy to slice.  

Don’t neglect the frozen food aisles. There you will find small stuffed pastries such as spanikopita and mini egg rolls. You can also buy frozen puff pastry to fill with your own favorite fillings.

More and more frequently, markets sell crudite platters, which precludes you from peeling and cutting vegetables. To insure its freshness, buy the platter the day of the party, or order it from the market so that it’s ready when you need it.

Cheese and crackers sound dull, but everyone loves them. Shop for exotic, rich cheeses and serve them on slices of baguettes or herb-kissed breads and crackers. Pile some fruit on the tray to complement the cheese.

Party Food on Pretty Platters

Pull out your favorite plates, platters, and trays. Don’t cram a lot of items on one but instead arrange them artfully on serving dishes that don’t dwarf the food. Several medium-sized servers are more manageable than one large one.

If you design a menu and stick to it, shop and prepare ahead of time, on the day of the party you will find yourself only heating, assembling, and plating the food. And you surely will hear the phrase, music to every host’s ears: “The food is great!”