Summer is such a busy time with so many celebrations. Whether someone in your family is graduating from high school or college, or a friend is getting married, or you just want to get people together to celebrate the season, an appetizer party is fun and easy on the cook.
Tips for the Best Summer Appetizer Party
- You are literally replacing a meal with these recipes, so as with ordinary meal planning, choose your recipes carefully.
- Be sure to have some make ahead recipes, some last minute foods, and choose cold, hot, spicy, mild, and different textures.
- I usually have two or three make ahead recipes, at least one crockpot recipe, some vegetable and fruit dips, a couple of grilled recipes, and just one last minute oven recipe.
- Make multiples of several recipes like cheese balls and layered dips, then just pull the extras out of the fridge and place them on the serving tables when the food is pretty depleted.
- A couple of snack mixes will fill in any bare spots and make it easy for kids to grab something to eat.
- Do as much pre-preparation as you can, including cutting up crudites, preparing dips and other recipes that need to be chilled, and setting up your serving tables.
- Create several beverage stations with canned and bottled beverages kept cold in tubs full of ice water, and a punch or two surrounded by lots of cups.
- Don't forget about food safety.
And take help where you can! If some of your guests offer to bring foods, happily accept! Now relax and enjoy your guests and your fabulous food.
Summer Appetizer Party
This easy make ahead torte is spectacularly beautiful and very tasty. Serve it with toasted garlic bread, breadsticks, crudites, and crackers.
These hot and spicy nuts are a great nibbler. Place several small bowls of this recipe around your party area.
Layered Taco Dip
Another make ahead recipe! Make this dip spicy or mild depending on the ingredients you use and serve it with lots of different colored tortilla chips.
Filo Onion Rolls
This is the baked last minute appetizer I most often serve. Make several trays of these little rolls and freeze them, then just unwrap and bake each as your party progresses.
Bacon Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
This appetizer must be made several hours ahead of time. Arrange them on two platters and simply replace the first platter when it starts to empty.
Dragon's Breath Dip
Your guests won't believe that there are two heads of garlic in this recipe. It's nutty, rich, and delicious. Serve with crudites and breadsticks.
Gingery Fruit Dip
A sweet dip is necessary in the summer simply because summer fruits are at their peak. Surround this pretty dip with strawberries, cantaloupe and other melon cubes or slices, kiwifruit, and some simple sugar cookies.
Crockpot Crab Spread
This rich and creamy crab spread just cooks away happily all by itself. Surround the crockpot with breadsticks and crusty bread slices.
Parmesan Wafers with Figs
If you can find fresh, sweet figs, you must make this unusual and delicious appetizer. Everyone will love it!
Watermelon Blue Cheese Salad
This beautiful and fresh salad combines juicy and sweet watermelon with tangy blue cheese in a simple two ingredient recipe.
Pork and Peach Skewers
This grilled recipe is so juicy and flavorful. There's usually a grillmaster among your guests; let him or her handle this recipe over the coals.
Praline Cherry Munch
This is my favorite sweet snack mix recipe. And kids love it!
Banana Slush Punch
This is my favorite punch (even though I don't really like bananas!). Remember to take it out of your freezer a couple of hours before the party starts. I divide it into two containers so I can refresh the punch bowl halfway through the party.
Easiest Fudge in the World
There's always room for chocolate! This recipe makes a really wonderful fudge that rivals the much more difficult cooked fudge recipe.
Caramel Cream Cookies
These little cookies are the perfect sweet bite at the end of your party. Make a double batch!
When planning your party, gather all your recipes and make a master grocery list. Mark any ingredients that may need to be special ordered or purchased at a specialty store. Then plan your schedule. Try to make at least one recipe several days in advance. Many recipes can be successfully frozen and then thawed or reheated to perfection.
Write down all recipes you're going to make and when you plan to make them. Be sure you have the correct number and sizes of serving dishes. Then have fun!