Parties & Entertaining

What to plan for party snacks

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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pinwheel party food
Easy to make and yummy to nibble
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Here's what to plan for party snacks and make entertaining a snap

Fun, surprising and above all tasty, the right party foods raise spirits from the moment guests arrive. Prepare small bites offering a variety of flavors whether you're throwing a spooky Halloween bash or a casual housewarming to help set a festive mood.

To decide what to plan for party snacks it helps to first set a food budget and a few parameters. If you’re a list maker, write a list of your favorite small bites, a list of foods that makes sense with the occasion and a few ideas you want to try. Consider which ones will be easiest to get on the tray and which ones will take some work.

Foods that taste best hot and require significant prep can spread a host trying to do it all too thin. Make things easy for yourself by planning a menu that can be 98% prepared ahead of time so all you need to do is heat and set out with minimal assembly required. 
Sweets and Cake Slices

Offer a selection of baked goods. All time favorites like brownies, crumb cake, and frosted sheet cake. Something sweet is always popular, especially if your party is a celebration. Choose colorful frosting, specialty flavors, and add candles, sprinkles, and happy greetings to your cake.

Popcorn 

Tin combos of popular gourmet popcorn offer something for everyone. Flavors include a mix of sweet – caramel crunch, chocolate-covered, pumpkin - and savory – cheddar, buttery, spicy. All the host has to do is order the tins in advance and open them before welcoming guests. There's no need to heat or pour in a fancy dish because the tins are perfect for serving. 





Popcorn is a classic, easy party food that satisfies guests of all ages. Children gobble it up. If you plan to serve alcohol, this substantial snack will keep people from getting too tipsy. 

Mini meatballs

Make your signature meatballs bite-sized and you'll have a happy crowd. Serve smothered in sauce in a slow cooker or oven dish with toothpicks and small plates. Meatballs satisfy guests who show up hungry and keep everyone else from getting hungry. Prepare the sauce and meatballs a week or so ahead of time and freeze until the day before your event.

Deviled eggs

When considering what to plan for party snacks, deviled eggs fall under the prep and assembly required category. Make them the morning of the party and leave them to chill in the fridge. Cold, creamy and savory, they’ll add a welcome, colorful contrast to you menu. They’re also self-contained so no mess or small plates needed.

Mozzarella sticks

Serving warm breaded cheese and marina sauce almost feels like cheating. Mozzarella sticks are a crowd-pleaser for good reason.  Get them frozen and prepare your sauce in advance so you can serve them quickly anytime during the party. They bake in the oven for a few minutes and fill your home with a deliciously familiar, comforting aroma.

Cheese and chutney

Surprise your guests with something a little less familiar. Make tangy, sweet cranberry chutney in advance and serve alongside a plate of warmed Brie and crackers. Spreading out a few snacks like this gives guests something simple and neat to put together. 

If you have the space, set out a variety of chutneys in different areas to avoid a bottle neck of snackers. Simple chutney recipes like mango, tomato and coconut offer a beautiful balance of sweet and spicy for curious taste buds. In addition to Brie, cream cheese, muffin bites and crostini go well with many chutneys.

Pinwheels

Pinwheels were invented for hosts wondering what to plan for party snacks. They’re easy to assemble, make your home smell fantastic and fun to get creative with. Get a few loaves of frozen pizza dough or make your own if there’s time. 

Spread the dough and add a thin layer of sandwich spread, meat and cheese. Roll up, bake, then slice the roll and serve warm. Make vegetarian versions with hummus, salsa, spinach leaves and thinly sliced crunchy veggies. 

Keep your menu easy and flavorful. Bowls of red grapes and baked apple slices are simple, colorful bites guests love to nibble at. Plus they fill out the menu without stretching the budget.

Plan a handful of selections per every 12 guests. If you’re worried about running low on food, stock extra cured meat, crackers and cheese just in case. 

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