A finger-food buffet meal can be easy to prepare, and allow you to socialize more with your guests, since most of the food can be prepared ahead of time. Make a relish tray or vegetable tray as an appetizer. Prepare simple sandwiches or quarter cooled baked potatoes and sprinkle them with toppings. Make an easy fondue of melted chocolate, fruit and cookies, offer your guests honeyed nuts or bake a dessert pizza.
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Cut celery into 3-inch pieces and fill it with whipped cream cheese, peanut butter or grated cheddar cheese mixed with mayonnaise and pimiento. Make a relish tray with dill pickle spears, green and black olives, hot and mild pickled peppers and pickled beets. Offer a vegetable tray with baby carrots or carrot sticks, celery sticks, grape tomatoes, broccoli crowns and cauliflower, accompanied by dip or dressing. Cube three varieties of cheeses, add a package of precooked cubed ham and use fancy toothpicks to assemble kabobs.
Sandwiches and Potatoes
Make sandwiches of cream cheese and green olives, ham and Swiss cheese, sliced turkey breast and mild cheddar cheese, and roast beef with sharp cheddar. Trim the crusts and cut them diagonally twice to form four triangular quarters. Place toothpicks in each quarter. Make sandwich wraps using small corn tortillas, shredded lettuce, shredded cheeses or cream cheese and deli ham or turkey. Add a few drops of a spicy Southwestern dressing or ranch dressing.
Bake Idaho potatoes in the microwave until they're almost done, then transfer them to the oven for 10 minutes to crisp up the skins. Let them cool completely, then cut them into quarters. Sprinkle them with melted butter, grated Cheddar cheese and crisp bacon bits.
Bake sweet potatoes in the microwave until soft. Let them cool completely and cut them into quarters. Sprinkle them with melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Make ice cream sandwiches using chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream. Melt milk or dark chocolate in a small crockpot and keep it on the lowest setting. Offer strawberries, banana slices, vanilla wafers and orange sections for dipping.
Make a cinnamon pizza using a prepared pizza crust brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Bake it according to package directions and cut it into small triangles. Make a glaze with powdered sugar and milk, and offer it for dipping.
Coat mixed nuts with honey and bake them on a cookie sheet, stirring them occasionally to keep them separated. Let them cool and sprinkle them very lightly with cinnamon.