Sure to Impress Party Food

When planning party food, the first question you need to ask yourself is “What kind of feel am I going for?”
Here are four of my tried and true party arrangement favorites! See below for recipes if you’re interested or just take some inspiration with you when you go.

A Little Bit of Everything
For this kind of party a charcuterie board is a clear winner! These popular arrangements may look intimidating but they are so easy to throw together! You literally just start tossing stuff on the board and filling in empty spots where you see them. Try to place different colors, textures and flavors together to give it a more intriguing look. charcuterie boards are so versatile and have something for everyone! These are great for parties with a wide variety of people, especially if you aren’t sure what some people like.

Vibrant & Colorful
Especially for spring time parties I like to make sure every color of the rainbow is represented. You can mix and match serving dishes to give it an even more festive feel! For these kinds of parties try to keep everything fresh and vibrant. Maybe even move the party outside to let nature provide the décor!

Kid Approved
Kid parties and birthday parties are of course specific to your child’s current interests and tastes. Whether you are dancing with unicorns, swimming with baby shark or singing with Elsa make sure your kid if at the heart of your party food choices. It can be as simple as fruit, cheese and veggie trays or as complicated as mac and cheese muffins and dolphin bananas. Charcuterie boards can find there way here too just make sure you tailor it to the special someone’s palate.

Fancy Pants
We aren’t typically the fancy type in my house. But when hosting Thanksgiving I like to give it my all! Of course I go back yet again to a charcuterie board but this time classed it up a bit. When throwing a fancy party sometimes less is more. My charcuterie board included a variety of cheeses (some familiar some adventurous) and some pairing accessories like meats (salami, summer sausage and prosciutto), grains (bruschetta, crackers and bread sticks) and fresh produce (Apples, homemade fig jam and pomegranates). Adding to the aromatic ambiance I created a few finger appetizers as well. These small bites are simple but packed with flavor and dressed to impress!

Your party is an expression of you (or the guest of honor if you are throwing it for someone else)! Always follow your heart (and your stomach) when planning your party food and you will be sure to have a success on your hands!

Below are a few of the recipes for the food shown above in case you are interested!

Vibrant & Colorful: Steak Bites and Honey Cakes

Steak Bites

For Cajun Seasoning:

  • 1 tаblеѕрооn mіld рарrіkа
  • 1 1/2 tеаѕрооnѕ ѕаlt
  • 1 1/2 tеаѕрооnѕ garlic powder
  • 1 tеаѕрооn оnіоn роwdеr
  • 1 tеаѕрооn сhіlі роwdеr, add more if уоu lіkе heat
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 tеаѕрооn drіеd oregano
  • 1/2 tеаѕрооn brоwn ѕugаr KETO: use brоwn ѕugаr substitute
  • 1/2-3/4 tеаѕрооn сауеnnе рерреr, аdd more іf you like hеаt
  • 1/4 tеаѕрооn сrасkеd blасk рерреr to taste

For the Stеаk:

  • 23 oz steak, сut іntо 2-іnсh cubes (whatever kind you prefer!)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 сuр butter
  • 4 сlоvеѕ garlic minced


  • Combine саjun ѕеаѕоnіng in a ѕhаllоw bоwl. Add the ѕtеаk bites аnd toss tо evenly coat.
  • Hеаt 2 tеаѕрооnѕ оіl іn a ѕkіllеt or раn оvеr medium-high heat until hot.
  • Sеаr the steak bіtеѕ іn batches fоr 2-3 mіnutеѕ each ѕіdе untіl edges аrе сrіѕру and brоwnеd, аddіng еxtrа oil аѕ needed. Sеt аѕіdе.
  • Rеduсе hеаt tо mеdіum. Add buttеr tо thе ѕkіllеt and heat until mеltеd. Sаuté thе chopped garlic untіl frаgrаnt (about 30 ѕесоndѕ), while scraping up any brоwnеd bіtѕ frоm the раn.
  • Tаkе thе pan off thе heat. Thrоw thе steak bіtеѕ back іn аnd toss thrоugh the garlic buttеr tо еvеnlу соаt.

Honey Cakes

  • ½ cup Honey mead
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • Dash of salt

Beat the egg together with the mead. In another mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, sugar and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Stir until blended through. Let sit for 30 minutes. In another small bowl, mix the honey and nutmeg. Heat a skillet and drop a tablespoon of batter into the center and cook 1-2 minutes then flip. Continue to cook until golden brown. Dip into the honey mixture or drizzle it on top.

Fancy Pants: Appetizers

Spinach Puff Cups


  • 4 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 2 cups fresh spinach chopped and packed
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • frozen puff pastry cups thawed
  • 1 tbsp butter melted


  • Microwave your cream cheese 10 seconds at a time until it’s soft and melted but not steaming. Add egg, oil and dill into cream cheese and mix until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl combine spinach and feta. Pour your cream cheese mixture on top and season with salt and pepper. Use a fork to mix and combine it together.
  • Place pastry cups on a baking sheet. Evenly divide the spinach among the cups.
  • Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minute until golden and hot.

Cucumber Shrimp Bites


  • 1 cucumber about 8-10″, some peel removed if you like and sliced into 1/2″ rounds
  • 16-20 teaspoons mashed Avodcado
  • 16-20 pieces of shrimp, peeled, deveined, & tails off
  • 1 tablespoon creole seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish
  • A dab of spicy plum perserves


  • Heat a cast iron skillet over mid-high heat while you prepare the cucumber slices.
  • Top each cucumber slice with about a teaspoon of guacamole and place on serving tray.
  • Season the shrimp with 1 tablespoon creole seasoning. Place 2 tablespoons butter in the hot skillet and add the shrimp and 2 whole cloves garlic to the skillet. Allow to cook for about 45 seconds to a minute and turn each piece of shrimp over. Cook another 30 seconds, basting the shrimp with the skillet juices as they cook. When cooked through, remove the shrimp to a plate and place each one on top of the guacamole topped cucumbers. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve and enjoy!
  • Optional – if you like a sweet heat you can melt some apricot preserve and lightly brush it on the shrimp before garnishing with cilantro.

Crab Cake Cups


  • 1 slice whole wheat bread diced into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • 8 oz. crab meat
  • 1 tablespoon shallot finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon herb of province seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons red bell pepper diced small
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chives sliced
  • 12 pre-baked puff pastry shells


  • Follow the instructions on your puff pastry cups and prebake, about 18-20 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  • In a small bowl, combine the bread cubes and Heavy Cream. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes at room temperature. Add hot sauce and mix thoroughly.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients including the brioche bread mixture. Make sure to check the crab meat for bits of shell or cartilage.
  • Mound the crab mixture into the prebaked puff pastry cups on a baking sheet. Cook for 20 minutes to warm the filling.
  • Garnish with additional chopped chives or parsley if desired. Serve immediately.

Cheese Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes


  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup asiago cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup green onions chopped
  • 2 Tbsp parsley chopped


  • Slice a very thin layer off the bottom of each tomato so it has a flat surface to sit on. Cut off the top of each tomato, and use a small measuring spoon to scoop out and discard the inside pulp. Turn tomatoes upside down onto paper towels to drain.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients until combined.
  • Transfer filling mixture to a piping bag or ziplock bag, snip off a corner, and pipe filling into tomatoes.
  • Refrigerate until chilled, about one hour.
  • Garnish with additional green onions and parsley. Serve cold and enjoy!

One thought on “Sure to Impress Party Food

  1. Pingback: What to Serve at a Vegetarian Thanksgiving | the Fortner Forage

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