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 Post subject: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:56 pm 
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Hey all! I've been asked to make food for a party next weekend, and I'm so exhausted I feel totally out of ideas. The budget is small-ish, so no faux meats or pricy cashew-based stuff. The party is for 30-40 people, and they want a variety of finger foods (not a meal, just appetizer type stuff). I'd prefer to avoid things like dips that will cause people to congregate around the food, and stick with self-contained little 1-2 bite pieces. The easier the better (make-ahead is a bonus), since I will be making it all myself.

Is that a tall enough order? Ha! I have a couple of ideas already, but I know the PPK is a collective genius so I thought I would ask for input.

ETA: Mostly savory, but a couple of sweet ideas would be good too. There will be a cake (it's a birthday party), but some sweet nibbly things wouldn't hurt. I'll probably do cookies, but I'm open to flavor suggestions/other ideas.

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:09 pm 
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You can still do dips used as spreads... flatbreads or crackers with a smear of hummus or veggie pate with a slice of cucumber on top? And maybe little veggie & skewers with just 3 or 4 chunks on them. Bread sticks? Finger Sandwiches? (get the bakery to slice the bread lenghtwise, apply spread of choice and roll up, then slice). If you're down to do some pastry, some marinated mushroom type tart thingies? I think they could be made ahead and warmed before the event...

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:13 pm 
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Maybe some sort of bruschetta. Tomato and basil is always good. Or something like mashed white beans with garlic/lemon juice/thyme.

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:16 pm 
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i was coming in to say bruschetta too!

pesto bruschetta
bruschetta with hummus & chopped tomato & kalamata olive
stuffed mushrooms


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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:32 pm 
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bruschetta is messy. i don't find it a good easy finger food, usually... bits of tomato falling off the little piece of bread or whatever.

i'd do a puff pastry stuffed thing. maybe a little mini mushroom or spinach pie type thing? self contained, warm, filling.

stuffed mushrooms are pretty good and easy.

dumplings? fresh spring rolls? it depends on what your prep facilities are like. i've made fresh rolls for a party that size, and it worked pretty well, because once you get your fillings and everything set up, they're fast to make and can be wrapped up well for later. dumplings are the same procedure, except you'd need to steam them at the end.

i went to a party with a little mini puff pastry apple thing as a sweet. it was yum.


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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:32 pm 
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Fry things!


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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:32 pm 
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Little socca/tofu quiche squares. Baked puff pastry samosas or some other type of small savory hand pies (serve cold or reheat).

ETA: maybe some small stuffed veggies would be nice too, like hummus celery boats, cherry tomatoes with a pesto/rice mixture or hollowed cucumber chunks with some sort of creamy tofu/bean spread.

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:47 pm 
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You guys are all so helpful! I totally forgot to mention that they are planning on buying falafel and hummus to bust out later in the evening when half the guests have left, and everyone else is shit-faced (and probably dressed in drag at that point...), and just want to stuff their faces.

I will be making all the food at my home and taking it to the party (which I am attending). Anything warm will have to be cooked before transporting. The party is only about 10 minutes drive away, but people will be eating throughout the evening so everything needs to be good at room temp, too.

Here are some ideas I have (obviously not all of them):

Cherry Sage Sausages in puff pastry (like pigs in a blanket, but slightly classier)
Mini Quiche
Spanakopita
Chorizo Pizza Rolls (think mini cinnamon rolls, but pizza)
Curried Chickpea and/or Pimento Cheese Finger Sandwiches
Mac N'Cheese Bites

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:59 pm 
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Do you have Vegan Bake Sale? QueenV's chapter of savories has lots of things that would work well: cheesy straws, delicious tarts, etc. I would think bruschetta could get soggy, but you could do the Catalan version pan con tomat.


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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:04 pm 
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I don't - I wish I did! I'll have to check the library.

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:09 pm 
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Library doesn't have it, but there are a ton of recipes in the look inside on Amazon - including the cheesy straws! Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:53 pm 
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- deviled tofu might be kinda fun, although vegenaise can kinda add up
- i was gonna say mini quiches, too. i like Susan V.'s crustless quiches idea
- some kinda mini skewers with roasted eggplant, basil, and roasted cherry tomatoes might be fun & yummy
- empanadas are always fun and you can get creative with dipping sauces
- sushi or spring rolls (when we make spring rolls for parties we cut them in half, make a coconut-peanut sauce & an agave-chili sauce for dipping)
- fancy focaccia
- potstickers (cabbage and carrots and onions for stuffing = cheap)


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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Taco baskets or egg roll baskets: brush egg free egg roll wrappers, or slices/small rounds of tortilla with oil and stuff into mini muffin tins to make a basket. Bake briefly to crisp. Fill with egg roll filling (basically a finely chopped stir fry of whatever veggies you want with tofu, seitan, adsuki beans, edamame, and/or sesame seeds), or taco fillings (refried beans, chili spiced tcp) and bake again to warm. Taco baskets can then be topped with salsa, quack, shredded lettuce, whatever you don't want cooked. Egg roll baskets are good served with a soy sauce based dipping sauce.

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:52 pm 
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Empanadas! My best friend got married earlier this year and had a backyard finger food reception, so I made two kinds of empanadas (as well as the cake!) and she made sausage rolls and some other stuff. I cooked the empanadas beforehand and we just reheated them in the oven before serving. But empanadas are always my answer to most questions.

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:55 pm 
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Empanadas are.... just awesome

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:57 pm 
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deviled potatoes.

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:53 pm 
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Different colored hummus in (separate) tortilla roll-ups; then slice the roll-ups so they are cute little spirals. Easy to make ahead & they look pretty. I often do a parsley hummus, and a sun-dried tomato hummus.

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:23 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I just want to come to the party! Vegan finger foods, and drag...sign me up!

I just saw this recipe yesterday, though, and I'm kind of intrigued.
http://madejustright.com/blog/post/vegan-deviled-eggs


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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:45 pm 
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I cooked a bunch of niblets for a party once and despite me labouring over SO MANY items, the most popular, and most omni-approved, were the easiest thing ever. Pesto pin-wheels. Buy puff pastry, make (or buy) pesto, spread some on pastry, roll them up, bake them, slice, and serve. They are fine at room temperature too.


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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:48 pm 
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My signature party food, roll out puff pastry, cut into squares about 1-1.5in square, put a dollop of red pepper hummus ontop, and half a cherry tomato...then bake. Many variations...I've done the same thing with tomato puree and peppers, soy cream cheese (top with cucumber once baked) and for sweet, pb&j, or if you have any vegan nutella, that's delicious on top.

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:52 pm 
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Vijita- that sounds yummy AND easy- always a good combo!

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:39 pm 
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Thanks for all the great suggestions, everyone! I'm going to bookmark this thread for any future parties I make food for! Here's what I decided on for this weekend:

Apple Sage Sausages in Pastry
Mini Crustless Quiches
Pizza Patate
Chocolate Dipped Macaroons
Cake

Still undecided on the cake flavor (it's been left totally up to me). I want to do something different and fun, but I want to make sure it's something everyone will like.

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:20 pm 
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How do I get invited to this party?

Other ideas for future reference:
- pastry cups w/ potato or beet salad - the premade phyllo ones if you can get them cheaply, or make your own puff pastry or pie crust ones in mini muffin tins
- dollops of seitan "chicken" salad or tofu dill salad or grain salads or whatever on endive
- this time of year, maybe robin robertson's moroccan pumpkin hummus?
- if it's a vegan friendly crowd, fake meat on a stick. make seitan, skewer cubes of it, marinade, grill, maybe put a dipping sauce alongside. you could do seitan pinchos for tapas style or with peanut sauce for sate. or maybe a cashew cilantro soygurt type dip for more indian style. Or vegan char siu (sp?).
- speaking of tapas, you could do a whole tapas theme - the people's spanish omelet from VWAV would be cheap and great and it's so good, you could do it in muffin tins for individual servings or just cut it into squares. Make patatas braves skewers, pinchos (see above), bruschetta topped with chickpeas and pimientos in lemon vinaigrette, put out bowls of olives and spiced nuts...
- baguette toasts with mushroom pate?
- japanese/sushi theme - inari are so easy and inexpensive to make, veggie maki and handrolls if you have mad skills, edamame, maybe yakai yasai on skewers... japanese potato salad balls and tofu tamagoyaki from vegan lunch box around the world (you could use cookie cutters to make the tamagoyaki super cute..


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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:17 am 
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vixki wrote:
My signature party food, roll out puff pastry, cut into squares about 1-1.5in square, put a dollop of red pepper hummus ontop, and half a cherry tomato...then bake. Many variations...I've done the same thing with tomato puree and peppers, soy cream cheese (top with cucumber once baked) and for sweet, pb&j, or if you have any vegan nutella, that's delicious on top.


All of these sound amazing! Especially the red pepper hummus & cherry tomato. Nom. Do you make your own hummus, or use pre-made?

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 Post subject: Re: Need ideas for easy, inexpensive finger foods
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:51 pm 
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I'm reviving this thread because I'm making food for this same friend again tomorrow (he just called me today - it's a little last minute).

Anyway, I've already gotten some fantastic ideas just looking back through this thread, but the theme of tomorrow's party is fetish (like BDSM etc, and yes, people will be in costume), so I want to make sure I don't make anything too stinky (not too much onions and garlic, etc - people will be, uh, participating in the theme). Pretty sure I'm going to do cherry sage sausages in puff pastry (the sausage rolls went over really well last time, and they were easy) and whoopie pies (because it makes me giggle). Maybe sun-dried tomato dip or walnut mushroom pate with baguette toasts? I don't have much time, so the less time-consuming the better.

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