For the BabyQ party we threw this summer, I wanted to keep the appetizer simple and easy to prep ahead of time so that when people walked in the door, you can focus on saying hi to everyone, showing them where the drink table is and introducing friends to one another. The last thing you want to be doing is stressing on assembling appetizers and I make sure I plan my appetizers for parties so that they require little or no fuss the day of the party.
Great appetizers and some thought out theme drinks can really set the party mood in the right direction from the moment people walk in the door. Below are a few of the appetizers we did for the BabyQ and they were both a hit!
**CLICK ON THE LINKS TO EACH RECIPE WRITTEN IN BLUE BELOW**
**These can be made weeks in advance and frozen without losing quality**. I enlisted the help of my awesome friend Lauren in coming up with a good vegetarian appetizer for the shower as some of the attendees are vegetarians. She is in amazing chef and caterer who also has a fun food blog, so she came up with something special just for the party–it’s affordable, delicious AND can be prepped ahead of time. Just throw in the oven after brushing with some butter and voila! Instant amazing homemade appetizer. Check out the recipe HERE at Lauren’s blog called Full Belly, Full Wallet for this recipe and other great recipes she has on a regular basis.
Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with an Almond:
This appetizer is beyond easy and always a hit. It’s also one that you can prep the night before so all you have to do is stick it in the oven to cook off the day of the party. You have it all set up on the tray in advance so just pre-heat your oven before the guests arrive and pull the tray out, take off the plastic wrap and stick in the oven when your first guest shows up! By the time a few more are there you will have these ready to throw on a serving platter (already set out on counter for ease of just sliding them off the baking sheet) and you are good to go! Make sure to let cool at least 5 minutes prior to serving as the center does get very warm.
Our party was in the fall and when I saw this recipe in the Food Network Magazine I knew I had to try it as it was just so cute and really decorated up the “theme” of the Backyard Fall BBQ. The only thing I did change on it was saute the onions a little bit in just a splash of olive oil (you don’t want them to get soggy), because the onions we had bought were very strong and needed to lose some of it’s strong flavor or it would overpower the cheese ball. I also chose this recipe because you can assemble the ball up until the point where it needs to be put in the fridge for at least two hours. I made mine the night before and then pulled out right before the party and rolled it in the crushed nacho chips so the chips did not get soggy and had a nice crunch on the outside by waiting until the last minute. It was a huge hit!
Still looking for a Fourth appetizer?
If you are looking to add a fourth appetizer to your menu and are throwing the party without much help, keep it simple with something like Brie & Crackers or a Veggie platter with dips, Hummus and Pita Chips or Chips & Salsa. You don’t want to fill people up so much that they won’t enjoy your amazing BBQ dinner you have planned!
Or check out our blog series on the Luau Themed party for other appetizer ideas.