People have many choices for party appetizers and finger foods to serve guests, ranging from simple samples of sliced fruit or vegetable sticks with dips to spiced butternut soup, sesame salmon croquettes and chicken pot stickers. When preparing for parties, hosts may serve a range of appetizers meeting the needs of all guests, including items with and without meat, gluten and added sugar. Some appetizers, such as shrimp cocktails and vegetables with a dip, require minimal preparation and make good choices for simple parties, while others require more preparation and complement elegant occasions.
Typically, hosts plan the food according to the time of year, number of guests and party theme. Setting bowls of dip such as spicy cheese dip, brown sugar dip and roasted shallot dip on a table, along with platters of sliced vegetables, fruits and bowls of chips, lets guests interact while enjoying centrally-located food. For more substantial fare, items high in carbohydrates and protein, such as blackberry-brie pizzettes, chicken liver pate, deviled eggs, crackers and mini sandwiches make good choices.
Vegetarians might enjoy apple butter and cheese puffs, mushrooms with goat cheese or baked fig crostini, while meat eaters might like pigs in a blanket, garlic shrimp, bacon fritters and mini corncakes with salmon. For dessert, small cookies, pieces of cake and pie and assorted candy adds a nice finish.