For a party buffet, a host may serve foods that are fresh and in season because they are tasty and economical. A well-rounded buffet has a combination of savory and sweet treats. Appetizers, proteins, soups, desserts and drinks can be made ahead and served at room temperature for an easy buffet.
A winter buffet may include seasonal dishes such as pork pies, pickled apples and winter squash soup. For a beverage, eggnog is a classic drink for the Christmas season. Desserts such as white cake with mincemeat filling and fruit are great for a holiday-themed buffet. Cookies make great finger food desserts.
For a summer buffet, the host can rely on fresh fruits and local produce. Blueberries and corn are suitable summer treats, and fresh seafood or beef can be inexpensive. Quick-pickled corn and lemon-fennel mussels are appetizers made from inexpensive, seasonal foods. Spiced orangeade is a summertime party beverage, and a simple London Broil on the grill works well for a buffet. Pair it with salt-and-vinegar potatoes as a savory side dish. At a summertime buffet, cookies and slices of fruit make easy desserts.
A buffet always should include dishes that work for vegetarians and guests with gluten sensitivity.