Hosting parties is a great way to up the ante on your cooking skills. It lets you try new recipes and basically demands that you get it right. I absolutely love cooking for everyone–though the day of the party I typically have several mini-breakdowns where I question the recipes I’ve selected, my decision to host a party, and the meaning of life. Everything always turns out just fine though, and if it doesn’t I just put more alcohol in the punch.
Here are a few things I’ve learned the hard way:
1. Don’t serve anything that has to be portioned on the spot. Tiny bite sized things make it easy for everyone to self-serve and leave you free to actually hang out with your friends. I’m a big fan of cupcake and mini cupcake tins. Have a great cake recipe? Make it a cupcake. Pie? Mini-tarts! Quiche? Baby quiches. You get the idea.
2. Conversely, don’t make individual drinks. I once had a party where I served old-fashioneds and I or someone had to spend all evening making them. I’ve since purchased two pitchers and a huge punch bowl and I do all pre-mixed drinks that people can serve themselves. Then all I have to do is remix the big batches every so often.
3. Disposable plates and silverware are your friends, but drinks should be in glasses. I buy really cute paper plates, napkins and utensils. My favorites come from Meri-Meri. If you’re worried about the environment, I’ve found that it amounts to a super minor amount of trash at the end and there are tons of eco-friendly options as well. All that said, I firmly believe drinks should be in glasses. I never worry if they all match, I just pull out every glass I own.
And here is a recent recipe for vegan mini-egg quiche that I made up by combining two other recipes: The crust comes from Vegan Pie in the Sky, and the filling is from Isa Chandra’s Tofu Omelettes. This makes about 48 mini quiches (depends how thin you make the crust and how high you fill the quiche). I had a party for ~25 people and doubled this. There were plenty leftover, which I like, but 1.5x the recipe probably would have covered things.
The leftovers kept happily for days wrapped up in the fridge.
Update: I recently made these with almond milk brie and caramelized onion and they turned out splendidly. I just put a small slice of Kite Hill almond milk brie in each dough cup, then filled with the egg mixture and put caramelized onion on top (just finely minced onion sautéed in olive oil and a bit of salt until they turn brown and caramel-like).