Party Panache, Spur of the Moment Appetizer Buffet

My favorite way to entertain is to invite friends over for appetizers, it’s casual, perfect for last minute, and guests only stay for several hours

 

buffet set up

 

Do everything in advance so you can sit back and enjoy the gathering

 

appetizer buffet set up

 

Clean up is minimal with an appetizer buffet,  there are less things to put away without a table setting

 

chips and dip presentation

 

Even though HH and I were whipped  😵  after 5 days with grands over the holiday weekend, we wanted to catch up with some island friends

Rather than fighting the summer crowds at restaurants, it’s much nicer to stay home and relax

 

guacamole plate

 

I will go to great lengths to avoid a trip to the grocery, and love the challenge of creating dishes from what’s on hand

 

DSC_0003

 

This is a flatbread topped with fig jam and pear paste or preserves*, blueberries, bacon, bleu cheese and Parmesan

*or use fresh figs or pears

 

bacon, blueberry fig pizza

 

Crazy combo, crazy good!

 

blueberry, fig and bacon flatbread

 

I had burger meat in the freezer, and plenty of tortillas and cheese in the fridge,  so I decided to make taco quesadillas

 

quesadilla appetizer plate

 

To make fast and easy quesadillas I cooked a batch of taco seasoned ground beef and layered it between 2 flour tortillas with lots of grated cheese to hold it together.  I assembled these early in the day and refrigerated them.  Right before serving I sprayed them with olive oil and baked them on a cookie sheet and cut them into triangles

 

quesadilla buffet

 

The cut quesadilla triangles were piled on a  plate along with colorful peppers, tomatoes, romaine, chips and guacamole for dipping

Wholly Guacamole is a new favorite convenience food and comes in handy minis so you can have as much or as little as you like

 

wholly guacamole

I got the tomato bowl and turquoise and red plate [it’s melamie!] at Home Goods recently

The blue fish platter was a Home Goods find last year and the square plates are from Christmas Tree Shop a few years ago

The big red fish platter was a gift from my mom a long time ago

 

DSC_0002

 

Spend a few minutes laying out serving pieces early in the day, and then you can just add the food at the last minute

 

 

appetizer buffet set up

 

Provide small plates so guests and help themselves to a little of everything and then move around so people aren’t hovering over the buffet

 

blueberry, fig and bacon flatbread

 

Fast and Fabulous Flatbread

  • Servings: 1 large rectangular pizza
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

refrigerated pizza crust dough, like Pillsbury pizza crust in a can

1/4 cup fig jam

4 oz pear paste, pear preserves or 1-2 thinly sliced ripe fresh pears

8-10 slices bacon, cooked* and torn into 1 inch pieces

1/2 – 1 cup fresh blueberries

2-3 oz crumbled bleu cheese

2 oz shredded Parmesan cheese

Shape dough into a large rectangle and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Prick surface all over with fork tines and bake at 400 degrees until firm and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.  Spread crust with fig jam and pear paste or preserves, or top fig spread with pear slices.  Distribute bacon pieces and blueberries evenly over all sprinkle with cheeses.  Return to oven for 10 minutes or until cheeses have melted and crust is golden brown.  Cut into small squares for serving

*lay bacon slices on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15-25 minutes until cooked through.  Drain well on paper towels.  May be done up to 2 days ahead of time

Even though I only made 2 things, all the food groups were present, meat, vegetables, fruit, cheese and bread and it was a rainbow  🌈

here are some bonuses to entertaining this way-

BONUS 1: these recipes are just as good at room temperature, and can safely stay out for several hours, making them perfect for party buffets

 

blueberry, fig and bacon flatbread

 

BONUS 2:  add prepared snacks, like Wild Snax, or popcorn for more variety

 

Leopard print Wild Snax Jar

 

BONUS 3:  dessert is optional for this type of party, guests don’t really expect it.  If you want to be a super hostess, wrap a cookie, snacks or some chocolates as a departing party favor

Party and Shower Ideas here

 

party favors

here

party favors thepaintedapron.com

and here

 

baby favor basket thepaintedapron.com

Remember we eat with the eyes, so set the stage, Presentation is Everything

Daisy Dip is just chips and prepared onion dip garnished with fresh vegetables

 

daisy dip thepaintedapron.com

I made a printable of my handy staples list

With these things on hand I can create just about anything for breakfast, lunch or dinner

 

handy staples copy

You can print it if you like and tape it inside a cupboard door

 

staples list for pantry

You can find the handy staples printable here

Or make your own customized list, I made this one with PicMonkey

Keep the “E”s in Entertaining!

Be sure to visit more ideas on keeping the “E”s in Entertaining here

for another printable version of Fast & Fabulous Flat bread click here

………………………………………………………………………

I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs

Celebrate and DecorateRustic and Refined,

Between Naps on the Porch, Coastal Charm, Cooking and Crafting with J&JThe Scoop, Something to Talk AboutA Stroll Thru Life    Inspire Me Monday

Crafty Staci,   Tickle My TastebudsWow Us Wednesday

Full Plate ThursdayWork it Wednesday

Home Matters, Idea BoxPoofing the Pillows

Sweet Inspiration

 

 

 

Comments
35 Responses to “Party Panache, Spur of the Moment Appetizer Buffet”
  1. Mary says:

    That’s my kind of entertaining Jenna! We love fig preserves with blue cheese or goat cheese in ready-made fillo shells, topped with a chopped walnuts or pecans for a no bake appetizer. Thanks for your second helping of your adorable and tasty Daisy Dip, I need to remember next time we’re having a crowd!

    Like

  2. Lynn says:

    Nothing is better than noshing:@)

    Like

  3. Linda Gray says:

    I love your ideas Jenna! i live on a lake in Alabama and am always looking cute lake/fish decorating ideas and easy entertaining inspiration.

    Like

  4. Spontaneity is often best in entertaining but it’s especially great when it’s at a well stocked house like yours Jenna! Dying over that flatbread!

    Johanne Lamarche

    >

    Like

  5. Emily says:

    This is one of my favorite ways to entertain, spur of the moment ideas for get togethers. It’s always fun to call up friends and invite them over for catching up and keeping it simple in the kitchen is always a must. A great break from the planned occasions. Love your food, easy to make and always a pretty presentation. Great tips for staying on top of kitchen inventory. Love the pretty serving dishes. Thanks for the tips.
    Enjoy the weekend………

    Like

  6. Jemma says:

    I love impromptu gatherings too!
    What a great recipe that you have shared too and flatbread is a wonderful go-to.
    Great to have you join us at TOHOT!
    Jemma

    Like

  7. Jodi says:

    Oh Jenna – we are such birds of a feather! Love your party ideas! I was getting together last night with a group of 6 ladies who haven’t all been in the same room together since 8th grade. We’ve mostly all seen each other through the years individually or in different groups, but never all 6 of us together. A friend arranged for us to meet at a restaurant for dinner. When it was a day before, I texted my friend and asked if we could just have it at my house, sit on the back porch, order pizza, drink wine, and relax. I made some fresh homemade guacamole and chips, homemade oatmeal raisin cookies, and ordered pizza to be delivered, others brought wine and salad and dessert. We laughed till our stomachs hurt, reminisced, had a few tears, and would never have had as much fun in a restaurant. I don’t care about perfection of home or food, it is the people. Fun food and a comfortable place to be help, but perfection doesn’t matter – right?! Also – love your list of staples – spot on!! 🙂

    Like

  8. Stacey says:

    This post is really inspiring to me because we eat out far too much! You’ve given fantastic eat at home and entertain ideas. It really does help to see beautiful food and pretty settings like yours.

    Happy Thoughts of Home. 🙂

    Like

  9. Kim says:

    The Daisy Dip is brilliant. A store-bought dip with chips, garnished with veggies. It looks so pretty and is SO simple. A must for me in the very near future.

    Like

  10. I pinned your appetizers today. I would want to eat the entire pan of the flatbread myself. I love the juxtaposition of the flavors of all the ingredients. Daisy dip is so cute and would be a conversation piece. Love all your colorful dishes. You are a great hostess.

    Like

    • Thank you Bonnie! That’s such a nice compliment from you who I consider to be an incredible hostess! I hope you make that flatbread, it is so good! Leftovers are great too, it reheats well in toaster oven or oven >

      Like

  11. I love this post, Jenna. The flatbread sounds amazing with the complexity of flavors, yum, fig anything is great! I have an 8′ island that is perfect to lay an appetizer spread. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Like

  12. Marigene says:

    Jenna, you make entertaining fun instead of work! You always show how easy it really is, with simple fare.
    Have a great weekend.

    Like

  13. So many great tips and your flat bread looks so good. Thank you for so faithfully joining us at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. You are a treasured blogging friend.

    Like

  14. Laura says:

    Jenna- thank you for sharing your wonderful entertaining and pantry ideas.
    I love reading posts like this.
    Thank you for being at TOHOT.

    Like

  15. Great fun ideas! That would be my favorite way of entertaining. Being spontaneous is always the best. Your food looks delicious and amazing.

    Like

  16. Sandra Garth says:

    Thank you for the staple list it will come in handy and I love your appetizer party. Sometimes they are more fun than a full blown dinner party.

    Like

  17. Karen says:

    I’m all about easy and spur of the moment entertaining as well. Your guests must have enjoyed your appetizer buffet…the flatbreads really caught my eye.

    Like

  18. JESS44903 says:

    Everything looks so delicious!! YUMMY!!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for Recipes and Crafts: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

    Like

  19. Julie says:

    Yes, it all like so good and yummy. 🙂
    TFS at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
    Enjoy the week.
    Julie

    Like

  20. handmade by amalia says:

    It all looks wonderful. And I like your pretty painted plates and platters
    Amalia
    xo

    Like

  21. Helen Adams says:

    These are great ideas and I love your chart! Hope you have a very special Fathers Day Weekend and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

    Like

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  1. […] Spur of the Moment Appetizer Buffet can be thrown together with deli guacamole, colorful pepper dippers and quick taco quesadillas […]

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