Party Entertaining With Party Finger Foods | Entertainment tips

The holiday season is fast approaching and even though the recession may soon end, people are still a bit cost-conscious in regards to party entertaining. When it comes to holiday party ideas and cocktail parties, people still desire the highest return on their investment even if it is a cocktail party where you are serving party finger foods. You can throw inexpensive yet elegant cocktail parties quickly and easily. Here are a few menu suggestions and event décor tips to help you be the host or hostess with the biggest bang for your buck.Theme – Everything That is Old is New AgainParty Entertaining and Event Décor- Host an open house and monitor your invitation list.
- Re-use your table linen from previous cocktail parties but add a decorative overlay or table runner.
- Purchase candles. They are an inexpensive event décor item that create ambiance and set the holiday mood. Holiday party ideas using candles include colored pillar candles and votives, hurricanes wrapped with natural greens such as holly, pine or flowers such as red roses or white hydrangeas.
- Substitute your iPod for a DJ or Band.
- Buy seasonal greens and fresh flowers at the market and create your own centerpieces or place loose greens and flowers on your buffet as accent pieces.
- Cluster groupings of flowers on your dinner table instead of buying vases.


Here is a great event décor tip combining ambiance and style for your holiday table.- Obtain tall glass containers either square or cylinder shaped and then take one stem of a flower such as a cymbidium orchid or a grouping of roses or tulips and submerge them in water.
- Place the rocks, crystals or glass stones on the bottom of the container and stick the stem or grouping of flowers in these stones to hold the flowers down on the bottom of the container. You can also mix in lighted plastic neon ice cubes and hold them down as well using the stones as an anchor.
- Add the water and the floating candle and there you have a submerged arrangement using candles.Party Entertaining with Party Finger Foods and a Holiday Specialty DrinkOne of the many holiday party ideas you can use to help you maintain your budget when giving cocktail parties is to include an anti-pasta buffet as part of your menu. Anti-pasta stations are a great way to serve a lot of people inexpensively. Cheeses, dried fruits, crostini and breadsticks, canapés, cured meats, dips and bite-size desserts are party finger foods that are easily obtainable at any market and are fast and effortless to prepare and display. Have small plastic plates and cocktail napkins on the buffet to prevent those with eyes wider than their stomachs from taking more than they will eat at these cocktail parties. If it is a nighttime affair, serve a holiday alcoholic and non-alcoholic specialty drink along with wine, beer, sodas and waters to avoid serving a full-bar.Below is a sample menu with food suggestions that are easy to prepare. Budget Bash has many of the recipes for the food selections listed below.Party Finger Foods Menu with a Holiday Specialty DrinkBrie and Pear Quesadillas Flour Tortillas
filled with Freshly Sliced Pear and Brie CheeseArray of Imported European Cheeses
Artichoke Bruschetta
Olive Tapenade
Dried Dates and Cranberries
With a selection of Whole Wheat Pita, Vegetable Chips and Sourdough ToastsMini-Turkey Sandwiches
Accompanied with Cranberry Chutney Relish


Roast Beef Canapés served on Thinly Sliced Toasts
Topped with Hoarse Radish Crème FreshCucumber Cups
Hollowed out Cucumber Rolls filled with Salmon MousseDessert
Carrot Cake Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting
Chocolate Espresso Brownies
Maple Pecan CookiesHoliday Specialty Drink
Peppermint-tiniFinally, you may want to consider with your party entertaining an inexpensive party favor for your friends to take with them when they leave such as a small organza bag with a pine-scented candle, a sachet filled with dried holiday spices or quite simply a card letting them know in honor of their presence you have made a donation to a local charity.So just keep in mind this upcoming December that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to entertain when considering your holiday party ideas. You can host cocktail parties that include simple yet stylish event décor and low-cost but tasty party finger foods and impress your friends and family with your entertaining savvy. Remember to make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical and to be a guest at your own event!

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Easy Entertaining – Frugal Holiday Entertaining | Entertainment tips

One aspect to take into consideration when entertaining is the financial cost. If you aren’t careful, expenses can add up, pushing you over budget when feeding a crowd. Follow these easy tips to keep your holiday gatherings memorable and budget-friendly!1. Don’t worry about decorating the entire house. Focus the festive decorating in the room where you are entertaining. Concentrate on the food and the table if you are on a tight budget.2. Use what you have. Re-purpose items you already have on hand instead of buying new ones. Collect branches and pine cones yourself and use for decorating instead of purchasing them.3. When choosing a menu, make budget-conscious choices. For example, a standing rib roast is a beautiful entrée, but it will push your budget way up. Host a Buon Natale theme, an “Italian Inspired Christmas” and prepare two delicious, yet inexpensive pasta main dishes along with salads and a loaf of foccacia. Choose recipes that call for lower cost ingredients.


4. If you are hosting a large gathering, warehouse stores can save you quite a bit of money. Use a shopping list when grocery shopping and do not stray from your list even if the store carries irresistible new items you would like to try. Stick to your list and you will stick to your budget.5. Filling in your menu with purchased items is a great time-saver, but be aware that it can increase your overall costs substantially. Preparing all the food yourself or taking guests up on their offer to bring a dish is one of the most cost effective ways to save money when entertaining.6. If you serve alcohol, skip the mixed drinks and serve wine and/or beer along with other non-alcoholic choices. Or if you wish to serve a cocktail, make a “Cocktail of the Evening” and serve it in a pitcher or punchbowl, rather than having an open bar.7. Skip the disposable party ware and use dishes and serving pieces you already have for your table setting. Washing a full load of dishes in your dishwasher saves money and energy over washing them by hand and is less work for you!


8. For a centerpiece, think fruit and vegetables rather than flowers. For Thanksgiving, use a serving tray and fill it with squash, mini-pumpkins, apples, pears, nuts for an attractive centerpiece. Use a silver bowl with pomegranates, apples or clove-spiked citrus fruit for Christmas. You can eat most of the items after your holiday gathering is over.Do a few things and do those well. If you concentrate your efforts and budget with this in mind, you will pull off you entertaining with style and efficiency.