6.10.2016

Make Your Best Party Platter Ever!


Lately, I've been making stress free party platters for informal parties or late arriving house guests.  It's easy as there are no complicated recipes.   There are just a few essential ingredients to stock in your pantry (sample grocery list below)  and I like to use the fresh ingredients that I have on hand...
The KEY is variety!

..then, it's about arranging...

1.  Pull out a large platter, cutting board or pizza shovel.

2.  Scatter a few small bowls for spreads, dips, nuts.  I've used clear ramekins and I have a small collection of blue and white bowls.  Even potato chips look special in a little bowl!
3.  Fill the small bowls and then arrange/fill in around them with fruit, crackers, cut vegetables, toasted baguette slices.

 I usually use what I have in the fridge and pantry and round it out with a couple of purchased items.
Top cream cheese with...Trader's Joe's spicy and sweet chili jam ...or fig jam is good too...or any chutney that you like.
Pop open some wine or San Pellegrino and RELAX :)

I'm showing this over at At Home with Jemma.



36 comments:

  1. Love this, I do platters like this often to take to the pool and we relax and call this supper.

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  2. Your platters not only look yummy, they are so pretty too Mary Ann! Thanks a bunch! I need this!

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  3. I do this all the time. I call them piles! I think anything in a casual pile looks lush and delicious!! You are an entertainer after my own heart! I always have sparkling water on hand. As of late my favorite is Arrow head sparkling spring water, mandarin with sliced strawberries, oh my is it refreshing, I put it in a wine glass and it looks so pretty! Love these post Mary Ann, YOU are the hostess with the mostest!!

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    1. That water sounds delicious, Kathysue. I'm going to try it!

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  4. If you want to sound fancy, this is called an "apéritif dinatoire" in France. Very popular! We get these little jars of yummy spreads, like artichoke/parmesan or sun-dried tomatoes, plus different tapenades, pâtés, rillettes, all of which keep for years, so we always have a variety on hand. Plus hard sausages, cheeses, sliced cured ham and veggies like carrots and cherry tomatoes--always in our fridge anyway--and good fresh bread and we are ready with a spread in minutes for unexpected guests.

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    1. I first had little bowls of nuts and potato chips when we lived in Paris...and I thought it was so cool...and you have the best cheese and produce in France!

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  5. Mary Ann,
    I love this kind of appetizer tray. I'm a big TJ's fan so its nice to get someone's recommendations of items they've tried. The chili jam over cream cheese sounds delicious.
    Have a great weekend.
    xo,
    Karen

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    1. When my daughter's friend was here she loved the combo. It's a little spicy though, Karen. The cream cheese calms it down.

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  6. Thanks! Snack platters have always been a mystery to me. I'm marking this page as "high importance"!

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  7. You have the art of making the simple look elegant, must be from your years in Europe. Thanks for the breakdown.

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    1. Hey, that is funny Ingrid because as I wrote above, I first had tiny bowls of snacks with drinks when we lived in Paris.

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  8. Wow Mary Ann! That party platter is gorgeous and wish I could just pick a goodie off of it and chow down! Great tips for quick and easy last minute or even not last minute party treats! Two thumbs up...I'm in!!
    xoxo Gail

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    1. Thanks, Gail. Wish you lived closer...I'd whip one together now for you!

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  9. We cannot buy hummus where we live in France and I love it, so we started making it ourselves. We cannot buy tahini either, so we found a very simple recipe, chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, salt and lemon juice; all mixed together in the processor and it's done. We always have chickpeas in the pantry and we can now make hummus in quite literally three or four minutes. I cannot tell you how many French people now love hummus here! Mixed with everything else on your platter it makes a perfect super fast late supper. We have guests flying in from Florida tomorrow and they arrive very late, so we shall be making this for them.

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    1. Your hummus sounds like the way my Lebanese aunt made hers...YUM! It's so easy to buy here though. It's very interesting with the olive tapenade on top on the hummus.

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  10. Mary Ann....I had to create a whole new Pinterest Board for this! For some reason I can only comment on Google Chrome now I think....weird!

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    1. That's weird, Sherry...and others are telling me they can't comment. Plus, feedburner isn't getting my emails out....frustrating. LOVE your Boulder project.

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  11. Yummers! Yummers! That looks great - easy and a real crowd pleaser!
    Best & Bisous,
    Michelle from Simply Santa Barbara

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  12. Just in time for backyard impromptu entertaining! all looks so yummy, I am making my shopping list

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  13. Fantastic and you are right even the little bowls elevate potato chips:) Love your ideas, and isn't this everyone's favorite way to eat? It's a yes for me.....enjoy your weekend.

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    1. When I made platters like this when the kids were little, they called it a Crazy Dinner. But they loved it.

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  14. Great tips! Love them. I love the potato chips in the little bowls. So simple but so appealing.

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    1. Thank, Julie. Usually there is something that appeals to each person.

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  15. So pretty and perfect for those lazy summer evenings! Love how you did the chips and any tray that includes chocolate is just right! Happy weekend, Mary Ann~

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  16. Mmmmm.....tasty! And gosh, these are so pretty to look at! I bet your guests love them. I love quick and easy!!

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  17. Beautiful!!!
    Thanks for the lesson, it has always been a challenge to lay out appetizers and I love this all together presentation plus it can be mobile as you travel from room to room or outdoors:)

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  18. This is so attractive, appealing and classy. You know years and years ago a friend of My Mother's brought a party platter to our home for Thanksgiving. She had arranged the grapes so carefully and the cheese was place perfectly.
    I thought at the time how forward thinking she was. I remember to this day, how beautiful it all was and how the food tasted so much better served that way.
    Thank you too for labeling the goodies on your tray and I saw that you had fig jam:)
    Lovely, lovely!
    Wishing you a beautiful week and thank you for sharing this with us at Thoughts of Home On Thursday too!
    Jemma

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  19. Love a party platter! We frequently have them at our beach house in Rockport, MA and call it supper complete with a vodka/tonic or lovely glass of red.
    I few years ago I found an awesome vintage painters palette - I thought...this might work as a great tray to hold all the goodies for our frequent platters! Love it!!

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  20. Lovely. Before I read this, I just made a platter of chicken chunks, berries, grapes, crackers, dipping sauce, olives...any leftovers go in a tub with lettuce as tomorrow's lunch at work! Inspiring post.

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  21. This is right up my alley. I love to have easy snacks for guests to nibble on. What is this eggplant dip from TJs??? I have to check it out!

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  22. Yummy! this looks so amazing and I'm going to make sure to make one this summer for guests!

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It's SO nice to hear from you!

 
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