How To Have a Cocktail Party With Pidy Pastry Shells:
written by: Pastryitems.com (copyright 2014)
Do you want to know the #1 secret to hosting a fabulous cocktail party? It's not the cocktails or even the guest list, although these are important factors of course. The key to throwing an unforgettable cocktail party is serving phenomenal finger food and nothing makes that easier to do than using pre-made Pidy pastry shells!
Four Major Advantages To Serving Pidy Pastry Shell Hor d'Oeuvres:
1. Versatility To the Nth Degree.
Pidy Pastry shells from Pastryitems.com are the most versatile of any finger food. You can stuff them with just about anything from savory to sweet. You can also please just about anyone's taste buds from vegetarians to meat and seafood lovers. Pidy pastry shells come in a variety of shapes including round, square, boat-shaped, and flower-shaped.
2. You'll Reduce the Risk of Running Out Of Food:
The best way to kill a party is to run out of food! However, with Pidy pastry shells, this will not be a problem. Just keep a box or two of extra pastry shells stashed away in the kitchen and fillings from Pastryitems.com. Have some easy fillings and garnishes such as cheese dips, whipped cream, berries, and herbs on hand too. This way, if more guests than you anticipated show up, the party goes long, or your guests are just extra hungry, you and/or your co-host can always slip into the kitchen and make more delicious stuffed pastry shells in a matter of minutes.
3. Easier For Your Guests To Eat:
Each Pidy pastry shell serves as a little self-contained bowl full of goodies. This makes them much easier for your guests to eat without getting messy fingers. While you'll still want to keep the club soda handy for garment emergencies, it is much easier to eat a Pidy pastry shell hor d'oeuvre without dripping it on your clothes than most other finger foods.
4. You Can Easily Make More For the After Party:
If your closest comrades hang around for an after party, you can easily make more hor d'oeuvres. You may even want to have some extra special fillings for the pastry shells available for this occasion. For example, a nice chocolate mousse topped with homemade whipped cream and chocolate shavings goes especially well with coffee made with fresh ground coffee beans.
How Many Pastry Shell Hor d'Oeuvres Should You Prepare In Advance:
The number of Pidy pastry shell hor d'oeuvres you should prepare depends mostly on when you host your party. Typically, a cocktail party lasts two to three hours. If you schedule your party where this window of time would overlap with the typical dinner time, i.e. 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, you should serve more variety and quantity of hor d'oeuvres than if you schedule your party outside of the dinner time window. A good rule of thumb for a dinner time cocktail party is about ten types of hor d'oeuvres, preparing two to three of each type per person. Outside of dinner time, about five types of hor d'oeuvres with one to two of each type per person should work for most groups. However, you may need to adjust this depending on your guest list. For example, if you are hosting a cocktail party for young hungry college football players, you'll probably want to prepare more food than you would for a senior lady's club.
Savory Versus Sweet Hor d'Oeuvres:
Most cocktail parties serve more savory hor d'oeuvres than sweet hor d'oeuvres as this pairs better with many cocktails, especially sweet cocktails. However, some of your guests will likely be natural born sweet tooths so you'll want to provide at least one or two types of sweet hor d'oeuvres. Filling your Pidy pastry shells with whipped cream or pastry cream garnished with fresh fruit is an easy to prepare option that always goes over well. You may want to serve your sweet hor d'oeuvres toward the end of the cocktail party to softly signal to your guests that it's time to start wrapping up. If you really want to stress this point, you can formally announce "dessert time."
Limit Your Cocktail Selection To a Simple Menu:
Cocktail parties run more smoothly if the host(s) has time to meet and greet new arrivals around, introduce them around, and mingle with their guests. However, if the host is stuck mixing drinks all night, the time for this will be severely limited. Therefore, it is usually best to limit your cocktail selection to four to eight selections. You can even print these on your invitations. Make sure one or two of these are non-alcoholic for the designated drivers and others that do not want to imbibe alcohol. You can also have a selection of wine and beer available. In fact, it has become trendy for some cocktail parties to feature only beer or only wine.
Choose a Cocktail Party Theme:
Choosing a theme for your cocktail party is a great way to get your guests into a festive mood. It can also serve as a great conversation starter between guests, even those who may be a bit on the shy side. Below are five ideas for cocktail party themes.
1. Feature Fresh Local Ingredients:
Nothing gets people talking more than extremely fresh and delicious local foods. Go to your local farmers market and select some of the nicest vegetables and herbs you can find. You may also find some home-made cheeses. You could also invite a few of the farmers to attend your cocktail party to mingle with your other guests as you showcase their fresh grown ingredients in your Pidy pastry shells. You could also plant some special ingredients in your own garden. Even if it is as simple as growing your own chives, cilantro, spearmint, and stevia to use as as garnishes, this will impress your guests. You can grow them in pots and have the the plants displayed on the table.Local seafood mixed with a variety of cheeses is another excellent choice of a local food to showcase in your pastry shell filings as this pairs very nicely with almost any type of cocktail, wine, or beer. Choose a seafood caught fresh in your region: North Atlantic Seaboard blue crab, Pacific Coast dungeness crab, Maine lobster, Gulf Coast shrimp, Northwest salmon, and oysters, mussels, and claims from your local bays. If you buy direct from a fisherman, don't be shy about inviting them to your cocktail party. If you happen to live in a land locked region of the world like the Mid-West, you can feature one of your delicious fresh water fishes such as perch, pike, walleye, or bluegill. Even though these are relatively expensive ingredients, mixing them with cheeses, herbs, and vegetables, and then filling them into a pastry shell will keep the cost down on these classy hor d'oeuvres.If you happen to have your cocktail party in the summer, you may be able to showcase wild berries and other wild fruit from your area. Wild blackberries and wild raspberries are popular in the northeast, thimbleberries and salmonberries are popular in the rockies westward, and paw paw fruit and huckleberries are favorite wild southern treats. The easiest way to feature these wild edibles is to clean them, add sugar to taste, fill the Pidy pastry shells with the sweetened fruit mixture, and top with whipped cream and garnish with one or two fresh berries to signal what kind they are. You could also fill the Pidy pastry shells with pastry cream and garnish this with the wild berries or other fruit. We'll let you decide whether or not you want to let your guests in on your top secret wild berry patch!
2. Celebrate a Season:
A season themed cocktail party can be a blast. For fall, you could decorate with fall foliage and/or pine cones you collect yourself. You could serve spiced pumpkin filled pastry shells for desert and garnish with whatever nuts happen to be in season. For spring, you could arrange bright and cheery spring bouquets of wildflowers you pick yourself. The summer solstice or winter solstice could also make a nice theme for a cocktail party.
3. Celestial Events:
If your place has a nice view of the night-time sky, you may want to plan your cocktail party around an exciting celestial event like a meteor shower, a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse, or a moonset on or near the time of the full moon. Sprinkle a little granulated sugar over the top of your Pidy pastry shell desserts and call it "star dust." Set up telescopes and try to recruit at least one or two "experts" (they can be knowledgeable hobbyists). If you want to plan your outdoor party on a warmer night, you might try for the Perseids in late July or August. If you'd rather the sky get darker earlier in the evening so you can schedule your party earlier, you might plan for the Leonid shower in November or the Geminid shower in December. The peak dates for meteor showers vary from year to year so you'll have to check online for the exact dates. If you do choose a cooler night, you can provide blankets for your guests (or ask them to bring one) and serve Pidy pastry shell hor d'oeuvres containing "blood warming" spices like black pepper, cardamon, ginger, and cinnamon that increase the circulation. You may also want to consider serving warm cocktails like Irish cream coffee.
4. Beer From Local/Regional Microbreweries:
This can be a really fun way to highlight your favorite brews from local or regional microbreweries. If you decide to make this your theme, be sure to offer a wide selection of beers from pale ale to dark lager. Be sure to include one or two spicy Pidy pastry shell finger foods as this pairs really well with beer. To make your party even more fun, you might ask your guests to vote on their favorites and announce them at the end of the party.
5. Wine From Your Travels:
If you travel to a part of the world known for vineyards, it is always fun to bring some special wines home to share with your friends. Hosting a cocktail party featuring this wine is a fun way to go about this. You may also want to show some slides from your trip and display some items you found/bought on your trip to further enhance the theme. You might even purchase a special ingredient found in the region to incorporate into one of your pastry shell fillings. This type of cocktail party is a great way to encourage your guests to share their own travel stories.
If you follow the advice above, your guests will be talking about your cocktail party for years to come. They may even beg you to throw another one! Not only is this good for your ego, it can be a really nice way to give back to your family, friends, co-workers, and clients. Be sure to encourage your guests to call a taxi cab service if they drink or pick a designated driver and car pool. You may also need to arrange safe places for them to leave their car overnight.