The '50's Cocktail Party ended up not being a 50's cocktail party at all. Sure, that was the purported theme, but I really didn't see anything there that said 50s cocktail party. It wasn't really clear on the invites and people showed up wearing all sorts of clothes (my awful maternity top was decidedly modern, though it does show a lot of boob).
The instructions I was given was to bring two cold and two hot appetizers, finger-only food. The hots were to come out 90 minutes after the party began; since I live two doors down this wasn't a problem. I did, however, want to be sure I didn't go over my budget ($100 for all the appetizers, for 40 people) and didn't bite off more than I could chew in terms of energy. As the others were doing a lot of items straight from the Costco freezer section, I decided I didn't have to be super fancy.
My menu resulted in a mix of vegetarian, cold and hot, crunchy/chewy/spicy and smooth:
Parmesan CrispsOh sooooo fancy!
Crudite with three dips (green goddess; cucumber feta; hummus)
Honey Ginger Chicken Bites
Pigs in a Blanket with three mustards
For the veggies I had pre-washed baggies of snow peas, broccoli, carrots, etc. and just arranged them around a pretty trio of dips. I made the green goddess and bought the others.
Pigs in a Blanket turned out to be the party favorite--I had a dog chasing me down the street and then people jumping on me before I even got in the door.
The honey ginger chicken bites were a Cooking Light recipe made with boneless skinless chicken thighs, marinated, cooked, and then broiled in a glaze. Pretty good over all--but ugly on the plate even with bits of parsley and fancy frilly toothpicks.
The Parmesan Crisps were really my favorite. They should have been placed on the bar for all the folks hanging out getting sloshed. They were a great nibbly thing, just perfect with beer or red wine.
One sourdough baguette
1/2 pound butter
1/2 to 1 cup grated (not shredded) Parmesan cheese
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the bread into 1/4" slices. Melt the butter and pour into flat tray or pan. Put cheese in second tray or pan. Dip bread into butter on both sides, taking care not to soak up all the butter. Then coat both sides of bread with cheese. Place all slices on a cookie tray. Bake for nine minutes, then turn over all slices and cook for another four minutes. Sprinkle with basil and allow to cool.