Hors d’Oeuvre Fundamentals

Serve it up, Hors d’Oeuvres


During the Holiday Season, when invitations to parties seem to be plentiful, hosting an Open House where you serve just hors d’oveuvres  and guests can pop in when it works best for them.  

 The question I hear is how much food do I need.  I know it causes anxieties when the thoughts turn to running out of food, or not enough for guests to nibble on.   Perhaps I can relieve those middle of the night anxieties.   Quantities are approximate, estimated on the high side, which is a must for party planning.

 Don’t expect to be 100 percent accurate, serve a variety of dishes, always prepare a little extra, and don’t worry if you run out of one thing on a buffet.

With Hors d’Oeuvres the wider the variety of taste you offer, the more your guests will consume.  Have you heard the saying, “their small, take two”?   Hors d’Oeuvres and buffets make us feel adventuerous, obligated to sample every hors d’oeuvres offered.

 Hors d’Oeuvre Fundamentals

  •  For hors d’oeuvres preceeding a meal, there should be at least four different taste (6-8 per person) For twelve guests at this type of party, make between 75-100 pieces.
  • When hors d’oeuvres are the only food offered at a three-hour party there should be at least six tastes (12-15 per person) For twelve guests at this kind of reception make between 144-180 pieces.
  • To calculate for hors d’oeuvres not in pieces (like cheese and dips) assume 1 ounce is equal to 1 piece.
  • Create a balance between hot and cold dishes
  • If you’re having twenty to twenty five guests or more for hors d’oeuvres, you must include some of the “bulk” type of items in your menu.  Otherwise you will find yourself making hundreds of little things.    Personally I believe that is when you hit stores like Costco, during the holiday season they offer lots of choices in the frozen section as well as their deli.
  • Add a nibble like nuts or olives to your shopping list as insurance.
  • Buying party platters, remove them from the plastic containers to your own dishes and you’ll create a more visual eye appealing dish.

 Keep in mind that if you are seving cocktails at your parties, you most certainly want to have plenty of food to counter the effects alcohol  I always feel it is better to have too much than not enough food.  

 As a guest or as a host what has been your experience?




About LindaVuichBurt

I have a passion for setting the stage when entertaining but also in decorating my home. As a professional stager and an Independent Willow House Design Consultant, I help others create warm and invitng homes! I enjoy creating a warm and welcoming home enviroment not only for my family but for all who enter, by delighting and exciting the senses of guests, all the while making them feel welcomed and comfortable. It is so fulfilling when I can help my friends do the same. Whether you realize, that when you serve your family breakfast, you are entertaining them with food and by setting the table, to the dishes you use to serve, you are entertaining! We all entertain to one degree or another. From the beauty of the dishes you choose, to a table cover or place mats, that is a form of not only entertaining but decorating. I hope through my blog you will be able to take away fun ideas that you can incorporate into your life style. I hope you come back often, share this with your friends and share your successes with the ideas you find in my blog. Enjoy! Linda Your Independent Willow House Design Consultant and Professional Stager!
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