Wednesday, October 28, 2009


OK, so we decided to have a post-trick or treating Halloween get-together in our backyard. A friend is going to set up an outdoor theater for scary movies; we'll have a fire for smores, and a fully stocked bar for the adults (a must after walking house-to-house for three hours).

What started as a casual gathering, though, is now a blow-out blast I haven't seen the likes of since college. I expect close to 100 people will show up. I am freaking out.

I can do dinner parties fairly well, thank you very much. But crowds? Oh, boy.

I need ideas for appetizers beyond the guac and chips/veggie tray standard fare. Got any recipes for large groups? Post in the comments box and I will be oh, so grateful.

And, if you're in the Chicago-land area, send me an email and I'll give you directions. Costumes are optional. I may dress up as a Query Letter.


  1. OOOOHHHHHH I'm all over this.

    Those little loaves of pumpernickel bread with black olive tapanade (sp?) spread. Looks icky an black and dark but tastes soooooo good.

    Two or three rounds of baked brie (Trader joes... most have them in the freezer section and you can pop them in the oven. They are BIG and the crowd only needs a taste. Some even have jam in between the crust and the brie, and it's warm too!)

    Mini eggrolls, mini hamburgers...

    Tortellini or ravioli on a stick. Pesto works best for the sauce because it sticks. And be sure to get the Really Big Tortellini or Ravioli. (and don't cook them until floppy!)

    I have a million, email me if you want. Husband is a chef.

  2. I LOVE all of these. I see a trip to Trader Joe's in my future! Thanks, Suzanne!

    I really like the idea of tortellini on a stick...awesome!

  3. I have a recipe for this amazing corn, bean, avacado dip. It makes a TON so it's great for crowds. I also make loaves of pepperoni bread using pillsbury italian bread, cheese and pepperoni or you can sub veggies. They're super easy and they always end up going fast. And I have this recipe for a spicy chicken dip where you shred chicken, mix with frank's red hot and serve it over cream cheese mixed with ranch mix. You can heat it up in the microwave or oven.

    Let me know if you want me to send any of these your way. I'm so jealous we don't live in Chicago anymore. Sounds like a blast!

  4. Teriyaki chicken skewers! Let me know if you want the recipe, it's pretty easy and self explainatory haha. Or, you know, you could always stick with the good ole piggies in a blanket :D

  5. Oh, good idea, Amy! I haven't made pigs in a blanket in years. Teriyaki chicken is simply marinated in soy sauce-ginger-pepper and then skewered, right?

  6. Um, I don't have any recipes to share. *the shame* I just wanted to wish you good luck! You will be awesome...especially as a query letter.

  7. No shame, Sarah!! Thanks for the good wishes!

  8. Baked ziti--always. It's easier than lasagna and you can make it the day before than just pop it in the oven (one or two trays) an hour before serving. I have a great recipe if you need it!

    AND hot cider with rum--can you get one of those big, aluminum coffee things with the spout? Borrow one from a friend maybe? My mother has one and if I knew earlier I would have shipped the darn thing. Anyway, if you can, fill it with hot cider. It will last quite a while and serve a big crowd. Keep the spiced rum off to the side to be added to individual cups. This way kids can just have the cider sans the buzz.

  9. Oooh, I HAVE to do the spiced cider! My neighbor has one of those large coffee things. Maybe I'll call it pumpkin juice or butterbeer!

    Great idea, Jo!