Our goal for every party is to serve delicious food without spending hours sweating it out in the kitchen. Over many years and many parties (and a lot of sweating it out!), we developed our Rule of Five, which says that for any party, choose five different hors d'oeuvres or appetizers to serve, and then adjust the amount you make of each for larger or smaller crowds. The result: a menu that’s easily doable by one person, yet provides enough variety to look impressive and please every guest.
We’ve divided all our hors d’oeuvre and appetizer recipes into heavy, medium and light categories. For each party, we recommend a menu that includes:
1 heavy hors d’oeuvre so that guests who skip dinner will feel satisfied.
1 either heavy or medium. If you expect the evening to go long or your guests to be big eaters, lean towards a heavier second dish.
1 light, such as crudités, for nibblers.
1 bowl item such as nuts or olives that can go in multiple bowls around the party so guests can grab a bite no matter where they are in the room.