Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: jpcher on June 08, 2013, 04:36:06 PM

Title: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together? UPDATE#37
Post by: jpcher on June 08, 2013, 04:36:06 PM
Maybe this should be posted in the recipe request topic, but I'm thinking of doing something special for an afternoon get-together with my MIL, SIL, Niece, my 2 DDs and I.

Since it's Girls Only, I'm thinking of doing a lighter/classier type of appetizer menu rather than my usual go-to apps. But I'm clueless, here. Probably because I'm a bit bored of my usual go-to apps, which are rather hardy when men are invited. Any suggestions for a lighter menu?

The get-together will start at 2:00 and last 'till everyone wants to go home. I don't think that I'll need to plan a dinner, but maybe I should have something in mind just in case we're having a really good time and the get-together goes into the evening hours.

Do you think I should plan on a dinner just in case? What type of dinner would you plan, whether it's served or not?

I do know that (with this crowd) the wine bottle will be flowing, and I'll have iced tea, coffee, and sodas on hand.

But I'm in a quandary as to what to serve for apps. For this type of get-together would you serve sweets? Chip's-n-dips? Finger sandwiches? Shrimp cocktail?

Or not serve any apps at all?



Thoughts, suggestions, ideas would be greatly appreciated. ;D

Thanks, in advance.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on June 08, 2013, 04:45:00 PM
Personally, I'd have something heartier on standby, in case the outing continues on into the evening.  Something that can be heated up, like a lasagna with salad and fresh bread.  But something you can use another day if it doesn't carry on.

I'd go heavier on the veggies and fruit and easier on the heavy, meaty appetizers.  What about fancy little sandwiches?  Little cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off, for example.  My Mom would make up three separate fillings, get square uncut loaves of bread.  Then she'd slice them lengthwise, spread the fillings in layers and put the loaf back together then ice the whole thing in cream cheese.  Then, when you sliced it, you'd have these pretty layers with different colours of the different fillings.

Then you could have a veggie tray, a fruit tray, maybe a cheese tray, maybe some hummus and assorted crackers and breads.  Mom made a fruit dip that was whipped cream with no sugar added and some orange juice concentrate.  It was really good.  I can dig up the recipe, if you want it.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Valentines Mommy on June 08, 2013, 04:47:47 PM
Sounds fun! I usually head to the Mediterranean for inspiration. Bruschetta, spanakopita, hummus, caprese skewers, fruit and crudités. But maybe because I am so dreadfully warm right now and can't bear using the stove or oven. As for sweets, petit fours and chocolate dipped fruits wouldn't be too heavy. If grilling, I have a recipe for grilled and stuffed portabella caps that I use for vegetarian guests at barbecues.

Any of this sound appealing to you?
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: camlan on June 08, 2013, 05:08:09 PM
I came here to say that the timing is a bit early for tea, but I'd look at some little cakes and sandwiches that would be served at a tea--cucumber sandwiches, or watercress, with some little cakes and cookies.

However, I read Valentines Mommy's menu and now I want that.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Sharnita on June 08, 2013, 05:17:29 PM
I am not actually a fan of the idea that being a female means I'm inclined toward eating a bit of fluff.  I want substantial food.  I think that is probably what a lot of women enjoy.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: NyaChan on June 08, 2013, 05:19:50 PM
If you are going to be drinking, I would want something substantial.  So cut up sandwiches, chips with good dips or salsa, a salad with actual vegetables and protein, some dessert. 
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: kudeebee on June 08, 2013, 06:50:42 PM
How about a salad that the guests can add chicken or shrimp, strawberries, pineapple, pecans, walnuts, cheeses, etc to along with a variety of dressings for your dinner?  Like the appetizers that have been suggested--dips and hummus with fruits, veggies, pita crackers; the small sandwiches; brushetta; maybe a hot dip.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: ladyknight1 on June 08, 2013, 11:09:26 PM
I just saw a recipe today for a grilled chicken salad with avocado, red onion, tomato and lime. You serve it with the larger tortilla chips. Sounds divine! I will be making that for lunch this week.

Also, skewers are usually popular.
Caprese - grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Thai chicken - grilled and marinated chicken, served with a peanut sauce.
Shrimp - place raw shrimp on skewers, sprinkle with seasonings, grill or broil for a few minutes until opaque. Serve with lemon wedges.
Dessert - small square brownies, fresh pineapple, fresh strawberries, served with caramel sauce.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Library Dragon on June 09, 2013, 02:36:50 AM
Will you be sitting at a table?  My go-to for summer at this type of gathering is quiche, salad, bread, and a nice dessert. I make a few different types, spinach, quiche Lorraine, and a tomato-mozzarella tart.  They are hearty without being ordinary. 

(Winter time I like to make ribollita since its a hearty soup most people haven't had.)
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: cicero on June 09, 2013, 05:19:19 AM
I am not actually a fan of the idea that being a female means I'm inclined toward eating a bit of fluff.  I want substantial food.  I think that is probably what a lot of women enjoy.
i agree but i think this is a "know your audience" kind of thing. I also prefer "food" and not its and bits.

I'm thinking about "what would I do if this was me and my nieces and sisters/SILs" and I  think it might be fun to have a fancy tea party - sandwiches (can go lighter or more substantial, cut into quarters), a nice tea (and coffee of course!), scones and cream, veg sticks and dip, etc. Depending on how late this will go, i would then offer a meal - in my family this would probably be some kind of roast chicken dish, salad, 1-2 sides.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: shygirl on June 09, 2013, 07:55:24 PM
I just saw a recipe today for a grilled chicken salad with avocado, red onion, tomato and lime. You serve it with the larger tortilla chips. Sounds divine! I will be making that for lunch this week.

Ooh, that sounds really good!  Is it a recipe you can post?
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: ladyknight1 on June 09, 2013, 08:06:49 PM
It is in the Cooking Light "Fast & Fresh" magazine. I looked again and there are 4 chicken salads.

Avocado Chicken Salad - 2 Tb olive oil, 2Tb lime juice, salt & pepper, 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast, 1/4 cup cilantro, 3/4 cup fresh salsa, 1 avocado (diced)
Mix the first four ingredients, add chicken and toss to coat. Gently combine remaining ingredients and serve with tortilla chips.

Let me know if you want the others, Greek chicken salad, Tarragon chicken salad, and Chicken and green bean salad.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: veronaz on June 09, 2013, 08:32:10 PM
I am not actually a fan of the idea that being a female means I'm inclined toward eating a bit of fluff.  I want substantial food.  I think that is probably what a lot of women enjoy.

Agree.  Also, I'm not  a fan of the term "girls" being applied to adult females.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Curious Cat on June 09, 2013, 10:34:38 PM
I am not actually a fan of the idea that being a female means I'm inclined toward eating a bit of fluff.  I want substantial food.  I think that is probably what a lot of women enjoy.

Agree.  Also, I'm not  a fan of the term "girls" being applied to adult females.

 Presumably the OP knows her guests well enough to not invite anyone that would be insulted by her hospitality.  It seems churlish to chastise her without giving even one piece of advice about how to make the party a success.


Personally I think a girls only super fancy tea party with different finger sandwiches and lots of cute pasteries (maybe macaroons?) sounds delightful and I might have to throw one myself.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Roe on June 10, 2013, 04:44:15 AM
I am not actually a fan of the idea that being a female means I'm inclined toward eating a bit of fluff.  I want substantial food.  I think that is probably what a lot of women enjoy.

Agree.  Also, I'm not  a fan of the term "girls" being applied to adult females.

I think you are looking for offense when none was intended.

OP, I like the "afternoon tea" ideas!  :) 
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Venus193 on June 10, 2013, 06:44:27 AM
My onion tart is very simple and a major hit with everyone I've served it to.  I also do a pasta and veggie salad that can easily have cooked chicken or shrimp added to it.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: lowspark on June 10, 2013, 08:27:35 AM
I am not actually a fan of the idea that being a female means I'm inclined toward eating a bit of fluff.  I want substantial food.  I think that is probably what a lot of women enjoy.

Agree.  Also, I'm not  a fan of the term "girls" being applied to adult females.

I'm in my 50s and my friends and I refer to ourselves as "girls" all the time. I can see that some might take offense but I'm not sure that it was appropriate to chastise the OP for that here. After all, she wasn’t calling you a girl.

Back on topic, I like the idea of light tidbits with a meal after. On the other hand, if you do a more substantial “tea” with more substantial foods, then you don’t need a dinner afterwards.

Either way, I’d definitely let your guests know that is what you’re planning so that they can plan accordingly. If I know there’s a regular meal coming, I won’t fill up quite as much on the appetizers. Or if there will be a substantial meal at 2, I would make sure not to eat a regular lunch at noon.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Winterlight on June 10, 2013, 03:40:45 PM
Cream scones with fresh strawberries and clotted cream is my go-to choice.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: NyaChan on June 10, 2013, 03:50:22 PM
Cream scones with fresh strawberries and clotted cream is my go-to choice.

Waaaaant.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Roe on June 10, 2013, 07:40:41 PM
Cream scones with fresh strawberries and clotted cream is my go-to choice.

Do you have a recipe for this?  Sounds amazing!
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: katycoo on June 10, 2013, 07:44:19 PM
I'd do it High Tea style.

Some little sandwiches

Some savouries - individual pies, sausage rolls, or other tart type thing

Some desserts - little cakes, muffins, scones, slice or chocolates

Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Surianne on June 10, 2013, 07:47:40 PM
I am not actually a fan of the idea that being a female means I'm inclined toward eating a bit of fluff.  I want substantial food.  I think that is probably what a lot of women enjoy.

I agree.  What I'm worried about is if the women know your normal appetizer menu, they may eat a small lunch expecting your regular appetizers that are filling -- and then wind up hungry if they get the "female" versions that are less substantial.  Can you make it clear on the invitation that these will be smaller or lighter appetizers, versus what you normally serve? 
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Venus193 on June 10, 2013, 07:53:45 PM
Can someone please explain why the cucumber sandwiches have to have the crusts cut off when that is usually the best and tastiest part of the bread?
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: NyaChan on June 10, 2013, 07:56:39 PM
Can someone please explain why the cucumber sandwiches have to have the crusts cut off when that is usually the best and tastiest part of the bread?

Well they don't have to, but it makes it easier to cut neat shapes for the sandwiches.  Sometimes I leave em' on, others I chop the off and use the crusts in something else.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Ginger G on June 12, 2013, 12:50:23 PM
I'm from the south and we adult women often refer to ourselves as "girls".  For example, girls night out, etc.  It can come off as a bit condescending when a man does it though.

If I was having a ladies afternoon get-together in the warm spring/summer months, I would serve some or all of the following:  chicken salad and pimento cheese finger sandwiches, guacamole and salsa with tortilla chips, cheese and fruit plate, steamed (crisp) asparagus with a dill dip, and cheesecake and/or lemon bars.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Winterlight on June 12, 2013, 06:29:54 PM
Cream scones with fresh strawberries and clotted cream is my go-to choice.

Do you have a recipe for this?  Sounds amazing!

2 cups self-rising flour
2tsp sugar
1tsp salt
1-1 1/2 c heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425.
Sift dry ingredients into bowl. Gradually add enough cream to make a soft dough. Use only as much cream as needed- you may need less or more.
Knead lightly on a floured board.
Roll out to 1/2-3/4 inch thickness. Cut into two inch rounds or make dough square and cut into triangles, depending on the size you want.
Space out on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
If you don't eat them that day, they can be frozen, then thawed and warmed in a slow oven.

I got the strawberries at the farmer's market and the clotted cream at Whole Foods. If you don't have access, whipped cream with a touch of vanilla and sugar is wonderful.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: jpcher on June 12, 2013, 07:28:15 PM
Thanks for your responses everyone! ;D

I am not actually a fan of the idea that being a female means I'm inclined toward eating a bit of fluff.  I want substantial food.  I think that is probably what a lot of women enjoy.

I agree with you. I just thought of "dressing it up a bit" you know, for something different and special. Maybe even putting a table cloth down :o, using the nice dishes (instead of paper plates) adding a pretty centerpiece . . . Kinda pretending that we're actually a classy bunch for the afternoon. 8)

Maybe I should just stick to the norm. :-\

Agree.  Also, I'm not  a fan of the term "girls" being applied to adult females.

My apologies, I never meant to offend anyone. Should I have said "Ladies Only?" Would that have been better?  :-\




My Mom would make up three separate fillings, get square uncut loaves of bread.  Then she'd slice them lengthwise, spread the fillings in layers and put the loaf back together then ice the whole thing in cream cheese.  Then, when you sliced it, you'd have these pretty layers with different colours of the different fillings.

I remember my mom doing this for her get-togethers many years ago. But for the life of me, I can't remember what the fillings were. What does your mom fill it with?




Library Dragon -- Yes, we'll be sitting at my patio table.

I was thinking of having the table set with the apps before people arrive. I don't think I'll actually have place-settings, just a stack of plates and napkins. I don't want people to think that they have to eat since it's between lunch and dinner . . . that's another reason for the lighter fare.




Sounds fun! I usually head to the Mediterranean for inspiration. Bruschetta, spanakopita, hummus, caprese skewers, fruit and crudités. But maybe because I am so dreadfully warm right now and can't bear using the stove or oven. As for sweets, petit fours and chocolate dipped fruits wouldn't be too heavy. If grilling, I have a recipe for grilled and stuffed portabella caps that I use for vegetarian guests at barbecues.

Any of this sound appealing to you?

Bruschetta -- is a good thought, but I'll probably stick to only one sandwich type app . . . I'm leaning toward cucumber finger sandwiches* or a sandwich loaf like Outdoor Girl suggested.

caprese skewers -- Yes! excellent suggestion!

crudités -- This shows how un-classy I actually am. :'( I had to look this up. Oh! Veggie tray! :-[

I would very much appreciate your recipe for the mushroom caps. I make a stuffed mushroom but am always interested in other variations. Probably won't use a grill, though. Can these be made in the oven? Thanks!




I came here to say that the timing is a bit early for tea, but I'd look at some little cakes and sandwiches that would be served at a tea--cucumber sandwiches, or watercress, with some little cakes and cookies.

This is exactly the sort of sandwiches that I was thinking of!

Just winging it, I would think of spreading a slice of hearty white bread with a cream cheese mixed with a bit of milk/cream, add a slice of cucumber and top with fresh dill . . . yes, I think I should cut of the crust and serve open face, it's just prettier that way, in my opinion.

camlan -- if you have a recipe for cucumber sandwiches, I'd love to see it. Along with a recipe for watercress sandwiches. Thanks!


I'm thinking my menu might be:

*caprese skewers
*crudités
*crackers/cheese
*Cucumber finger sandwiches (maybe watercress, too?) or Outdoor Girl's sandwich loaf?
*Stuffed mushrooms
*Winterlight's scones with whipped cream
*Fresh-cut fruits (to go with the scones and whipped cream)


Then, again, I'm thinking this is way too much for only 6 people.



Thoughts?
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on June 12, 2013, 08:50:50 PM
For the loaf of sandwiches, I know one layer was salmon salad and one layer was ham salad and I'm not sure what the other layer was.  Maybe egg salad?

The idea was that you would use a knife and fork and eat each layer kind of on its own.

I think any kind of finely chopped salad type filling would be fine in any kind of combination you like.  I'm not a fan of salmon so I'd probably do chicken, ham and egg.

Don't completely discount the bruschetta.  It is an easy one to do ahead and cook as you need it.  I make up the filling and refrigerate it as much as a day ahead.  You don't want to make it too far ahead or the garlic gets bitter.  Then I cut the baguette into rounds and pop them in ziplocs until I'm ready to toast the bread and add the bruschetta mixture and sprinkle of parmesan.

My only question is when and where do I show up?   :)
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Oh Joy on June 13, 2013, 01:15:24 AM
... My Mom would make up three separate fillings, get square uncut loaves of bread.  Then she'd slice them lengthwise, spread the fillings in layers and put the loaf back together then ice the whole thing in cream cheese.  Then, when you sliced it, you'd have these pretty layers with different colours of the different fillings.

... Mom made a fruit dip that was whipped cream with no sugar added and some orange juice concentrate.  It was really good.  I can dig up the recipe, if you want it.

The sandwich might be a 'know your audience' kind of dish.  I've only seen it once, at a baby shower many years ago.  There were two camps of guests: the host family who devoured it, and the rest of the guests who smiled politely and took the smallest serving possible.

That fruit dip sounds fantastic!
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Valentines Mommy on June 13, 2013, 05:15:06 AM
I'll look up my mushroom recipes and post them later.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on June 13, 2013, 08:30:51 AM
I'll try to remember to post the fruit dip recipe later tonight when I get home. I hope I put it in the cookbook of my Mom's recipes that I put together after she died.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Figgie on June 13, 2013, 11:07:01 AM
Any type of pinwheel sandwiches can look very festive and have different fillings.  I pick up the different colored tortillas and then fill them with a variety of fillings, cut them up, set them on a tray cut side up and cover with plastic wrap.  You can even make pretty spiral patterns with the different colors if you want.  :)
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: NyaChan on June 13, 2013, 12:47:31 PM
Sounds yummy!

My mom does layers of cream cheese, cucumber, and then this green coriander chutney.  A good mix of cool and spicy.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Winterlight on June 13, 2013, 01:29:04 PM
You might also google afternoon tea menus. This site has menu suggestions and recipes. http://whatscookingamerica.net/Menu/HighTea.htm

I've also looked at what the fancy hotels and tearooms serve- not everything is complicated. For example, the London Ritz serves tiny egg salad sandwiches, they just dress them up a bit.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: angilamae on June 13, 2013, 02:58:08 PM
If you are on Pinterest they have some good ideas.  That is where I go when I want something new.  Try looking for afternoon garden party or something.

I am having girls night this weekend and while its in the evening it isnt a dinner.  We are doing the meditaranian thing someone suggested.

My sister threw an outdoor bridal party and had these kabobs with pastas on them and a pesto sauce to dip them in.  They were cute and yummy.  I do think heavier food might be good with the alcohol too.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: Valentines Mommy on June 13, 2013, 09:23:42 PM
I've used this recipe when I broil stuffed mushrooms.

http://www.myrecipes.com/m/recipe/stuffed-portobello-mushrooms-10000001031689/
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together?
Post by: mbbored on June 19, 2013, 12:54:48 PM
This isn't the most specific advice, but I like a balance of proteins and carbs. If I have a plate of vegetables, fruit, bread with dips and desserts I feel queasy by the end.
Title: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together? UPDATE #39
Post by: jpcher on June 22, 2013, 05:16:57 PM
UPDATE: Luncheon was a huge success. ;D

Since I found out that it would be more of a lunch type of deal rather than an afternoon tea thing, I listened to those posters that suggested a heavier type of menu. Thanks for that advice!

I decided to serve the meal tappas style, a little bit at a time with many courses instead of serving everything all at once.

I did set up a nice table with a centerpiece and table cloth, but I used pretty paper plates because I figured this would be easier to provide fresh plates between courses.

First course, when guests arrived was cheese and crackers along with a fruit tray, all set on the table.

About 45 minutes later, after everybody was settled, drinks were served, I brought out stuffed clams (frozen/store-bought ::), but they were really good!) and bruchetta.

An hour later, I brought out artichoke-stuffed mushrooms and a small plate of crudités with ranch dressing.

Then, maybe 45 minutes later, I served broiled steak skewers (with peppers/onions/mushroom) and a cucumber salad.


Yes, there was a lot of food, but serving it in courses? I think was the way to go and my guests seemed to be very pleased.



Thanks to everybody for your menu/recipe/ideas and suggestions. :D
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together? UPDATE#37
Post by: MOM21SON on June 22, 2013, 05:44:02 PM
That sounds lovely!

Now I am going to heat up the stuffed clams that are in my freezer!
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together? UPDATE#37
Post by: NyaChan on June 22, 2013, 06:01:58 PM
That sounds so good!  I bet your guests loved it :)  I've never tried serving things in courses before because my house set up didn't use to allow for it, but I really want to try that someday. 
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together? UPDATE#37
Post by: jpcher on June 23, 2013, 11:45:51 AM
It was really easy, too. ;D

Everything was prepared ahead of time and whenever I went in to refresh a drink, I just popped something else in the oven or pulled something else from the fridge.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together? UPDATE#37
Post by: StillandSilent on July 10, 2013, 10:36:55 PM
Deleted because I'm in the wrong thread
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together? UPDATE#37
Post by: Thipu1 on July 12, 2013, 09:34:59 AM
It was really easy, too. ;D

Everything was prepared ahead of time and whenever I went in to refresh a drink, I just popped something else in the oven or pulled something else from the fridge.

I love the way you sequenced the meal! There was time for everyone to enjoy each course and have conversation before the next course was served. 

It sounds like a wonderful way to entertain.
Title: Re: Girls Only . . . what would you serve for an afternoon get-together? UPDATE#37
Post by: Deetee on July 12, 2013, 11:32:20 PM
That sounds fabulous. I love those long, snacking sort of meals. It's almost like a performance with all the different courses and it lets you savour each different taste.