When deciding to have a party many people find that serving food buffet style is much easier than having a sit down dinner. With this kind of serving it is not necessary to serve each guest with various courses or worry about whether they will like what is being served. Buffet party food can be of such a variety that everyone will find something to enjoy. Regardless as to when the event is held it is always much nicer if everything is decorated, which can be done very inexpensively.
In serving this type of meal there is often concern about the amount and type of food to have available. The food should be varied and the amount depends on the number of guests. Also to be considered is whether this is a family affair or a more formal one, with guests.
Depending on the number of people present, one serving table will usually hold enough food for about twenty guests. If more than this is present than another serving table can be joined to the first one. Always be sure there are enough tables and chairs available for the guests to set comfortably while eating.
There is a choice in serving beverages. Some people have servers who go around pouring coffee or tea, others have a separate table for this purpose and the guests serve themselves. If this is one's choice then it is important that there is a very large coffee maker as well as cups, hot water, tea bags, punch, sugar and cream available. If there is a bar it will have to be in a separate location with someone to pour out drinks. A dessert table should also be present.
There is nothing worse than a long line at a buffet table. For this reason it is always a good idea to have the table or tables placed so people can go down both sides. Having two sets of spoons at every dish is also a necessity.
A lot of time and confusion can be avoided if places are set, with silverware and napkins, for the guests seating. This eliminates the need for them to have to try to balance these items while filling their plates with food. It is important to always have enough places for all the guests so no one has to stand or be uncomfortable while eating.
Serving buffet party food can range from full course meals to finger foods or desserts. If finger foods or desserts are served then small paper dessert plates and napkins, with a fork for desserts, are all that are needed, as it will be assumed they have already eaten a regular meal elsewhere. A buffet, with finger foods, can also be a prelude to a regular dinner, depending on the occasion.
When a person is having a party they want to be sure of several things. Anyone going to the effort of putting together such an event knows that there are a number of things involved. Having a location that is comfortable and attractive, guests that are compatible, a good atmosphere and the right kind of finger foods for parties for everyone's enjoyment.
Finger foods are anything that can be eaten without a need for knives, forks or spoons. They can be things on toothpicks, such as meat balls, cheese, sausages or things such as celery filled with cheese, fresh vegetables attractively cut and many other things that are easy to pick up. It is always good to have small napkins available also for wiping hands.
If having a large or small get-together, arranging the room so that the guests have numerous places stand or sit, while visiting with each other is paramount in importance. It will also be necessary for them to have something to drink if there are finger foods to be served. These drinks can be alcohol or non-alcohol according to the type of party.
This type of food is not just for parties but is also excellent for children, or adult, snacks. A child coming home from school, for instance, is often looking for something to eat. Having things ready made and in the refrigerator helps avoiding having to stop and prepare something. Other family members also appreciate the option of being able to snack without having to get out a plate and silverware.
There are many very well known finger foods which are also sometimes used as appetizers at a meal. The ones chosen would depend on the type of meal but, in this case, are served on a plate for the guests. Picnics are also an excellent place to have this kind of food available for those in attendance.
When planning a party or dinner it is important that one have the right amount of food on hand. While you don't want to be short of food you don't want to have to dispose of any after the event as well. As a general rule, the count is 4 to 6 servings per person, with a meal, and 12 pieces per person if it is a party or meeting. Five glasses of wine can be served per bottle or four glasses per quart of punch.
Today, on the Internet, it is possible to find numerous different types of these foods listed where one can find regular to unusual suggestions. The type of food selected should always be served at room temperature for obvious reasons. Finger foods for parties can be served that are not only attractive and beautiful in appearance but very tasty as well.
Over the years I have learned a few things about picking up nuts. No, I'm talking about the ones that fall from trees and taste great in pies or cookies.
Patience: Picking up pecans from my trees is a trial and error process and requires patience and selectivity. Early in the harvesting season the bad nuts, ones that my be rotten or have worms in them, may be nonchalantly hanging out with a good one. It's hard to tell the good quality nuts from the inferior ones.
If you pick the good nut instead of the bad, all you have to do when you get home crack and shell the ones you have selected. Pick the wrong one and you may break the nut apart to find a fat little yellow pecan worm that had been happily munching on the interior of the nut.
When shelling nuts you can waste a lot of time if you have not culled the good from the bad while you were picking them. Take your time in the beginning and it will save you minutes when you begin the cracking and shelling process.
Caution: Back home with buckets of pecans and black walnuts, the cracking process begins. The easiest nut to crack is the pecan. I have a hand operated nut cracker that splits the nut in half and gives me two perfect halves which I throw in a bowl, unless there is a worm in the shell, then I throw it in the waste bucket. Pecans are easy to crack, but a bucket full is a lot of pecans, and requires care in striking the nut.
I have figured out an almost ingenious way to separate the nut meat from a black walnut shell. I use a small sledge hammer. These nuts are much too hard to crack with a conventional pecan cracker.
I hold the nut with my left hand and place it on an anvil that I have on my workbench. With my left hand I hold a small three pound, short handled sledge hammer. With laser like accuracy I strike the walnut on the apex of the nut; at least most of the time I'm accurate. The hammer is heavy enough for the mind to dictate extreme caution in striking at something about the size of a golf ball when all of your fingers are exposed.
Endurance: Folks, whose attention span is that of a MTV watcher should forget about shelling pecans and especially black walnuts. Most of the pecans I crack just split themselves into two pieces. It's not that easy with a black walnut.
With walnuts, once I have them cracked, and I use a metal pick that looks somewhat like a knitting needle to remove the meat from the nut. The theory is that you insert the pick under a piece of fleshy walnut and it will just pop loose from its shell like a pecan. It doesn't work that way.
The shell of a walnut has no give in it like the thin shelled pecan. When you use the pick, most of the meat will crumble. Don't throw that away because a little of that walnut flour makes very tasty cookies.Shelling pecans and walnuts is really an act of love. It takes work to be successful in the harvest. Working with a bunch of nuts is much like working with people. You have to have patience, caution and endurance. Most of all, you have to have love.
When it comes to the Japanese delicacy known as Sushi, people either love it or they hate it. There's just no in between and this is probably because Sushi is made from raw fish and other ingredients that evoke strong reactions of love and hate.
Those who love their Sushi agree that there are certain tips that will help those starting out to have the best possible experience as they try a new food. Follow these guidelines, and it's possible you may end up in the Sushi-lovers camp.
Start by checking out any Sushi restaurants in your city. All quality sushi establishments have a bar where the fish is displayed. Don't be reluctant to take a look, that's what the bar is there for. Take a good look at the fish. It should look juicy, not dry, and it should be what the chef is using to prepare sushi dishes. If he isn't using the display fish, ask why not. Truly reputable sushi restaurants take great pride in showing off the quality and freshness of their fish, which is what this culinary specialty is all about. If the restaurant doesn't have a fish display, don't even think of eating sushi there.
Next, avoid any "all you can eat" sushi restaurant. Once again, the issue is quality, and places that advertise "all you can eat" typically prepare large amounts of fish in advance. The freshness diminishes the longer the food is held. Granted, top quality seafood is expensive, but when it comes to sushi, diners really do get what they pay for. Those who remain unconvinced ought to try their own taste test. Eat once in an "all you can eat" sushi restaurant, and then go to a traditional establishment where diners pay by the piece. The flavor of premium quality sushi should be all the evidence needed to prefer the traditional restaurant.
Another thing to note is whether diners are forced to order everything all at once, or whether they can order a few pieces of sushi at a time. A quality restaurant will place as much emphasis on the dining experience as on the food, allowing its customers to savor each piece of sushi individually. After all, it's not Japanese fast food, but a gourmet delicacy in its own right. If the server in a sushi restaurant insists the diners order all at once, that could be a sign that the fish isn't fresh, or that large amounts have been prepared in advance. Take note, and try another establishment.
Also note the flavor of the rice used in sushi dishes. Sushi rice is short-grained rice combined with sugar, rice vinegar, salt and water. This imparts a delicate flavor to the rice accompanying the fish. If the rice has no flavor, try another restaurant.
Check the menu for a combination of traditional sushi and sashimi dishes and more modern versions such as California Rolls. A lack of traditional dishes on the menu could mean that the sushi chef has not received proper training, and the sushi served there could be less than authentic.
Finally, treat yourself to the "chef's special. Just as the sushi chef to prepare what he thinks best with the available fish. It's a risk, true, but it could also lead to a tasty experience - to say nothing of creating a good relationship with the chef!