During the holidays, as well as other times throughout the year, we will play host or hostess to a gathering of friends in celebration. The easiest way to entertain is by having a beautiful table of finger food trays that allow your guests to help themselves. You will also want them to look appetizing to have the food eaten by the end of the evening. Here are some tips to arranging the finger food trays so your guests will not be able to resist, and they will keep coming back for more.
Trays – Be sure that you use trays that are big enough to hold specific foods. Remember not to stack foods too high or they will tumble on the table when the first guest grabs an item, like rolls. Line the trays with paper doilies for breads, cheeses and desserts. It just looks nicer. You can pick up large serving trays and paper liners most anywhere including dollar stores and department stores.
Food Arrangement – Secure sandwiches with toothpicks and stack them on a platter by themselves. If you are serving shrimp or chicken wings, start at the outer rim of the tray and place them in a circle working inward, and then add your sauces or dips in the center. Mini hot dogs, meatballs, or other small meat bites should be placed on a tray, and then place a container of toothpicks and the sauces in a separate bowl beside them. Cheese trays should have each kind of cheese grouped together with a platter of fruit and bowls of olives next to them. Be sure to have a serving spoons or forks for them to get their serving with. Group the vegetables together on a large tray with the dip in the center. Have crackers next to the vegetable tray. Place all of the desserts in a grouping, and try to have the dessert trays at different heights for interest. You can do this by placing bowls upside down under the tablecloth to get varying heights.
Garnishes – To make the finger food trays more appealing to the eye, you can do a few things to make your trays stand out. Make colorful labels for each of the different cheeses as well as any other food that someone may not recognize, like turkey meatballs, or a brioche. Add parsley garnish to the dips, and a few sprigs of mint to the fruit tray. You can also use Rosemary for a garnish on red meat and cheese trays, and lemon slices on seafood trays.