hosting happy hour - help with menu

I'm hosting a happy hour for my team at work (about 15 ppl) and am struggling to come up with a menu. I need to keep it simple enough so that I can prep it all in advance, yet want to keep it fun and interesting with a seasonal "spring" influence. I was thinking sangria (both white and red) for the drink, but am struggling with the food options. Any ideas??

Casey Rogers


Christine V. April 29, 2018
I would keep it simple. A crudite platter with assorted veggies in all colors is pretty and will appeal to those who want to eat vegetarian. Just be sure to pick the freshest veggies. San Marzano small grape tomatoes, purple and white cauliflower florets, carrots and celery is a great start (make sure NOT to use the bag of mini carrots or even bagged carrots) spring for fresh carrots with the fronds-I makes a difference. Also peel your celery so you don't have those annoying threads. Make a homemade dip of your choice and also add a bowl of hummus.
A cheese (at least 4 types) and cracker (3 different types) platter with pepperoni, olives and grapes is easy.
Bite sized sweedish meatballs with toothpics can be made in advance and merely heated up before serving. This last suggestion is not fancy or typical in any way but I have found that many people enjoy my taco layered dip served with quality tortilla chips slightly warmed. There are several different variations of this dip online but I like mine the best. lol Layer of cream cheese (1/2" covering the bottom of baking dish),seasoned ground beef (taco flavored with a dash of cayanne), diced onion, grated cheddar and another Mexican cheese, diced green bell pepper (put diced pepper in a pan with a drop (very, very little) and cook for a few minutes to get water out, otherwise it will make the dip a sloppy wet mess. Then a layer of sliced black olives. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly. And a layer of cold fresh pico de gallo on top right before serving. Good luck
BerryBaby April 27, 2018
A ‘make your own’ Street taco bar.
(Street tacos are small and easy to hold) Set everything out...taco shells, meat mixture, diced tomatoes, guacamole, shredded lettuce, salsa, shredded cheese...maybe a basket of tortilla chips for those who’d rather dip and snack.
PHIL April 26, 2018
Charcuterie board with some nice crackers and french bread , crudite , big green chopped salad with chopped walnuts and clementine wedges, dress with olive oil/apple cider vinegar/some clementine juice /honey mustard. You can also make a pasta salad ahead too. Use rainbow mix bowties with mixed colors tomatoes , red onion, asparagus, and cubed mozzarella , a little pesto , dress with olive oil and a little balsamic. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do.
dinner A. April 23, 2018
Gougères are great happy hour food. If you have a toaster oven that you could refresh them in, that's ideal, but I think they'd still be good if you'd baked them the night before. I really like Tartine's recipe (it's been posted online in many places.)

This green pea spread is delicious and very easy. Frozen peas work just fine in it (I actually don't think I've ever used fresh). I've subbed out various herbs in it and especially like a mixture of mint and cilantro, and I usually use tahini instead of the bit of almond butter it calls for because that's what I usually have around.

Along the same lines as sexyLAMBCHOPx's Spanish tortilla idea, an asparagus frittata would also be nice, maybe with goat or feta cheese in it.
Michele April 22, 2018
I made samosas for a similar event when I worked. I did them from scratch (which you don't have to do) and they did take an evening but they literally disappeared once they were put out. People really seem to like savory and spicy foods when they drink so you might want to think about something like this.
Scott April 28, 2018
I might try a spicy chicken nugget with a vegetable mix on the side... and more alcohol. :o)
sexyLAMBCHOPx April 22, 2018
I'm thinking tapas. Spanish cheeses, crostini, Spanish meats, egg/potato tortilla bites, stuffed peppadew peppers. All of this can be prepared ahead of time. Make a crudites platter with seasonal vegetables and interesting pieces of bread/cracks/breadsticks and fruit and Spanish dips.
Nancy April 22, 2018
Baked tidbits are easy to prepare and bring to work, and savory ones go well with drinks. Think of things like:
1) cheese straws (this one from Edna Lewis & Scott Peacock)
2) Double-corn Parmesan biscotti
3) Rosemary pine-nut biscotti
4) Gentlemen's Savoury Delights from the Two Fat Ladies (back in the news lately)
Nancy April 22, 2018
PS I didn't include spring-time canapes because I couldn't think of tasty ones that were both seasonal and easy to prepare/bring to work. So I went for good tasting and easy to carry.
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