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Simple & savory ideas for an afternoon party

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Simple & savory ideas for an afternoon party

darklyglimmer | | Jun 19, 2010 12:58 PM

Hi, all -

I've been lurking for years - literally - but have only posted a few times. Now, though, I need to join the legions of people who need menu suggestions, and I couldn't think of any better group to ask. This Saturday, we're hosting the second iteration of my daughter's first birthday party. The first was two weeks ago, mostly family -- we did a picnic sort of thing, pulled chicken and hot dogs and about eight million cold salads and a cake shaped like a ladybug and ten million cookies made by my mother. It was great fun, and almost killed me. I'd like to survive the next one with fewer psychic scars.

This weekend's version is for twenty or so of our local friends and their children. It's from 2-4 in the afternoon, so I don't have to provide an actual meal; since most of the grownups will be chasing small people around the yard instead of standing around holding plates, I'm trying to find finger foods that you can grab and easily eat with one hand. So I'm thinking: cupcakes instead of a cake (also, the ladybug took hours), veggie and fruit plates with a dip for each, a plate of assorted cubed cheese, chips and pretzels etc. That's all easy enough, but I'd like to provide at least one thing that's sort of closer to "real" food, relatively accessible for small children but tasty enough to satisfy grownups. I briefly considered empanadas, but I haven't ever made them before and if I'm going to do something brand-new, I feel like it should be a little simpler than that. The only dietary caveats are no nuts (kids with allergies) and no red meat (my husband doesn't eat it). Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!

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