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Party Planning - Appetizers

Updated on August 28, 2015

Easy Entertaining

In my opinion, there is nothing so tempting or pleasing to the eye as the presentation of a beautiful food or dessert platter. Guest love them and they require little effort to create. A food platter can be made up of many different things, it's really up to individual tastes and preferences. Food and dessert platters can be created to entertain a few people or a room full of guests. They are a convenient choice as you can prepare them ahead of time and they are ready to serve in the event of unexpected company. Especially at Christmas, when you know people are going to show, you just don't know when, but voila!, you have a platter prepared ahead of time and you are admired by your guests as a Suzie Homemaker!

A Platter is also a great item to bring along to someone else's party or event. Platters offer a variety of choices, surely one to please a lot of people and they present as something that you put a lot of time and effort into creating. It is easy to have an equally pleasing looking platter as the store bought ones and doing it yourself guarantees maximum freshness. So go ahead, put together a creative platter, use your imagination and have fun! I know what you're thinking "Wow, she's rather enthusiastic about Platters". Yes I am, some of my favourites include: meat and cheese, sandwiches and dips, hors d'oeuvre trays, fresh fruits and dip, veggies and dip, nuts and candies and also trays containing an assortment of freshly baked treats. Don't forget that these platters can also be given as gifts. I receive a tray of fresh baked cookies and homemade chocolates from a friend every Christmas and it's one of my favourite gifts, one I look forward to every year.Below are some ideas for platters you can prepare at home to share with guest or if desired, to give as gifts:

Meat & Cheese Platters

Meat & Cheese

Assortment of sliced or cubed Mild Cheddar, Marble Cheddar, Havartiand thinly Sliced Black Forest Ham, Cooked Chicken Breasts and Roast Beef, Accompanied with Kalamata Olives. Add garnishes such as lettuce and cherry tomatoes.

Cold cut

A nice cold cut platter offers a combination of thinly sliced cold cuts including Ham, Turkey or any other desired deli meats. Accompanied with Sweet Bread and Butter Pickles


A great snack tray includes Mild Cheddar, Monterey Jack Jalapeno, Havarti and a variety of smoked sausage including Garlic Coil, Pepperoni Sticks or any other desired variety. Accompanied with Kalamata Olives.

Cheese & Hors d'oeuvre Platters

Speciality Cheese

A tray of speciality cheeses such as Camembert, Smoked Apple Cheddar, Boursin, Rosenborg Blue, Capriny Goat and Mini Babybel Cheese makes a lovely tray for entertaining. Grapes make a lovely garnish for this type of tray.

Domestic Cheese

Arrange this tray with a colorful display of cubed or sliced Canadian cheeses including Mild Cheddar, Marble Cheddar, Canadian Swiss, Havarti and Monterey Jack. Accompanied by green and red grapes and some scattered strawberry slices.

Pickle & Olive

A tasty choice to go with any buffet, this tray consists of an assortment of Green Sicilian Olives, Baby Gherkins, Crispy Dills, Kalamata Olives, Pickled Oninons and Sweet Bread and Butter Pickles. A lovely addition to this trays appeal is some scattered cherry tomatoes.


You can't go wrong with a tray of assorted sandwiches. If you want to add an even nicer touch you can make the sandwiches on homemade, freah baked bread. It's also nice to have some prepared on whole wheat or multi-grain bread. Favourites include: Ham & Swiss, Roast Beef & Cheddar, Vegetarian with Cheddar,Turkey & Mayo or Pastrami with Mustard.

Spinach Dip

A lovely tray is a spinach dip centered within a Sourdough Loaf, and accompanied with slices of Sourdough Bread and French Baguette rounds for dipping. A bunch of crisp green grapes make a lovely addition to this type of tray.

Fruit & Veggies Platters

Fruit Trays

Your guests will love a tray of fresh hand-cut seasonal fruit that's washed and ready to enjoy. These trays are especially delicious when accompanied by a complimentary dip, such as yogurt dip.

Veggie Trays

Vegetable trays are perfect for almost any occasion. A variety of fresh-cut vegetables, washe and ready to serve are perfect for entertaining. Favourites include: tomatoes, carrots, sugar snap peas, borccoli, cauliflower, celery and a creamy ranch dip.

Baked Treats & Breakfast Platters

Classic Dessert Tray

You can create a classic platter that combines all the favourites such as Buttertart Bars, Nanaimo Bars, Carrot Cake and assorted Brownies.

Cheesecake Squares Tray

Yummy!!! One of my fav's. Indulge your guests with mini Cheesecake Squares in flavours of your choice. For a decadent tray include Turtle Cheesecake, New York Style and White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Squares. Trust me, you will be the talk of the party!

Layered Cake Tray

Luscious layer cake trays featuring Chocolate Layer Cake, Lemon & Cream and Strawberry Shortcake make a delicious dessert tray. The tray look so decadent when the little pieces of cake are arranged in paper holder such as cupcake holders. It's a special treat any guest would love to indulge in.

Breakfast Platter

What overnight guests wouldn't love waking up to a beautifully arranged tray of Danishes and Croissants. This tray could include items such as Butterhorns, Danishes and bite size Croissants. An assortment of Muffins is also a nice touch. This tray is great for an early morning meeting or mid-morning social event as well.

These are just some ideas of platters you can create at home. The list goes on and on, you just have to use your imagination. A few other platters not featured here which are also very popular among guests are: Sushi Platters, Chocolate Dipped Fruit Platters, Coffee Break Goodies Platters and Platters made up of an assortment of Festive Candies. Have fun, create your perfect platter and enjoy the praise you are going to receive from your very appreciative guests.


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    • gryphin423 profile image

      gryphin423 4 years ago from Florida

      Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. I had a friend who every year gave me a tray of cookies and candies. It was the nicest gift, and thoughtful!

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      With all the yummy Thanksgiving leftovers you can create an "extra-special" Turkey Platter to deliver to someone who may not have someone to cook, or share a Thanksgiving meal with them. Maybe an elderly neighbour, a less advantaged family or someone else you know of who is in need or alone on the Thanksgiving holiday. The platter could have leftover turkey, cranberry sauce, a side dish of gravy,and other special touches such as a serving of dessert or homemade bread slices for Hot Turkey Sandwiches. Happy Thanksgiving all...

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      Glad you found this useful Giselle. Platters are so functional, I usually have one of some kind when entertaining. Happy Holidays!

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 6 years ago

      Great ideas here - I'm always on the lookout for good ideas when entertaining. Thanks for these great suggestions for platters.

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks again lord de cross, you're good for the ego :)

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks litsabd. Ironically, I'm no Betty Crocker but I can create a Platter that screams "culinary genius". They are so easy and so much fun to create.

    • litsabd profile image

      litsabd 6 years ago

      I just loved the way you presented your thoughts! It shows that you are in to it so deep with such love about what you do.Impressed!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 6 years ago

      Will bookmark it dear friend...keep hubbing, there is no end to this tale of creativity. Amen!

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 6 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for your kind "feed"back ;) I have to admit that this hub was a two day project that probably only needed one day to complete...but I had to keep stopping to grab a snack or wipe my chin from drooling. I love platters and felt it may be helpful to others as the holidays are approaching!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 6 years ago

      Superb! Presentation!! not the cheating kind..that showed us pictures with blurry exposition that trick our minds! The lay out is awesome my friend. Glad I'm your follower! Yummy, yummy pushing and flagging all the buttons up. Noww I'm heading for the Bakery and top up my hunger mind. Thanks for the share...and was worth and kind of take your time in bringing this pre holiday preparations. Cheers and Salud!


      P.S. Looking for the button "taste at your own risk"