Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Smart Party-Budget-Friendly Appetizer Options Online

How can the "hostess with the mostest" serve up a great party on a frugal gourmet budget? How about an appetizer only party! Perfect portions, plenty of variety, and priced right. But, do you make your gourmet hors d'oeuvres, hire a caterer, or look to the Internet to save time and money? Perfect party planning with price in mind can be accomplished easily, and sources on the Internet like are the easiest and least expensive method to serve up great food at affordable prices.

Compare the price of the popular and upscale appetizer Bacon Wrapped Sirloin Gorgonzola Skewer - at a national average of $2.50 to $3.00 per piece by a caterer, to $3.25 per piece when purchasing all of the ingredients and making the appetizer yourself (not to mention the price of gas and the time to make and bake), versus a very reasonable $1.18 per piece when purchased from an online purveyor of gourmet appetizers like

Have a crowd of kids, a beach party or football fans to feed? Even the ever-popular Sliders are available online and made more affordable at just $2.49 each through AppetizersTogocom. Delicious Cheddar Cheese Slider Burger w/Carm Onion is perfect for a backyard pool party with the neighbors and all of their kids. But made from scratch just doesn't cut the mustard! The trip to the store for mini potato buns, ground sirloin, cheddar cheese, Russian dressing, onion, Dijon mustard and Sweet Relish will set you back at least $3.50 a burger, not including running all around town to find those cute little potato buns that make Sliders so fun!

"Appetizer dining is a great way to save money when entertaining," noted Karen Wolf Brown, co-owner of "Appetizers provide a variety of tastes, are great conversation starters, and priced right for those trying to save money."

Another reason to have an appetizer only party is to provide guests a unique dining experience with the latest and greatest offerings. offers chef inspired and created appetizers such as its new line by Michael Schulson, who is the acclaimed chef and star of Style Network's "Pantry Raid," former chef of Buddakan NYC, and the talent behind soon to open, Izakaya-Modern Japanese Pub in Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel & Casino. You can serve up Schulson's unique culinary style at home that incorporates American ingredients with Asian technique. Food critics have called Schulson's approach to food a "breakthrough" and a "masterpiece." Try the Schulson Edamame Dumpling, General Tso's Chicken Dumpling or Shrimp & Bacon Wonton for just $1.72 per piece, or the Philly Cheesesteak Springroll for $2.62 per piece. Priced much less than going out to a restaurant and considerably more affordable and delicious than what a local caterer would charge.

When hosting an appetizer party, the rule of thumb for serving enough food is five-to-seven appetizers per person. Hosting ten people? Offer approximately 70 appetizers; hosting 40? Then 200 to 240 pieces would be just right. To determine quantity, offers a party calculator online that can do the math for you.

Hosting a sit-down dinner party? Then can help keep that warmth and goodness of a home-cooked meal. Wolf pointed out that you don't have to slave away in the kitchen all night to prepare a great dinner. Wolf offers guests delicious and affordable Chicken Pot-Pies, Chicken/Apple Empanadas, a Farmhouse Cheddar Mac & Cheese, or the traditional Italian Sunday dinner with Mama Mancini Meatballs and Sunday Sauce, which all taste (better than) homemade, but are delivered directly to your door (frozen) by and only require minimal attention while cooking.

Want to create a festive or themed-mood for the party but not break the bank with costly decorations? Scented candles work extremely well to set the mood - the look beautiful and smell good too. Music always sets the tone for a party and you can spice it up with Salsa dance music, have a backyard barbecue complete with the latest country music ditties, or offer sophisticated cocktail mixed music direct from your iTunes library.

Wolf also advises sticking to a budget. If finances are a real concern, have a potluck party where everyone brings a dish or a cooperative party where everyone pitches in for a percentage of the costs. Just let people know in advance. And these days, no need to invest in costly stationary to send out the invites - ecards do the job beautifully! also offers a great variety of ecards right on its website, so when planning your party, you can send the invites and order the food all at the same time. is an internet-based purveyor of fine gourmet appetizers. In business for six years, has recently updated its offerings to provide hot, new appetizers handmade from the freshest ingredients from award-winning, time-tested recipes, perfected by Master Chefs, such as its new Michael Schulson line of appetizers and its Mama Mancini Meatballs and Sunday Sauce by Daniel Mancini. offers more than 100 hors d'oeuvres shipped directly to the consumer, ready for any occasion whether it is an elegant anniversary, engagement or wedding reception, or a casual backyard barbecue, sophisticated New Year's Eve extravaganza, hip Halloween Party or creative children's party. can be found on the web at or by calling 1-800-757-0058. is a family-owned business with more than 25 years experience satisfying the discriminating palates of chefs, caterers, hoteliers and country clubs, and is managed by husband and wife team Matt Brown and Karen Wolf Brown, who have taken their years of experience in the foodservice industry and brought restaurant and cater-quality hors d'oeuvres directly to the general public via the internet.

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