Part of the stress of party planning is preparing food to serve large groups of people. A quick and convenient appetizer idea is putting food on toothpicks for guests to pick up themselves. This eliminates the need for silverware and plates. Many toothpick finger foods, such as fresh fruit, cheese and vegetables, do not have to be cooked at all, saving a host hours of hard work in the kitchen.
Fruit is an ideal finger food because it is healthy, appetizing and available in a wide array of attractive colors, which adds ambiance to any occasion. Fruit is also a good choice as an appetizer because it cleanses the palate and prepares the digestive tract for the main course. Some toothpick fruit suggestions are cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, grapes, sliced peaches, sliced pears, olives, strawberry slices, mango, papaya, pineapples and apples.
Cheese is an easy toothpick appetizer solution because it's easy to cut, it's a winning taste combination with fruit and it complements certain wines if you decide to serve alcohol at your party. There are hundreds of types of cheeses, including cheddar, Colby, Brie, Swiss, Monterrey and Gouda. Choose one that goes best with the other finger foods you will be serving.
Vegetables are a common choice for toothpick finger foods. They have a satisfying crunchy texture and don't need to cooked, and you can serve them with either homemade or store-bought dips. Vegetable appetizer ideas include celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, broccoli and cauliflower.
Meat is perhaps the favorite toothpick finger food because it's tasty and filling. Meat finger food ideas include grilled or fried chicken strips, jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce, fried popcorn shrimp, Swedish meatballs, barbecued meatballs, salami, pastrami, corned beef, cocktail wieners, salmon, calamari, tuna, and ham.
Sandwiches are also an ideal toothpick finger food. The host can prepare several sandwiches with a variety of meats and toppings, and cut them into small appetizer portions. Sandwich ideas include fried chicken, hamburger, grilled chicken, ham, roast beef, salami and pastrami. Use a variety of breads, including whole wheat, white, rye, croissant, baguette and bagels. Utilize different cheeses and toppings, including mayonnaise, mustard, cream cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, sprouts and peppers.
Other finger-food ideas include mini quiches, pigs in a blanket (mini hot dogs wrapped in cooked dough), small tortilla wraps (rolled tortillas filled with meat, cheese and vegetables), stuffed peppers, onion rings, fried cheese sticks, stuffed mushroom caps, mini bagels with pizza topping, pot stickers, mini egg rolls, crab rangoon and spring rolls.