Meghan Alpern of Matthews, North Carolina, says she’s always at a loss estimating food and drink for their annual Christmas gathering, where she serves heavy hors d’oeuvres. She says, “We seem to overestimate food and underestimate beverages.”
I hear you, Megan. Gauging the amount of refreshments is challenging, especially when people have neglected to RSVP, leaving you without an accurate head count. When I’m serving heavy hors d’oeuvres, I assume that my guests will consider it dinner, so I plan about 6 to 8 servings per person. If there’s a veggie tray, 2 to 3 pieces per person will be a gracious plenty. Trust me: you’ll always have vegetables left over, so plan a day-after-the-party stir-fry!
As for drinks, a good rule of thumb is a quart of liquor, 1 bottle of mixer, or 3 bottles of wine for every eight guests. Don’t worry if you over-buy on alcohol–it doesn’t spoil, and you’ll eventually use it up.
Some things–ham biscuits, wings, or queso dip–always fly off the table, so serve a larger amount of those. I like these ham biscuits from Chef Walter Royal of the Angus Barn in Raleigh. Black Pepper Honey kicks them up a notch, and frozen mini biscuits make them super-easy.
- 1 (24-oz.) package frozen mini biscuits (24 biscuits)
- 1 (8-oz.) package thin-sliced country ham
- Black Pepper Honey
1. Bake biscuits according to package directions.
2. Fill biscuits evenly with ham. Serve with Black Pepper Honey.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Mary B’s Bite-Sized Butter Milk Tea Biscuits.
Black Pepper Honey: Stir together 1/2 cup honey, 2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper, and 2 drops hot sauce in a small bowl until blended.
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