A smart way to plan for a large party is by making and freezing appetizers ahead of time. Preparing the appetizers in advance will give you one less thing to worry about as the big day approaches. Make sure the appetizers are properly sealed in airtight packaging and stored at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below to ensure freshness and quality. Make sure at least half of the appetizers you serve have kid appeal; the rest can be aimed more squarely at the adults.
Mini Cranberry Meatballs
Sweet and savory cranberry meatballs make tasty fall dinner party appetizers. Prepare the meatballs in advance and store them in airtight plastic containers. To make the appetizers, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs and a packet of seasoning mix to taste and form the mixture into mini meatballs. Bake them in a tangy cranberry-based sauce. Make large batches of the meatballs in a slow cooker if you desire.
Crab-cake appetizers will be the hit of any party and can be easily frozen and thawed. Make the tasty treats by mixing mayonnaise, dry mustard, egg yolks, crab-boil seasoning, bread crumbs and lump crab meat in a bowl. Customize the flavor of the crab cakes with fresh, chopped vegetables such as celery, green bell pepper and onions or a spicy seasoning mix. Form the mixture into patties and wrap them tightly before freezing.
Egg Rolls and Wontons
Complement an Asian-inspired dinner menu with homemade egg roll and wonton appetizers. To make the egg rolls, fill egg roll wrappers with ground pork or shrimp, ginger, garlic and shredded cabbage and carrots. Prepare the wontons by filling wonton wrappers with your favorite ingredients, such as a cream cheese, imitation crab meat and minced water chestnut mixture. Fry the appetizers until they're golden brown and crispy, and freeze them in airtight containers. Conveniently bake them before serving. These will disappear quickly, especially if you leave the platter in reach of children.
Make a variety of individual pizzas to please each party guest, not just the kids. The appetizers are simple to make ahead, and even easier to thaw and bake during the festivities. Prepare the mini pizzas on English muffins, slices of cocktail bread or small circles of refrigerated crust. Top the bite-size crowd pleasers with any combination of mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, chopped onions, sliced mushrooms, olives or crumbled sausage.