Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Sit-Down Mini-Tasting Luncheon

I have been collecting various sets of mini-tasting dishes ever since first seeing them a few years back on the Pier 1 website.  Their pictures made the food in these little dishes look so cute and fun! (Don't bite-sized portions just make everything classier and tastier?!) I wanted to give it a try but it took awhile before I could work out the logistics of how and what I wanted to serve in my mini-settings.
First off, I decided hosting a sit-down mini-tasting luncheon for a few women family members would be easiest.  I felt the sit-down part would give me more control over serving the items intended to be hot.
A tray of mini-appetizers became the centerpiece. (hard for me to give up that valuable real estate on a table to food!) 
Here's a photo-list of the appies on the tray.
A closer look at the other side...
Each guest took one of each type of appetizer from the tray. (faux apple is for decorative purposes only)  A large square charger plate with paper doily on top serves as the base for all the mini-dishes.
Next up...the entree course
This is where it was helpful to have my daughter's assistance in getting all the items dished up and to the table before they got too cold.
Here's a photo-list of the entree items...
The beverage-to-taste was a Vanilla Vodka Punch which guests helped themselves to for a pre-luncheon drink. 
Before I show you the dessert course, here's a look at some of the table decor.  I went with a Spring green with contrasting black and white for the colour scheme.
Above, you see that I placed the tray(s) on a couple of my glass blocks to give the food-as-the-centerpiece some height and I thought it appropriate as it suggested the tray was "on ice".
The side-piece (versus centerpiece) shown below was created on a tray that came with one of the mini-tasting dish sets. 
Take home favours were two votive candles wrapped in lace-look bags tied with green ribbon.
Okay, on to the dessert....
What's more perfect than mini-parfaits? (I actually really enjoy making these!)You will notice one parfait has a candle in it - Yes, this was one of my "self-hosted birthday luncheons"! (Click HERE for details on how/why I host those)
And along with the parfaits, we also had my mom's homemade butter tarts with vanilla ice cream.
Now that I've finally "tried out" my mini-tasting dishes, I can see all sorts of possibilities for them ... at various gatherings and for a variety of food items.
I'd love to hear if you've used any mini-tasting dishes and how it went!
Thanks for visiting!
I'll be linking this post to the following terrific blogs:
Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Tutorials & Tips at Home Stories A to Z
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch



  1. Hi, I just found your blog with is wonderful and I'm now a new follower.
    Everything looks absolutely scrumptious! All your guest must have felt very special to be invited. Thanks for sharing it all with us and Happy Birthday.

    Hugs… Tracy@CottonPickinCute

  2. What a delightful birthday luncheon! I'm sure that your guests were delighted with such a fun and unique way to be served their mini portions. You had quite a large variety of food to serve! I noticed over the last few years that caterers were/are using these fun mini serving pieces. I have increasinly seen them in regular stores too like Hobby Lobby. I saw some really cute tiny plastic silver forks at Dollar Tree the other day that I have seen used by caterers to serve a single "bite" of something. I bought a couple of packs of the forks in case I have compay over want to serve something on the tiny forks for an appy. Thanks for sharing these great ideas.

  3. Oh my goodness! You are amazing to prepare all of those different dishes! Everything looks fantastic, but I cannot seem to get the idea of "Butter Tarts" out of my head - decadent and delicious, I'll bet!! As usual, your presentations are lovely and I know your guests had so much fun trying everything. Kudos to your daughter for helping!!

  4. oh my goodness, now we've had snack partys before but this is amazing!you couldn't of done better than if you'd taken them to a returant, love it!

  5. What a gracious and stunning setting. The pops of green are perfect and the food looks so yummy, makes me wish for a scratch and sniff screen! Good job!

  6. Wow, this is not only beautiful, but the food look totally amazing. I wish I had been there. Stunning presentation. Thanks for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  7. what a fun party! I am slways drawn to the tasting dishes when I'm out shopping and actually did by a set of mini bowls on clearance last fall but I can't figure out what to do with them! Next I want to get some spoons. Your party is super inspirational,I am going to try something soon!

  8. What a fun and beautiful way to display food. Love the individual servings lined up on trays!

  9. Wow, Wow, Wow. This looks so impressive!! I always think you have to set the scene for when your guests arrive and you have certainly done that!! I bet they loved it, I know would.

  10. Wow, that is very impressive! It looks like it was professionally catered! Your presentation is outstanding!!! Thanks for linking this to Show and Tell Friday!

  11. OH MY GOSH!

    Your self-hosted birthday tasting party is AMAZING! WOW wow wow wow!

    I am stunned, this is beatiful, tons of really hard work, and just awesome.

    You deserve a million comments on this post!

    Best wishes for a wonderful birthday year - good health and joy to you, now and always.

  12. A WOW Party! What a fun and exciting way to serve food! The table is gorgeous with the trays of food as your centerpiece. The bite size containers are beautiful and all so different. I went to a dessert tasting and had fun with the bite size desserts. The work you did to present each sampling is tremendous. Just wish I could have attended for you have great entertaining skills!


  13. Wow, you sure know how to host a pretty party. I found you from the Canucks Rock link excange. I'm off to see more of your blog.

  14. Every detail is beautiful! And using the "ice" to raise the food elevated the whole event--great idea! Your choices look wonderful. I hope you'll be posting recipes soon (especially your mom's butter cookie!). Great table, great food! ~Zuni

  15. I'm delighted that you joined us at Foodie Friday. I couldn't resist pinning a few of these wonderful appetizers. Great ideas! Hope to see you again at FF. Have a great week!

  16. OMGoodness, this is FABULOUS!!!! I have some of the mini tasting dishes too and have used them for dessert for our dinner group. I LOOOVE this idea though and would have to buy ALOT more sets:) Your food sounds fabulous. I wish I had been there. I just hosted the appetizer part of our neighborhood progressive dinner and made individual taco dips but used plastic cups for ease and quickness of clean up! XO, Pinky

  17. Absolutely beautiful and wonderful presentation.

  18. What a great idea to have a tasting party. I, too, have collected a number of itty-bitty dishes (from Pier 1, originally, too)but haven't used most of them. I like the idea of testing out the recipes first before trying it out with a big party. I have served hot soup as an arrival appetizer during the winter months and miniature milkshakes as a casual dessert that followed prime rib sliders but I haven't gone all out like you did. Way to go!
    Heather from Friendship, Life and Style

  19. Oh my goodness! That looks so good!I love all of the things you served! Incredible presentation. I have wanted to try a tasting party, but haven't so far! Have a lovely week! Angie xo

  20. You've done a beautiful job with your mini-tasting luncheon. I haven't bought any of these tiny serving pieces, but you've definitely tempted me. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  21. Hello there, I was looking for food sites and I came across yours, very informative and entertaining.
    I will definitely be back for more. Keep it up!

    Best wish
    Boston Dining Deals


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