Two Sample Menus
No. 1: Sweet and Spicy
Snap Pea Crisps
Hot and Spicy Cajun Peanuts
Shrimp with Spicy Cocktail Sauce
Fig, Thyme, and Gorgonzola Tarts
Signature drink: Elderflower Sour
No. 2: Mediterranean Treat
Green Bean Crudites
Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Signature drink: Prosecco Bar
Juggling multiple conversation partners is hard enough. Don't make your guests fumble with glasses, plates, and handshakes, too. Bamboo hors d'oeuvre dishes from Lenox fit snugly atop most wine-glass rims, leaving one hand free for all. $30 for four, lenox.com
Build Your Bar
You don't have to stock a barroom's worth of booze for a bash of 10. Just provide two servings of your signature cocktail for each partygoer, and ask guests to bring the rest.
Ask two people to bring two bottles each. (Set one aside to treat wine spills.)
Ask three people to bring one six-pack each: one seasonal or local beer, one imported beer, and one good light beer.
Ask three people to bring a bottle each.
Ask two people to bring a bottle each.
This one is your job: Pick up four bags -- two to fill up the coolers and two for your drinks.