I recently prepared a menu of elegant canapés and hors d’oeuvres for a food tasting and open house at share, one of my favorite spaces in Wilmette. Karen O’Sullivan, the owner, is an East Coast transplant (like me!). Her venue, share, is a blend of everything she loves most: bringing people together, creating a beautiful and inviting space, exploring new places and discovering trends. 

Karen wanted the food at the open house to be one-bite and easy to eat, but she also wanted to create an elevated experience for her guests. I knew canapés and other plate- and utensil-free appetizers would be the best solution, and it prompted me to share some inspiration for giving any event the same special touch.

Canapés are traditionally comprised of a bread or pastry shell because the appetizer becomes easy to eat with a clean base—no sticky fingers or mess left over.

beef tenderloin canape

One of my favorite canapés (pictured above) is crostini topped with beef tenderloin, horseradish crema and chives. The presentation is amazing, and the crunchy crostini paired with savory beef and tangy crema is always a hit. Wonton cups are another great option, as they’re easy to make and lend themselves to almost any flavor. 

But bread and pastry aren’t the only ways to make your appetizers easy to handle. You don’t have to compromise elegance if you use cute paper cups, like these products from Simply Baked. This also makes the perfect gluten-free option for guests to enjoy. 

shrimp canapes

In this photo, I used these stylish cups to turn everyday shrimp into a 5-star appetizer. Simply drape the shrimp and lime wedge over the edge and put avocado crema in the bottom. For an evening party, serve mini-margaritas on the side and you’ve got drinks and food covered!

Be it a sipping-and-painting night, a gallery opening, a wedding or a cocktail party, Deb Miley Dishes provides sophisticated canapés and one-bite hors d’oeuvres for any occasion. Visit our Boutique Catering page for more information or contact us here.

P.S. Karen and I are going to be collaborating on some exciting projects like elegant pop-up wine and dinner parties, so stay tuned!