One of my most favorite things to do is to host dinners and parties for my family and friends. Today, I would like to share some great tips for hosting the perfect cocktail party.  A cocktail party is the perfect event for hosting close family and friends. Everyone can gather around, enjoy delicious snacks and drinks in a relaxed setting, and just have a great time!


First, designate a special area for a beverage station.  If you do not want to serve alcoholic drinks at your party, you can serve punch, lemonade, assorted soft drinks, or tea. If you do serve alcoholic drinks at your cocktail party, always have beverages for those who do not drink liquor.

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I chose to use my French Pastry Table as a beverage station. You will want to stock your station with glasses, drinks, ice, and other accoutrements for the perfect beverage.

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Remember to place cocktail napkins, a bottle opener, and cork screw on your beverage area.

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I did not have an ice bucket so I chose to use a pretty bowl with tongs for the ice.

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After assembling an area for beverages, you will want to plan your menu and set up a table, buffet, or other serving surface for your snacks.  I like to serve finger foods that can easily be made ahead of time so I can enjoy visiting with my guests.  The menu for this party was very simple. It consisted of Mr. Bleu’s famous jalapeno poppers and his Grandmother’s delicious pizza hors d’oeuvres.  In addition to these tasty treats, I also served assorted fruits, veggies and dip, relish tray with pickles and olives, assorted meats, cheeses and crackers, and for something sweet chocolate bark.

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I’m a planner so the day before I gather all of my serving dishes and place them on the table.  I also label each serving piece with the food that will go on it.  It just makes it so much easier the actual day of the party. I apply this principle whenever I’m having a special dinner, party, or event.

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Remember to add fresh flowers to your table.  You can pick these up at your local market for a very inexpensive cost.

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Above all, make sure you have fun and enjoy visiting with your guest. There is nothing worse than a stuffy and uptight party. You want to make memories and most of all you want your guests to feel special and have a wonderful time!

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This chocolate bark is so easy to make, and it makes a great party favor placed in cellophane bags and tied with a pretty ribbon. You just melt a pound of good quality chocolate, spread it out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, and add toppings such as dried fruits, nuts, and crushed pretzels.  I made both white chocolate bark and milk chocolate bark.  Mr. Bleu doesn’t like white chocolate, and I think the white chocolate looks pretty with dried apricots and cranberries.  Allow the chocolate to harden. After it hardens, just break it up into small pieces.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.  I like the earthy, natural look of the uneven pieces.

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Grandma Margie’s Delicious Pizza Hors d’oeuvres

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Mr. Bleu’s Famous Jalapeno Poppers

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Recipe for Mr. Bleu’s Famous Jalapeno Poppers


3 large boneless chicken breast cut up into bite size pieces

1 package of thinly sliced smoked bacon.

Jalapenos halved and seeded. If you will soak them in salt water, it will help to remove some of the heat.

Softened Cream Cheese


Directions:Take a bite size piece of boneless chicken and place  it upon a half of jalapeno with a tablespoon of cream cheese stuffed into the pepper. Wrap a half a piece of bacon around the chicken and pepper and secure with a toothpick.

Grill at 350 to 400 degrees for 30 minutes turning the poppers often.

Mr. Bleu assembling the poppers.

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Grandma Margie’s Pizza Hors d’oeuvres were always a big hit at family gatherings. Mr. Bleu loves these. Many years ago, when we were newlyweds his grandmother wrote this recipe out for me.  I so treasure recipes that were written out by loved ones that are no longer with us.

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1 package of party rye bread

1 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce

2 TBSP Ketchup

1 Pound of Velveeta cut up into cubes

1 Pound of Sausage cooked and drained

1/2 TSP Oregano

1/2 TSP Garlic Powder

Directions: Add all the ingredients to the cooked sausage. Heat over low heat until cheese melts.  Then put 1 TBSP on each slice of bread. Put on a lined cookie sheet and brown in a 375 degree oven until melted and bread is toasted.  *I toasted mine for about 15 minutes, but watch it closely.  Baking times vary according to your oven.


Hopefully, I have inspired you to gather your family and friends together and host a great party. After all, that is how wonderful memories are made. Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you have a very Happy Wednesday, and I will see you tomorrow for Tablescape Thursday!



  1. Shannon, this was a great post; and everything looks amazing! I am sure that any party at your beautiful home is a hit!

  2. Looks like a wonderful cocktail party!!…and who would not love making a drink at the gorgeous table with the history of Charles Faudree!….the appetizers looked so delicious!!!..I am sure you two are such gracious hosts in your beautiful home!

    • Thank you so much Shirley! You are too kind! I’ve enjoyed looking at your beautiful pictures of the home tours you took last weekend. Both homes are absolutely beautiful! It looks like you had a great time! I hope that you have a Happy Wednesday!

  3. Another great blog entry! Good to see Mr. Bleu too! What a wonderful host and hostess you two must be!

  4. Love your tips and that cute bowl with ice ♥

  5. What an amazing cocktail party and I love seeing your bar cart all set up and ready. Now I cannot wait to try the Jalapeño Poppers – they look delicious! Happy Wednesday, Shannon!

    • Thank you so much for your very sweet comment! You will love the Jalapeno Poppers! Every time we serve them people go crazy! I’m so happy that you stopped by, and I hope that you are having a wonderful day!!!

  6. It looks all lovely. I like the idea of getting all the serving dishes together planning them out and marking them ahead od time. The recipes sound and look great. Nice to have the treasured recipe. Lovely with love Janice thanks for sharing

  7. Mr. B does make fantastic poppers. Grandma Margie’s pizza things are pretty tasty too.

  8. Wow, what great inspiration for a party! It looks like you have some good help, too 🙂 Those first two photos are absolutely stunning and really caught my eye!

    • Hi Julie! Thank you so much for the very sweet compliment! I don’t know if you know the back story on the table the beverage station is on, but it was a gift from Mr. Bleu and belonged to the late Mr. Charles Faudree. I wrote a previous blog post on it. I still can’t believe that it is mine! I’m so happy that you stopped by, and I hope that you have a blessed day and a wonderful weekend!!!

  9. Wonderful tips Shannon! Pinning your yummy hors d’oeuvres! 😉

  10. Nicely done!
    I like all your tips and Mr. Bleu’s poppers sound fantastic!

  11. Great post and such a great tip about labeling your serving pieces and arranging them ahead of time. It was fun to see your table both without and then with the food. I think that I have a couple of the same dishes. 🙂

    • Hi Lorri! That is neat that you and I have a couple of the same serving pieces. Most of mine belonged to my great grandmothers. I’m so happy that you stopped by, and thank you for leaving such a kind comment. I hope that you are having a wonderful Sunday!!!

  12. Judy Hubbard

    Hi Shannon: It was wonderful to see that you use a lot of Temp-tations china like I do! I see you like the floral lace pattern; I have that too…in blue.
    I just signed up for your blog….loved all your posts!

    • Hi Judy! It is so nice that you collect Temp-tations too! I have a lot of pieces. I started out with the Old World Blue, but have really started loving the floral lace pattern. It reminds me of something from long ago. As you can see, I am dish crazy!!! I’m so happy and flattered that you signed up for my blog! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment. I hope that you have a very Happy Monday and a wonderful week!!!

  13. Shannon, Those poppers look delicious!! I think your cocktail party will be a fabulous success with all this advance planning and in your beautiful home. And you are so right about the need for the hostess to relax and remember to enjoy the party so the guests will feel welcome! Linda

  14. I love your set-up and thanks for sharing your links with us at Celebrate Your Story. Have a wonderful holiday!

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