How to Have a Swap Party: The Food Element

Kim Conte

green guide


cupcakesSwap Parties are a fun, cheap way to update your closet and cupboard, and hang out with your best girlfriends. Guests bring their old items—anything from clothes and accessories to books, dishes, and picture frames—and swap them for "new" things.

Sound fun? Then grab your best girls and let's have a swap party...


Cafe MicheleZ is throwing her own Swap Party. Today in Beauty & Style Buzz, she provides us with info on how to prepare for a swap party—including inviting guests, organizing items, and making sure the "swap" goes smoothly.

In Home & Garden Buzz, Cafe Sheri gets us thinking about what kinds of items to swap—lamps, vases, books, cookbooks, even gardening tools and seeds.

And where do I come in? I'm going to help you plan the menu! After all, your friends will definitely work up an appetite with all the swapping!



Because Swap Parties are so interactive, I think it's best to serve little, easy-to-eat appetizers that guests can nibble on while they swap. Here are some simple, elegant ideas:


Stuff dates with Asiago or your favorite cheese. Brush uncooked bacon slices with smoked paprika; roll bacon slice around date with the paprika-side against date; secure with toothpick. Roast in oven at 425 until bacon is browned, turning once (about 12 minutes total, six on each side).


Thread bite-sized fresh mozzarella balls and grape or cherry tomatoes on wooden skewers (suggestion: three tomatoes and one mozzarella ball for each stick). Blend two handfuls of fresh basil in a blender with enough olive oil to make it fluid and creamy. Drizzle basil oil over skewers.


  • Pear, Honey, and Goat Cheese Toasts (from my mom!)

Spread bite-sized Melba Toasts with plain or herbed goat cheese. Top with a bite-sized piece of sliced, fresh pear. Finish with a drizzle of honey.


  • Veggies and Hummus

This is all about presentation. Buy a bunch of small, plain, glass votives. Fill the bottom with your favorite flavor of hummus or veggie dip (about 1/2 inch to 1 inch). Stand up a few fresh veggies (carrot sticks, celery, julienned bell pepper) in the hummus. Place filled votives on a tray; each guest gets a easy-to-eat votive! (There's a photo of this on Hostess With the Mostess about halfway down the page.)


  • And for dessert? Cupcakes, of course! This might be a great opportunity to try a new fancy flavor, like Orange Poppy Seed.



Choose a beverage—like sangria—that makes it easy to serve an "adult" version and a "non-alcoholic" version.

  • White Sangria is elegant and refreshing. Combine 6 cups dry white wine with 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cup white grape juice, 1 sliced, ripe nectarine, 1 sliced tangerine, 1 cup seedless, halved grapes, and 1 cup club soda in a pitcher. Stir. Serve over ice. For the non-alcoholic version, substitute grape juice for white wine.


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