A Make-Ahead Party Perfect for Sunday Afternoon

filed under: Appetizers · Food + Drink on June 21, 2012

My hubby recently started teaching Children’s Church on Sundays at 9:00 am, and I’ve been helping him. This means we are often out the door by 8:30 am, and then we actually attend our own church service at 11 am. So we often don’t get home until after 12:30 p.m.


Minnesota Caviar
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins

A delicious adaptation of Texas Caviar!

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: minnesota caviar
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 can (16 ounces) yellow corn, drained
  • 1 can (11-15 ounce) white corn, drained
  • 1 can (16 ounces) black beans, drained
  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 orange pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • Up to 1 cup of prepared Italian vinaigrette
  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and pour dressing over it all. Mix well and serve. This stays good in an air-tight container for up to a week.



Party Table
Normally this is not a big deal—we like how our Sunday mornings are spent! But the timing can add some extra stress if we decide to host a party, shower, or other get-togethers on Sunday afternoon.

I decided I needed to develop a menu for days like these that I can make entirely the day before. That way I eliminate virtually all of my “same day” preparation and can enjoy my party.

Party Table Closer Up

I chose a basic sandwich for the entree. Soft and sweet croissants are my favorite, and I don’t often buy or make them, so having them seems like a special treat. I offer two types of meat: A sun-dried tomato-coated turkey, and honey-baked ham. It’s easy to shred up lettuce and slice a tomato just before I serving.

Sliced meat

I make these simple sandwiches a little more sophisticated by adding a few compound butters for the guests.

Bacon Avocado Spread

I also made an amazing Guacamole for the sandwich—it’s a tasty and fun addition, and people use it on everything!

Minnesota Caviar

Next, I made a Texas Caviar, or Black Bean Salsa, as my hubby calls it. I have a pretty particular taste, so I really customized this recipe to what our family likes.

I served it with tortilla chips, but this works great as a topping on almost any bread, and even works as a garnish on burgers or hot dogs!

For dessert, I knew I wanted something light, something tasty, and something cake-like.

I can’t help it—I love cake.

Angel Food cake

I used a box mix because it is so easy to make—simply add water! I then added 1/4 cup of the angel food cake batter to each of the well-greased pint-sized jars.

I was able to fill 16 jars with one box of mix. Bake the jars for about 16 minutes at 350, and remove them when the top is nice and dark.

I allowed the cakes to cool right in the jar, as that is how I was serving them. I left my cakes on the counter uncovered overnight. They remain light, airy, and moist the next day.

Topped angel food cake

To garnish the delightful and fun little cakes, I bought pie fillings. The options are endless…from cherries and strawberries to apricot and key lime. I might be a little obsessed with blueberry. Simply open a can and place it in a bowl next to the Angel Food Cakes in jars. The guests can choose which flavor they like best and pour it right over their cake!

And don’t forget the whipped cream!

The best part about this whole meal? The foods are good for you! The angel food cake is naturally fat-free!

How sweet is that?

Looking for other great Appetizers? Don’t miss my master list!

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  • Deliciously Organic says:

    I love this! Thanks for all of the helpful tips!

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you so much Carrie!

  • Shaina says:

    I want to come to Sunday dinner at your house. That’s my kind of spread…the avocado and the whole table. Kjell was just bothering me today about how I don’t make enough angel food cake.

  • Krysten says:

    Love this post, Amanda! MN Caviar!? Love it! Also, can’t wait to try Angel Food Cake in a jar.

  • tracie says:

    Honey baked ham is possibly my all time favorite food! Love the angel food cake w/fruit on top. Good light summer dessert idea!

  • JulieD says:

    I love making crab rangoon for parties. I can put them together the day before and fry them before guests arrive. I love the angel food cakes in a jar…so cute!!

  • Lucy Lean says:

    This looks so good and quick and easy – love baking cakes in jars – your Angel Food Cake looks yummy with the berries on top. Thanks for sharing quick and easy but most importantly delicious ideas.

  • TidyMom says:

    I know where I’m going on Sunday! Great post and lots of great ideas and recipes Amanda!

  • Becky @ So Very Blessed says:

    You are brilliant! I want to be you when I grow up. Seriously. I’m always trying to figure out fun meals that I can make ahead of time, whether I’m taking it to a church potluck or just planning for a busy night, and all of these ideas are just perfect! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Jennifer @ Mother Thyme says:

    So many wonderful ideas! The Bacon Avocado Spread looks simple amazing and Angel Food cake is my favorite. I just adore them served in the jars.

  • Regina says:

    How sweet is this. I love Sunday afternoon visits, but not when they end up being work only for the host. This is perfect. The Texas Caviar look sooo yummy! And of course the angel food cakes.

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    Fabulous idea but those Angel Food Cake in Jars really are the stars! I love the idea of making everything ahead of time and try to do that was well when I have people over, it makes entertaining so much less stressful!

  • Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] says:

    Brilliant idea and I am sure many of us can relate! Being so busy while trying to host an event is not the easiest. Thanks for sharing!

  • Angie says:

    Bacon avocado spread WILL be made in my house today 🙂 Love your ideas.

  • I always try to incorporate several make-ahead dishes so I’m not stressed the day of the party. Loving that bacon-avocado spread!

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. says:

    looks fabulous Amanda!! Have a great weekend

  • Carolyn says:

    What a great spread for a party. All beautifully presented too!

  • marla says:

    OK Amanda, I want to go to one of your Sunday afternoon parties!! Beautiful and I love that spread!

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food says:

    This all looks so good, Amanda! I’m coming over! 🙂

  • sweetsugarbelle says:

    Now I’m starving! This is a gorgeous set up!

  • aida mollenkamp says:

    Minnesota caviar? That’s so cute!

  • Jeanette says:

    What a pretty spread – I am bookmarking your Minnesota Caviar – I’ve had the Texas version, but this sounds fantastic!

  • angel food cake IN A JAR??

  • Debi says:

    I most have done something wrong as my angel food cake didn’t rise in some of the jars, It tasted good so with the rest of the batter I made some in cupcake papers and than layered the fruit and the cupcakes with what was in the jar, I guess I need to study up on making and fluffy angel food cake. anyway it was good and everyone enjoyed the desert in a jar

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    I love how everything was displayed. So pretty!

  • Don't Pass on Dessert!