I prefer to use the term ‘nibbles’ over the word ‘hors d’oeuvre’ for a host of reasons. The first is the spelling. I think I am a reasonably good speller, but the H word always has me searching on Google for the proper spelling. Secondly, I do think the H word has a place, but I think of it more formally like when food is passed at a cocktail party. Nibbles fit the bill when you are just putting out a quick & easy assortment of things to have with cocktails before dinner.
Here is what I found after a quick web search.
1 : an act of nibbling 2 : a very small quantity or portion (as of food) ; also : snack 3 : a tentative expression of interest
Which leads me to, what do you put out for a nibble or a snack? I think as much that can be done to make entertaining easier and more doable is my answer.
This was a quick assortment of things I pulled together for guests last evening. Most to all were things we had in the cupboard or fridge. It was a week-night dinner after a long work day, so ease was key. Truffle popcorn, cashews & peanuts, a piece of cheese with crackers, tortilla chips with really good salsa. Done. I put most everything in a pretty hotel silver bowl and off it went. It does not have to be a huge assortment. A nibble. Make guests a drink, and watch the conversations start to flow.