dinner for 12 ideas

My boyfriend's birthday's next week & I'm throwing a surprise party for him. (He thinks it's a romantic dinner for two, but there will actually be about 12 of us.) I'm traveling all weekend & won't be back until late Monday night, so I won't be able to do any prep then. Tuesday's the party, but I'm working all day until 5-the friends will be over around 7-the birthday boy will be there at 8. Factoring in time to clean, shop. and cook...well, there really is no time. A sit down dinner is impossible (my dining room table is big, but not that big-and hell, i don't even think I'd have enough place settings anyway) So, what I'm looking for is something simple...I was thinking a variety of easy, delicious, crowd pleasing appetizers served buffet style? Drinks (beer) & dessert (apple pie and homemade drumsticks...as featured recently on SE)...are covered. Any advice?


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