That's correct, Kaneohe. I'd go with four platters, but more of each. And, basically, drop the really heavy stuff. If there's going to be a pause before cofee (and if this is a cocktail party there certainly should be), I'd include a fourth "entree" platter, and then the mini-cannolis with the coffee. Obviously, you don't need as many pieces per with the dessert tray.
Arancini should be finger-friendly. Only thing that would prevent that is if they are sitting in sauce for any length of time. So maybe you didn't prepare them correctly the first time? What I would do is stack them, pyramid style, on a platter, with any sauce in a heated dish alongside.
I don’t have appetizer forks …
That's why God gave us toothpicks.
Seriously, picks---both plastic and wooden---now come in a myriad of designs, including mini-forks. Even supermarkets stock more than the simple straight pick. Or check with a party store.
BTW, by "finger-foods" or "finger-friendly" we don't necessarily mean you have to pick up the item with your fingers. What it means is that the item does not have to be plated, but can be eaten out-of-hand. Picks, skewers, spoons, etc., as well as fingers, are all part of that concept.
I also wonder about that $30/pound figure you provided. What, exactly, is that referring to? Certainly not the cold cuts. If you adapt my suggestions, not even to the shrimp---which is the most expensive item on that menu.
I live in an area were, if it's even available, specialty deli is expensive. Serrano ham, for instance, can run $25-28/pound. But normal stuff is way below that, with Boar's Head products averaging around $7/pound, and better brands around $9. Imported meats are typically in the $12-15/pound range.
On the menu I suggested, the shrimp should be the most expensive single item. Wild-caught 16-20s were recently on sale, here, and I stocked up. But normally they're in the $12-16 range this time of year. At the high end, the entire tray of panelle should cost in the mid-$30s, when all is said and done.
FWIW, here is the arancini recipe I use:
3 cups chilled mushroom risotto
36 small cubes mozzarella (about 3 oz)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups fine breadcrumbs
Oil for frying.
With wet hands, roll the risotto into balls about 1-inch in diameter. Poke a small hole in the center of each and push in a cube of cheese, covering it with the rice and reshaping into a ball.
Arrange the flour, eggs, and crumbs in a 3-station line. Bread the balls and transfer to a parchment-lined baking pan.
Fry balls, in batches, at 350F until golden brown and drain on a rack.
Instead of mozzarella, other cheeses, sausage, or even pitted olives can be used for the surprise centers.