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Garden Party. Can you help with reasonably priced recipe ideas?

(29 Posts)
DioneTheDiabolist Tue 29-May-18 10:53:05

DS is being Christened next week and because we couldn't get the venue we wanted MiL has offered to host it.

I was thinking of a hot and cold buffet, but I have no idea what to serve. One of her friends has kindly offered to make a few big quiches and MiL will do the salads. But what else should I do?

There will be 40-60 guests in nice clothes, expecting a substantial feed. I do a mean dinner party, but I'm out of my depth and haven't got the first clue what to serve here. blush

Please help me!

OP’s posts: |
PurpleDaisies Tue 29-May-18 10:56:53

Scones with cream and jam could be nice as a pudding?

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 29-May-18 11:15:30

Good idea PurpleDaisies.thanks I could do mini scones. MiL is making the cake (chocolate). I'll probably need to think up 2 or 3 more desserts.

I am way over my head here.

OP’s posts: |
BrieAndChilli Tue 29-May-18 11:18:21

Roast chickens and hams
Various salads
Nice bread
Warm new potatoes

Choc brownies

Racecardriver Tue 29-May-18 11:26:09

Egg plant caviar
Stuffed vine leaves
Cold cuts
Cheese board
Nice bread
Humous/tafzitki etc

Clutterbugsmum Tue 29-May-18 11:42:02

Large fresh fruit salad perhaps a normal one a tropical fruit one.

large roast beef and a gammon

Can I ask why your guest are expecting 'dinner party' rather then a buffet style dinner.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 29-May-18 11:49:24

Cheers BrieAndChilli, I make really good "Christmas" ham, so I could cook 2 of those and serve them cold. What do you think I should do with the roast chicken? Just roast it and then strip it?

Racecardriver, what is eggplant caviar? Is it easy? I'm not a big fan of stuffed vine leaves, so what other veggie stuff can I do? I was thinking of macaroni cheese with leaks and another pasta with tomatoes and courgettes. Would hot pasta be weird?

OP’s posts: |
DioneTheDiabolist Tue 29-May-18 11:54:16

Clutterbugsmum, I don't think the guests will be expecting dinner party, they probably don't know what to expect as I've never done this sort of thing before. But they're missing Sunday lunch/dinner, so I want them to have a decent meal.

What sort of beef would you recommend? I would normally do rare fillet, but it would cost a fortune for 60 people.shock

OP’s posts: |
PotteringAlong Tue 29-May-18 12:09:46

How about pulled pork?

MaverickSnoopy Tue 29-May-18 12:10:07

If I think back to the christenings that I have been to, food has always been along the lines of sandwiches, vol au vents, sausage rolls, cheese, cocktail sausages, breaded things etc. So you could take inspiration from that, although I sense you want to do something a bit more mealish. I wouldn't do mac and cheese, it's too messy and people mostly prefer finger food with some easy fork action.

I would veer towards a nice cheese board with crusty bread, some whole salmon, salads (a green bean one, coleslaw, cous cous and something else leafy, perhaps Greek salad), various meats (but don't do filet it will cost a bomb) and I would also do some things that the children would like too.

Puddings....cheesecake (so easy to make and store) and something fruity.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 29-May-18 12:21:20

I did suggest sandwiches/cocktail sausages etc. MiL said that that would be "lovely for the children".confused I'm guessing that was her way of letting me know that the adults (particularly her friends) will be expecting something posher/more elaborate. blush

OP’s posts: |
PotteringAlong Tue 29-May-18 12:33:35

Do pineapple and cheese on a stick then just go see her face grin

Wait4nothing Tue 29-May-18 12:46:37

Agreed with the cold meats; roast chicken, ham and maybe smoked salmon
Then the quiches and maybe some tarts (puff pastry ones are dead easy and could be done veggie). Salad selection; green, coleslaw, potato, pasta and rice. Nice bread selection and a cheese board. I’d do standard buffet fare too (even if you make out they are for the kids but do plenty as adults will eat too) like sausage rolls, crisps, pizza slices.
I’d not worry too much about hot food - it’s a summer garden party at the end of the day (even if you don’t get the weather) but make sure hot drinks are readily available.
Dessert - I’d do scones, have a fruity option and a chocolate option and then maybe cheesecake (probably plainish).

AtleastitsnotMonday Tue 29-May-18 14:48:03

Will there be enough tables and chairs to seat everyone or should it be fork food?
How about a side of salmon, you can present it nicely and fairly easy to eat.
A platter of falafels with houmous and pitas is nice for your veggies.
It’s a bit retro but I love coronation chicken, I often take it to bring a dish events and it always goes. Go to a bakery and pick up fresh bread on the day if possible.

LadyPeterWimsey Tue 29-May-18 15:02:32

Yy to coronation chicken rather than roast chicken. Even better if you can buy it ready-made from somewhere and pop it on a plate with some salad leaves, for ease, but it's not too pricy to make if you would rather. Also second the hams - they will go much further cold than warm.

I would stick with having everything cold, and I would buy in anything that's fiddly to make because it's not worth having stress levels through the roof and having a miserable day yourself. I hear Costco do quite nice food in bulk, and I would rope in a couple of competent friends to bring puddings. If you know someone talented at baking some nicely iced cupcakes would look good.

Mary Berry has a great book called Cook up a Feast (look in your local library) which deals with cooking for large numbers, and has some good recipes and tips.

midsomermurderess Tue 29-May-18 16:56:48

Pissaladiere. I like this recipe

TwitterQueen1 Tue 29-May-18 17:07:20

I really wouldn't aim for hot and cold - way, way too much work. You need to have time to enjoy the day too, so stick to one or the other.

Hams and coronation chicken sound great, with salads. That's all you need for mains.

Puds - meringue nests with strawberries and cream. And rocky road / refrigerator cake.

kateandme Tue 29-May-18 17:12:30

held similar to what I think you might be doing:
when people arrived we had some little veggie tartlets.and some lovely sausage rolls and baji (bought from local currys house)
.we made a base of tomatos.peppers.chorizo(veggie just omit of course)some red pesto,red onion,garlic.sautee down for a few mins.then split off.half into a pasta bake stirred through with some tinned tomatos mozerla,then add some toasted pine nuts and top ith grated cheese and bake...its fine hot or cold.beautiful pasta bake there.
then with the other hald add to some couscous with some more pine nuts.beautiful veggie couscous dish.we did a few each of these.
then a couple of quiches.
big salad bowls
chicken drumsticks.
couple of ready to bake baguette
cut up some a few pizzas.
bowls of fruit and olives.
2 baked hams.
cheese and pinapple.

went to cosco for a big cheesecake
eton mess or pavlova.
and switched up th pavlova or eton mess by doing a choc fudge version.amazing!
party rings.
cadburys choc fingers
choc dipped strawberries and cherries.
fruit salad
gingernut log cake.

also top tip serve the food in disposable much easier and nicer than the balancing act of trying to do it on plates!

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 31-May-18 18:58:35

Thank you all for your suggestions.thanks

I have clarified with MiL and she agrees that hot and cold might be a faff (beyond the children's food). So I will do
2 cold hams,
2 large roast chickens (she will strip and sauce them),
cream scones
children's food,
prawn cocktail (DP & DS1 are sorting that),
soft drinks,
disposable cups and plates for DCs,
bubbles and balloons.

She is covering breads, salads, a veggie dish and fruit salad. Her friends are donating tiramisu and quiche. My mum is getting the cake and Dsis1 is providing the cheesecake. MiL has been "stockpiling" profiterolesconfused and FiL has a case of red, one of white and one of prosecco. FiL has also booked a bouncy castle. grin

There will be table and chairs for all the guests, so adults will eat off proper crockery. I'm not sure this is such a good idea for many of the adults in my family but MiL is really excited about showing off her dishes. grin

Have I forgotten anything?

OP’s posts: |
TwitterQueen1 Thu 31-May-18 19:05:48

Yes OP. You have forgotten my invitation angry

Sounds like a marvellous feast!

PotteringAlong Thu 31-May-18 19:06:34

Sounds amazing! Remember to take photos flowers

And napkins. You’ll need napkins.

BrieAndChilli Thu 31-May-18 19:07:04

Do you have enough glasses?

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 31-May-18 20:40:56

Napkins and ice. Cheers. MiL is sorting the glasses. I'll make the godparents responsible for DS1.

All your invitations are in the post.grin

OP’s posts: |
MrsPotatoHeadIsMyIdol Thu 31-May-18 21:10:36

I think doing anti pasti platter would be good - cured meats, tomatoes, olives.


Cous cous/ rice with vegetables
Pasta salads - few different flavours

Do a platter of normal party stuff - pork pie, sausage rolls, cocktail sausages

I'd also do the meat platter - shredded chicken, cooked ham, maybe some beef? And have a plate of bread rolls and a bowl of salad so people can make up their own sandwiches. Also maybe a bowl of tuna mayo / salmon for people who like fish.

Crackers and selection of chutneys

A couple of pizzas/garlic breads

Also another platter with things like samosa, falafel and bhaji.

For dessert see if you can go to Costco and get two big cakes? Carrot and chocolate. There's an option and it's less faffing!

I'll have to stop as my mouth is watering.

midsomermurderess Thu 31-May-18 22:30:28

What's pasta every done to you Potato?

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