Party food advice please - not BBQ!(18 Posts)
I'm having a party soon with about 25 adults and looking for advice on food - what sort and how much? I don't want to do a BBQ as it will probably rain and also because I want to enjoy the party! I am hapy to spend time preparing in advance though. Never done this before! Also looking for advice on alcohol - was thinking of just wine and beer. what quantities should I plan for? Guests are arriving at 6pm so will expect to be fed!
Thanks in advance!
Any other part tips welcome...
Hi bluejeans, will your guests be able to sit down to eat ie use knife & fork? If not, then you need food which can be eaten with just a fork, else finger food.
Then decide whether you are going to do hot food or cold food, or a mixture of both. What kind of food would you like to serve? What's the occasion (partly being nosey but partly to find out how formal/informal it is)
Sometimes, I think hot can be simpler cos you make, say, a chilli, a chicken curry, a beef or lamb casserole, something vegetarian (or less meat more veggie depending on your guests). Make ahead, reheat in the evening, serve with rice, couscous, potatoes, big salad and that's the savoury bit done.
Or you can do lots of different cold dishes (chicken salad, quiche, etc etc & salads).
You could theme it (e.g. Mexican or Italian or Greek)
Depends what you want... any thoughts.
(Desserts less of an issue - focus on getting your mains sorted).
Re drinks, do you know what the drinks preferences of each guest is (i.e. I almost always drink wine at a party, DH beer - do you have any idea? If not, no matter!)
No sausage rolls - ime loads of these are always left and the pastry goes everywhere
Buy more soft drink than alcohol - most guests will bring a bottle of wine or cans of beer but the soft drinks will always be forgotten; especially buy mixers (ginger ale, lemonade, tonic water, orange juice)
Only make stuff that you will be happy to be eating for the next 3 days, as it's likely that you will be
My sister always does bowls of extreme junk food and it always disappears (apart from the sausage rolls, see above) - cocktail sausages; retro stuff like pineapple and cheese or little onions and cheese on cocktail sticks; small jacket potatoes; bowls of crisps and dips; bowls of non-dipping crisps like Wotsits, Frazzles etc; dipping vegetables when she's feeling brave (carrot sticks, celery sticks, pepper slices, cucumber sticks); mini pizzas; and then for sweets she has bowls of haribo and cake racks of mini Swiss rolls and mini doughnuts or chocolate brownies. Mind you, her parties cater for adults AND children so while there might be some useful ideas there, it isn't necessarily all appropriate!
I like to do quiches, one rice salad, one green salad, separate bowls of tomatoes, cucmuber and other stuff that goes slimy quickly, dips, crudites, cheese/pineapple or cheese/mini-onions onna stick, some form of cooked sausage (I don't eat pork so cocktail sausages are out)
Desserts - NO CREAM or you will be cleaning it up forever. Just do cakes of some kind.
Thanks for the reply lilo!
it's my 40th - will not be formal at all, and we don't have space for everyone to sit down properly! there will be a few DCs there but some people are getting baabysitters so they can let their hair down properly!
I'm coming round to the idea of hot food - like you say it could actually be easier! Maybe chilli? not too sure about doing rice for that number! maybe pitta bread or something - or those wrap things?
I think most friends will drink wine or beer - not sure I want to do anything else as more of an expense altho would love to do one kind of cocktail maybe! how on earth do you know how much booze to buy? get loads and hope there'll be enough left to last a few months? well weeks maybe in my case!
gosh I type too slow - hope you saw my crosspost!
Thumbwitch - I like your idea of cheese and pineapple hedgehog and cheesy wotsits - plus good advice re pastry and cream! You sound v organised
Oooh I want a cake stand now. TK maxx here I come!
LOL at me being organised - if you only knew!
Just years of less-than-good experiences, tbh. I think I've almost got it right now but we'll see! I hate giving parties anyway - for some reason people always drop like flies at the last minute and I end up with huge amounts of food left over (or depending on your pov!)
Throw a handful of chopped walnuts onto baby green leaves - dunno why but it looks fab n posh at the same time?!
Thumb - not sure if I like giving parties
Doodle - sounds way to sophisticted for me
bluejeans, I know I don't like giving parties - after my 30th I swore I'd never do it again, and then did but only a couple of times.
Having said that, DS's christening party went very well but I hold out no such hopes for our "leaving the country" party coming up soon!
Australia - DH is Aussie so he's going home, effectively. It's been a long time coming but now it's upon us! Funny thing is, lots of people have known it would be happening at some unspecificed point in the future and you'd think they would have made more effort to be in touch/see us, but no! Hence my fears for this party....
2 weeks time <sigh>
Have almost decided to have it here in the almost empty house - lots of space at least! But no chairs or tables - might have to borrow some.
In terms of buying wine and beer - I think that some of the shops like Threshers and oddbins - allow you to take back the un opened bottles for a refund - might be worth looking into.
you could do potato wedges and/or sliced french bread? Agree, you don't want to be messing round with rice.
I've catered for quite a few big events in my time and the hot food really is easier, and even if it's blistering hot weather, people will eat it. Perhaps do a megga cheeseboard too? Puddings: if you've got a costco card or know someone who has, just buy a load of their desserts (I used to make all my own but have learnt with time!) Put out a bowl of mixed berries and slices of melon and pineapple. If anyone asks you if they can help, ask them to bring a pud.
Do look into sale or return booze as timmette mentioned - some of them do free glass hire too. I've never done it as DH and I always manage to work through any leftover booze!
I've done chilli for a big party before with slices of french bread and it's worked really well. Also had sour cream and grated cheese for people to spread on top if they wanted.
If you cheat, rice is actually quite easy for big parties. Basically, don't bother faffing about trying to make it in perfect ratios of water to rice etc. Just use a big pot, and more water than you need. Boil the rice until it's cooked then strain it in a colander and put over a small amount of boiling water to steam. You can even do it in advance and then just heat it up before you eat either over the pot with hot water or in a large oven friendly dish in the oven, covered with some foil and with a few spoons of water in the dish.
I do curry for large groups - although also find that large roasts, cooked slowly and served with salads etc can work - eg slow roasted pork belly or lamb shoulder - as they can be left in th oven until you're ready to eat and then whipped out.
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