Budget busting menu....help!

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by tyniknate, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. tyniknate

    tyniknate DIS Veteran

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    Party food ideas?

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    So I'm catering/hosting a party for my son and I need some help with my menu. Hoping someone on here can help me fill in the holes. Most of this stuff needs to be prepared/cooked ahead so I can enjoy my time with him during the ceremony. I'm looking for hearty appetizers (ceremony at 4 p.m.) and then a large dessert table. What am I missing? The reception will be for approx 100 people.

    Bacon wrapped shrimp (these are a must.....they are his favorite)
    Little smokies/pigs in a blanket
    Some kind of meatballs (either pre-made tomato sauce sliders or swedish style meatballs)
    (I need some kind of chicken recipe)
    and maybe some kind of cold wraps? Does anyone have a good recipe for wraps? I don't eat any kind of mayonnaise or salad dressing, but I'm not opposed to making them without trying them.....if someone has a good recipe to share
    Also, veggie trays with dip.
    My son is requesting perogies (would you think these are weird to have?)
    Do I need to have some cold items? If so, what?

    Then I'm having a huge cupcake tower (tower made at home) with the following:
    Chocolate/peanut butter
    vanilla/buttercream
    red velvet
    carrot
    and maybe one other kind of homemade cupcake.

    I'm also making mini-cheesecakes and homemade gourmet brownies.

    It feels like I'm missing something important, but what. Any suggestions? Have any appetizer recipes you would like to share? Any ideas for cutting this budget buster down for me? I don't want to skimp, as this will be an evening "meal" for most everyone. Am I overdoing it?
    Thanks for looking!
     
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  3. mama2ella

    mama2ella Mouseketeer

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    a couple of ?'s

    --what is the event and what are the ages of the guests? I ask b/c if it is young kids/teenagers they are happy with anything :)

    I always have some sort of cheese and cracker platter with grapes in the middle. Easy to do ahead of time and everyone likes it.

    You could also do like turkey/cheese and roast beef/cheese roll ups ahead of time.
     
  4. of2dbeach

    of2dbeach DIS Veteran

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    what about a fruit basket and I dont see any drinks listed either? istd of chicken which will be $$ what about doing baked ziti? that would keep the cost down and it feeds alot of people.
     
  5. tyniknate

    tyniknate DIS Veteran

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    The event is for all ages....probably 5 yrs to 85 yrs. That's where I'm having a problem. I need to make sure there's something that the little kids will eat, but also something that the adults will enjoy. It's really killing the budget that I set. I'm making everything from home so I can try to keep expenses down, but it's just not working. Can't imagine I'm gonna get out of this for less than $200. UUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!
     
  6. mama2ella

    mama2ella Mouseketeer

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    hmmm...is there seating for everyone or does it need to truly be finger foods?

    I like the ziti option if there is seating but not if people will just be standing around.

    Sorry to say it but I don't see how you can feed 100 people for $200 unless you scale back your plans
     
  7. tyniknate

    tyniknate DIS Veteran

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    Will baked ziti be OK with the other foods I've listed? I'm such a worrier....I guess people with either eat, or they won't. Ziti is a great idea!

    Drinks are being provided by someone else, so at least I don't have to worry about that.
     
  8. tyniknate

    tyniknate DIS Veteran

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    Yes, there will be seating. I realize a meal would probably be cheaper than all appetizers, but it's what he is requesting.

    I'm a pretty good bargain shopper, but I don't know if even I can pull this off. Any ideas for some more budget friendly type appetizers? I'm still setting the menu, so ideas can be changed.
     
  9. Suz D

    Suz D DIS Veteran

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    I don't want to be negative, but I honestly don't think you can feed 100 people hearty appetizers for $200.00. But that's not what you asked so here are a few suggestions.

    Meatballs- google the grape jelly/chili sauce recipe. They are delish
    I second the cheese plate
    If you want to have some type of sandwiches, get the small dinner roll sized buns at somewhere like Sam's or Costco and shaved meats.

    Instead of little smokies, I often get packages of hot dogs when they are on sale, cut them into about 3/4 inch pieces and put in a crock pot with BBQ sauce.

    What about a queso dip with tortilla chips. Get a big can of nacho cheese sauce again from Sam's or Costco, add a large jar of Salsa and keep warm in a crockpot.

    Hummus and Pita chips?

    Fun pickle/olive tray? You could get the pickles in the giganto jar again S's or Costco.

    I'll keep thinking.
     
  10. MomToOne

    MomToOne DIS Veteran

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    If you are trying to feed that many people on that tight a budget, I'd be thinking carbs, carbs, carbs (I know it's not the healthiest but it's one party).

    How about a pasta salad? You don't need to worry about a way to keep it warm, like ziti, and it's easy enough to eat from little plates standing up (but I'd be game for the ziti even in that case).

    One thing I've also done in the past is to get a turkey and/or ham, cook it ahead, slice it up in small slices, and then put it out with mini rolls and condiments for everyone to make their own "finger" sandwiches. Everyone really likes it, and you can feed a lot of people off of a single sliced up turkey/ham. It's also a lot cheaper than buying deli-style meats.
     
  11. Suz D

    Suz D DIS Veteran

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    The pasta salad is a great idea! You could put meat and cheese chunks in it as well so it would be very hearty but you wouldn't need a lot of meat to make it work. I know it's less "appetizery" which is not in complete accordance with your son's wishes, but as a filler it would be great (although you'd have the additional expense of forks etc.)
     
  12. krcit

    krcit DIS Veteran

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    Not trying to be a Negative Nellie but that does not seem like enough food for 100 people. If it's after 4, I think people will be expecting more substantial food. What about some 6 foot heroes? Pasta, macaroni and potato salad are cheap and filling. How about pigs in a blanket? Maybe some chili dip?
     
  13. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    Here is a handy chart showing quantities for appetizers for 100 people. Note that the quantities shown here are for 6-8 selections of pre-dinner apps. You should triple these quantities if apps are the only things being served: what that boils down to is quantities such as 60 lbs. of raw veggies and 36 lbs. of little smokies. Each guest can be expected to consume about 2 lbs. in terms of raw ingredient weight (it will come out to more like 12 oz. in finished weight, accounting for things like meat shrinkage, plus vegetable and shrimp peels.)

    http://www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/appetizer.html

    You should assume that most adults will eat about 12 small appetizers if they have eaten a decent lunch. At 4 pm, older folks and young children should be expected to eat enough to count as a meal, but the kids will go for the sweets right away. Teen boys can be expected to eat more than their share simply because they are teen boys and always hungry.

    Essentially, just the shrimp item will cost you approximately $75 if each guest only eats 2 pieces ($6/lb x 8 lbs for the shrimp, $4/lb x 6 lbs for the bacon; and that is being VERY conservative.)

    With the sort of menu you are planning, I would budget $600, not $200. If you have an army of helpers lined up it will keep prices down because you can farm out some of the cut and prep; otherwise you will never get it all done yourself without buying things like pre-cut veggies, which cost a lot more than whole. Buying the veggies at a market stand and the meats at a wholesale club will also help your budget.

    BTW, one idea that I haven't noticed being mentioned yet is smooth soup, which is a great idea for a winter party. You serve it in a tureen as if it were punch, and let people drink it from plastic coffee cups rather than bowls. A package of 100 plastic coffee cups will cost about $40, but 6 oz. of cream soup is a very filling thing. Personally I'd go with something like a chicken-corn bisque; most people would like that.
     
  14. mks18412

    mks18412 Mouseketeer

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    Check out Pinterest.com. You will find everything and more. But be careful it is VERY addicting. If your not already a member I can send you an invite. Not sure how fast you would get it.
     
  15. Tink9295

    Tink9295 Mouseketeer

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    We did pizza sliced into small triangles for my DS's eagle ceremony. Get sweet pizza or any other kind of sheet pizza. Cut them into squares and then into triangles. Kids of all ages will eat it.

    I also do sausage, peppers and onions with small rolls. Pulled pork is super easy. Cook and keep warm in a crockpot. Serve with small rolls.
     
  16. kayrosek

    kayrosek DIS Veteran

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    I think the pasta salad is a good idea. I make one with Rotini, Italian dressing, grape tomato's, green onions, olives and cheese cubes. No meat and it's good and filling. Sometimes I add red or green pepper slices, cucumbers or marinated artichoke hearts, but I would probably go as basic as possible to save money in this case. A vegetable tray is a good idea or I've done stuffed celery sticks (celery with flavored cream cheese, pineapple cream cheese is good) that were a surprising hit. Perhaps deviled eggs as they can be done pretty inexpensively and again can be filling. We've done tortilla pinwheels with flavored cream cheese, ham and red pepper slices. Roll and cut. One tortilla makes a several. I like the pulled pork idea if you can find pork for a good price. That would be easy to put on little rolls or you could do chicken salad on little rolls.
     
  17. mjkacmom

    mjkacmom DIS Veteran

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    I think it can be less expensive to serve meal food vs. heavy apps. Have a few hot apps, a few cold (the veggie and cheese platters fit in here), cold cuts and rolls, pasta salad, potato salad, green salad (I usually do Greek, dressed, and it goes quickly), and maybe baked ziti. Make your own pigs in a blanket with cut up hot dogs (great for the little kids), and deviled eggs always go quick, and are inexpensive.
     
  18. Meals1007

    Meals1007 Earning My Ears

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    Any party I have or attend there is always a cheese plate and a veggie platter. Chips and dip are always good too. Our standard party food (main meal) is 6 foot hero, baked ziti or penne vodka, meatballs, pulled pork, chicken parm, and sausage and peppers (with red sauce). We have added homemade mac and cheese for the kids as well. Throw some bread (rolls or loaves) and a big salad salad and there is usually something that everyone can eat.
     
  19. cornflake

    cornflake DIS Veteran

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    Seconding the large cheese platter and very large veggie and fruit trays.

    Everything but the veggie tray that you mentioned is meat-based and many of the apps are not friendly for all meat eaters.

    With 100 people, I guarantee you vegetarians, vegans and likely some other things. Like seafood averse, muslim, hindu or jewish basic (the shrimp WITH bacon double dipping could put off even the most relaxed food standards jew! :lmao:)

    Not that you have to have stuff for each possibility, but have stuff that nearly everyone can eat - hence the veggie, fruit and cheese platters (please do not layer meat in between these things).

    Also good finger foods that you can make a variety of each thing - gougeres, quesadillas, mini quiches, mini blinis or latkes with a dollop of creme and green onion or other toppings, grilled skirt or pancetta or proscuitto-wrapped asparagus spears, bruschetta with tapenade or tomato coulis, small salad bites like nicoise in endive leaves...
     
  20. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    OP, if you really want to cut costs, either eliminate the shrimp or only use it to make dip.

    How about making the shrimp/bacon app as a treat for him to be served at home later in the evening, rather than having to serve it to a huge crowd of people. I've been through this with my own DS -- many of his favorite foods are either super-pricey or unusual enough that they are not popular with other kids his age, so we have always nixed serving them at parties for his peers. If he wants those favorites, we have them at a family meal, not as part of a party menu.
     
  21. leebee

    leebee DIS Veteran

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    If you are short on time/help, buy the veggie trays at Sam's. They are LARGE and are only $10. Baby carrots, celery, mini peppers, or pea pods, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and dip. I really don't think you could but this many veggies for $10, and then there's all the prep work. Heck, 2 lbs of baby carrots would cost me $4 and a bunch of celery is $2, around here.

    I agree with PPs who say there's no way to do this for 100 people on $200. If it's important enough that you want to be at the ceremony AND serve his favorite shrimp dish, it's important enough to spend the necessary cash to feed everyone.
     

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