Cooking for TWELVE...Side Dishes for Taco Bar? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 05-02-2008, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Good Morning!

My husband and I are friends with a family of 10 (12, but 2 are gone and married). I wanted to invite the parents for lunch...husband invites the entire famiy for supper! : I am really excited but completely at the same time.

I have decided to have a "Taco Bar" for the main course (easy enough). But I am stumped on side items and dessert.

Normally, it's just husband and I, so cooking for 12 makes me think all at the same time:

: :

I am really excited that they are coming over...but what should I do? Oh, and how much hamberger meat do I need for tacos for TWELVE people. All the children except for 3 are ADULT-Farming eaters.


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#2 of 10 Old 05-02-2008, 08:59 AM
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beans (whole or refried)
Spanish rice (the rice a' roni one you add tomatoes to is good)
chips & salsa, guac., bean dip, 7 layer dip
green salad

For dessert you can keep with the theme and make flan or do an angel food & fruit thing. I'd keep dessert light...taco bars make some folks eat and eat and eat!

I'd figure 1/4-1/2 pound of beef per person (and extra can be frozen for the next taco night).

Now I know what I'm making for dinner tonight!

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#3 of 10 Old 05-02-2008, 09:12 AM
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When we do tacos, I always have some beans and avocado on the side.
I have a super easy, super tasty trick for "refried" beans:
Using either canned or home cooked black beans (canned makes it SUPER easy...idea when cooking for lots of people), drain the beans reserving just a small amount of liquid (beans should be wet, but not swimming), heat the beans on the stove until they're hot. Then get out a stick blender (a potato masher works too....a hand held mixer might be ok too), and just mash the beans until they're kinda smooth. That's it. Whenever I make these, they get devoured immediately!
I second the idea for a fruity dessert. One of my favorite mexican places makes a fruit salsa with oranges, kiwi and craisins. That's be great on a light cake....or just on it's own.
Good Luck!!

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#4 of 10 Old 05-02-2008, 12:27 PM
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I LOVE this salad as our side dish for taco night.

I do the cilantro on the side since dh dislikes it.

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#5 of 10 Old 05-02-2008, 02:38 PM
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Refried beans are cheap, easy and so yummy. We usually serve refried beans and/or Spanish rice with tacos.

And now I know what to make for dinner tonight :

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#6 of 10 Old 05-02-2008, 03:35 PM
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Definitely a Spanish rice
Black bean/corn/salsa salad ?
Tortilla chips with big bowls of sour cream, guac, and salsa
A large green salad
Olive, pepper, cheese plate
Fruit salad

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#7 of 10 Old 05-02-2008, 03:37 PM
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I'd use the fruit salad as dessert and save yourself another dish to make.
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#8 of 10 Old 05-02-2008, 04:22 PM
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I'm so lazy... but if it's the slightest bit hot outside I'd have ice cream for dessert. (and make DH in charge of it)

We have a big extended family so we have big, slighty informal gatherings alot. The best piece of advice my mom gave me was to make it easy for other people to help you. Make sure the sink is clear of dishes, and the dishwasher is waiting to be loaded. The adults won't mind helping you if it's just clearing there own plate and setting it in the dishwasher. Then you can enjoy the party too

I hope you don't mind my getting off topic, it's just something that's helped me a LOT.

Good luck!!

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#9 of 10 Old 05-02-2008, 10:55 PM
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I'd do an icecream/topping bar for dessert.

I'd figure 1/2 lb per person that should give you enough to not feel like you're going to run out.
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#10 of 10 Old 05-03-2008, 12:03 AM
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It depends on whether you're putting out a dish of just meat, or whether you want to mix meat and beans together. If you mix the two together, your meat will go farther, and you could probably get away with 1/4 lb/person. If not, I'd figure 1/3-1/2 lb per person, and you'll probably have leftovers.

If you sautee up onions and celery together, you can also stretch the meat with that.

Personally, I usually don't think side dishes are all that important with something like a taco bar... you have all your foods wrapped up inside your tortilla already... so something like a fruit salad would probably be one of the few "side dishes" I might offer. If you're so inclined though, some "Spanish" rice, a green salad with tomatoes, onions and avocado, a bean dish, a non-green salad (pasta, grain or veggie). We just usually wind up putting all the so-called side dishes inside the tortillas.

For dessert, it depends on whether you want to stick with the theme, in which case I'd go with the pp suggestion of flan. If not, for a large group like that, a bowl of ice cream and a plate of homemade cookies or cake would be my first inclination. Of course we're getting into fresh fruit season, so some fresh fruit with that ice cream would also work.

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