Help me plan a party menu! Please! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 07-07-2008, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm planning a surprise party next week for my husband's 40th birthday. There will be 17 people, 5 of whom are vegetarian (not my husband though - he loves a good hunk of meat). I had thought of grilling out, but my DH is the one who always "mans" the grill, and I really hate the thought of being in charge of that myself.

I need it to be something fairly simple that will please a lot of different ages and palates. Several people are coming from out of town, so a potluck is out of the question. I'm just so stumped! Usually I don't have much of a problem planning party menus because DH ALWAYS HELPS ME!

People are arriving my 6 PM, and DH will be home at 6:30. So it needs to be something "dinner-ish", but not necessarily sit-down.
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#2 of 10 Old 07-07-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MiaPia View Post
I'm planning a surprise party next week for my husband's 40th birthday. There will be 17 people, 5 of whom are vegetarian (not my husband though - he loves a good hunk of meat). I had thought of grilling out, but my DH is the one who always "mans" the grill, and I really hate the thought of being in charge of that myself.

I need it to be something fairly simple that will please a lot of different ages and palates. Several people are coming from out of town, so a potluck is out of the question. I'm just so stumped! Usually I don't have much of a problem planning party menus because DH ALWAYS HELPS ME!

People are arriving my 6 PM, and DH will be home at 6:30. So it needs to be something "dinner-ish", but not necessarily sit-down.
Oh fun! The first thing I would suggest is pick a theme for the food. What does your dh like? Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian of come sort?

Mexican:
Enchiladas (can do a batch of meat, cheese only, spinach)
salsa and tortilla chips
refried beans
Spanish rice
queso
heck, even a 7 layer dip is good and easy!


Mediterranean:
Dolmas
Hummus, baba Ganoush, tabouleh with pitas
chicken souvlaki
moussaka
pastisio
falafel pitas


Etc...

Do you have an idea for a type of food, or theme?
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#3 of 10 Old 07-07-2008, 11:50 PM
 
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i'd do a "tortilla" party. lots of different ingredients (veggie and meat and fish too). everything can be done in advance and kept warm or warmed up. they everyone can help themselves and eat what they like and they can even standup and mingle and eat.

this article is inspiring, even if you do your own recipes: http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking/...344012,00.html

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." -- Mary Olivercoolshine.gif

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#4 of 10 Old 07-08-2008, 02:08 PM
 
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I was going to suggest a MYO taco bar sort of idea, with the ingredients for tacos plus lots of guac, different salsas, queso, etc.

Is there a friend of your DH's that you could enlist to do the grilling? If so, do build-your-own kabobs - put out plates of marinated veggies, chicken, shrimp, salmon, beef and then serve a couple of sides of rice or pasta salad or other grain and veggie salads, or some dips and spreads.

Hth - I'm planning a party too, and mine has all kinds of crazy considerations. So I feel your pain.
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#5 of 10 Old 07-09-2008, 06:02 AM
 
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Hi Mia! Any luck yet with a plan?

I was thinking also, that if you decided to go with a Mexican type of thing, I could post thing amazing cake recipe, that happens to be vegan, it's chocolate and cayenne, and then you put a fresh raspberry chipotle sauce on it (Or just strawberries in a chocolate saice over top). It's EASY and amazing.

And I also have this amazing thing that's like a Mexican tiramisu. :

I'll post the recipes if you would like.
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#6 of 10 Old 07-09-2008, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ohhh - some great ideas here! I'm liking the Mexican buffet ideas. That should please everyone, vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
All of your posts are really REALLY helpful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cthulhugrrl View Post
Hi Mia! Any luck yet with a plan?

I was thinking also, that if you decided to go with a Mexican type of thing, I could post thing amazing cake recipe, that happens to be vegan, it's chocolate and cayenne, and then you put a fresh raspberry chipotle sauce on it (Or just strawberries in a chocolate saice over top). It's EASY and amazing.

And I also have this amazing thing that's like a Mexican tiramisu. :

I'll post the recipes if you would like.
OMG - that cake sounds *awesome*. I've already got DH's cake ordered from a yummy local bakery, but I'd love that recipe for future use - and the Mexican tiramisu too - that sounds iteresting!
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#7 of 10 Old 07-09-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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Here you go! They're both awesome!


Mexican Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
6 tablespoons water
10 small fresh strawberries

Heat oven to 350º F. Lightly coat an 8-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray.

Combine all the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until smooth. Pour into the pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

When the cake has cooled, whisk together the first three glaze ingredients. Dip each strawberry into the glaze and set aside. Pour the remaining glaze over the cake and arrange the strawberries on top. Set aside to dry, about 30 minutes.

It is really easy to make. If you want it even quicker I think it is just as good without the glaze and strawberries. (or if you weren't vegan with a little ice cream) Mmmmmmmm.

*********************
Here's another one, just for the heck of it.


Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cake

8 servings

3 (3-ounce) packages ladyfingers (about 60)
1/3 cup Kahlúa, optional
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
2 2/3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon grated semisweet chocolate

Drizzle the top side of the ladyfingers with some of the Kahlúa. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Line the bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan with the ladyfingers, reserving 15. Heat 3/4 cup of the whipping cream and unsweetened chocolate and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Let stand until room temperature.

Beat 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the confectioners' sugar, butter and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla in a bowl until well mixed. Beat in the cooled chocolate mixture. Combine the remaining whipping cream, remaining 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Beat until firm peaks form. Fold 3/4 of the whipped cream mixture into the chocolate mixture. Spread half the chocolate mixture in the prepared pan. Top with the reserved ladyfingers. Spread the remaining chocolate mixture over the ladyfingers. Decorate the top with the remaining whipped cream mixture. Sprinkle with grated chocolate. Chill, covered, for 3 to 24 hours or until firm.
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#8 of 10 Old 07-09-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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Oh, as I said, the cake is AWESOME with a fresh raspberry chipotle sauce and the chocolate glaze, then with fresh raspberries. :
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#9 of 10 Old 07-09-2008, 04:42 PM
 
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You know, I've done a couple of B-day parties where the things served were favs or the person whos birthday it was...Ex. a dear friend loved some things served at local restaurants...a caprese salad, fancy tater tots, potato pizza, etc. So we made those things in appetizer portions for the party.
Its a great way to keep things focused on the guest of honor and if needed, you can toss in a few tried and true extras for veggies/kids, etc. In terms of grilled meat, a flank steak grills so nice and keeps well and is good served at lots of different temps...something DH might like that won't mean he has to grill it.

S, mama to boy M(6/07) and baby girl R(7/10). We do all the good natural family living stuff!
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#10 of 10 Old 07-10-2008, 06:29 PM
 
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Those cakes sound amazing! I have always been a fan of chocolate and raspberries.

Buying fresh strawberries and drizzling melted chocolate on them is an easy idea too. Freeze them on wax paper lined cookie sheet after you drizzle the chocolate. Super easy.


Chicken Salad For a Crowd

(put this on recipezaar years ago, it's really good)

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
4 peeled apples (gala or fuji)
1 medium red onion
1 bunch celery
1 cup walnut
1 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup gourmet garlic mustard
1 bunch Italian parsley
salt and pepper
Directions
1.Cook chicken.
2.Chop coarsely.
3.Wash all fruits and vegetables.
4.Chop them all coarsley.
5.Put all ingredients in a large pyrex bowl.
6.Toss ingredients with Mustard and Mayonnaise.

Serve over Romaine Lettuce or with Live Sprouted Bread.


Easy Summer Vegetarian Pitas (great for your veggie friends)

Whole Wheat Pitas Lighty Toasted With a little Olive Oil
Note: You can paint a little olive oil on them and toast them on the grill
Top with Fresh Avocados, Red Onions, and Goat Cheese


Baslamic Vinegar Pasta Salad

1 Box Pasta (I've used Rotelle, but you can choose any)
6 ounces Sliced Cherry Tomatoes
1 Bunch Fresh Basil Chopped
1 lb Sliced Fresh Mozzarella
1 Bottle of Balsamic Viniagrette

Make Pasta allow to cool in fridge. This can be made ahead of time and tastes better because it allows the flavors to mix, not too long as to not let the basil wilt. Add the Viniagrette right before serving.


Just some ideas.
Jen
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