Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??

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White Lotus:
Joy of Cooking has a section on cooking for crowds that you might find helpful in estimating quantities.  I would count each teen as two people.  I think other comprehensive cookbooks might, too.  My Joy also has suggested menus for various events, and even includes quantities and recipes for drinks.  It has served us well for many years, even though we adjust to make the menus veg.

The menu sounds great.  I'd suggest maybe laying out extra chicken or making an extra ziti that you could heat up if you need it, or otherwise freeze for another time, that way you have an option to add more if you underestimate.  Instead of chicken breasts, if money is tight, a whole roasted chicken or turkey breast for that people can carve off of is quite inexpensive and looks great.  For the chicken breasts, I'd consider at least two pieces per person (2/3 of a breast), and for a small, appetizer size meatball, at least 3 or 4 per person.  I'd place the ziti very prominently on the table to encourage people to consume it since it is likely the least expensive main course.

For wine, I'd definitely check Costco.  The one near me has ratings on the wines and the prices are really good compared to other stores.  They also seem to have the full range of prices from very inexpensive to high end, so you can probably find a good one to suit your budget.  Most people I know prefer red, but it might be different for you.  A non-grape based wine can be great, but is a very specific taste, so it's hard to predict how that will work with a large group. 

I think your menu sounds great.  Since you have a salad, a vegetable, a starch, the pasta, 2 meats and a bread, I think your covered and don't need to add more. 

With 48 people (discounting the 2 littlest guests) I'd suggest the following quantities.

Lemon - garlic chicken (I will cut each breast into 3 pieces) = 32 breasts so that you end up with 96 pieces or 2 each
Swedish meatballs = at least 12 dozen or 3 pieces each
Baked Ziti (meat free) = some will eat this as their main and others as a side.  I know my baked ziti recipe has a pound of pasta and feeds 8 as a side in a standard casserole.  I'd plan on 4 casseroles.
Roasted potatos = 8 pounds or 2 5 lb bags
A veggie - probably green beans - I'd go with 6 lbs
A tossed salad - this is going to depend so much on your guests... I've seen it go like wildfire and other times just sit there
Dinner rolls - 1.5 per person so 6 dz

And just have in your head that you are going to have left overs.  The ziti will freeze really well, the roasted potatoes can become baked potatoe salad later in the week, the meatballs will refreeze, and the dinner rolls can become croutons, bread crumbs, bread pudding, or throw them in the freezer for your thanksgiving dressing. 

I think you need another veggie.  Maybe carrots or squash? 

Well everyone, thanks for all of your help and hints. Due to Hurricane Sandy; we had to make some major changes as I am in Northern NJ and STILL don't have electricity to cook. I was able to get a place in town where we can have the party as without heat, electricity and running water my home is not suitable for guests.

Instead if my original plans that were more "formal" with larger quantities and less options it will be more "potluck" with my mom and grandmother cooking some stuff at moms house in South Jersey(that didn't lose power at all) and me cooking at my father in laws

But the important thing is getting together with family and friends to celebrate this amazing milestone for my parents!!!!


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