Author Topic: Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??  (Read 3401 times)

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mamakinz

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Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??
« on: October 09, 2012, 02:35:53 AM »
Next month I am hosting a 50th anniversary party for my parents. Due to money constraints and lack of assistance from my siblings, the party will be at my home and I will be cooking. I expect about 40 - -50 guests -- all adults except for my 2 children (16 & 13) my sisters younger two (15 & 12 -- her other two are adults) and my brothers 2 --( 3 & 6 months)

My planned menu is:
Lemon - garlic chicken (I will cut each breast into 3 pieces)
Swedish meatballs
Baked Ziti (meat free)
Roasted potatos
A veggie - probably green beans
A tossed salad
Dinner rolls

Do I need another side dish? I was thinking maybe a rice / risotto dish

And how much should I make of each dish -- I don't usually cook for this many people, so I am at a loss with how much to make -- I don't want to run out, but I certainly don't want to be eating leftovers for the entire week after the party

The cake will be ordered -- probably from Costco. And I will have the house cleaned professionally the day before the party -- I keep it clean, but on a rotating basis over two weeks

Beverages will be: wine, beer, wine coolers, soda, ice tea, juice & water. If anyone has some good wine suggestions that would be great -- I am not a wine drinker, I know I will have a few bottles of cranberry wine that a friend makes and maybe a few bottles of mojitos that he also makes.

cicero

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Re: Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 06:31:23 AM »
I don't think you need a rice dish - you have a pasta dish and potatoes already. I would probably add another veg dish/salad, go with something you can make ahead like coleslaw (or if you can be a little adventurous with your crowd, this cabbage/mango slaw is divine)

I would add a bread/cracker/bread stick basket with 2-3 spreads.

I'm assuming this will be buffet style?also assuming you don't have vegans/severe allergies? wil you have appetziers, or just set up the food and have people start on the mains? an easy and not expensive starter could be a soup, to be served in small cups. something like chicken soup, split pea, onion etc)

SOrry, i'm bad with numbers/quantities. i always end up with too much food.

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MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 07:32:19 AM »
I ALWAYS make too much food. Then I panic, think I don't have enough and add more.

Your menu sounds yummy! I agree with Cicero and say to add a small starter. Maybe a cheese and crackers tray for people to nibble on? I would also maybe add a fruit salad for those who don't wan cake. I'd imagine that at a 50th anniversary party, with most guests in their 70's, there are bound to be a few diabetics, cutting back on sugar, etc.

Sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here.

mamakinz

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Re: Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2012, 09:44:41 AM »
I forgot about the appetizers -- I am planning on having a veggie/dip tray and a cheese and cracker tray ready at the start of the party -- both things that my kids can do!!

Fruit salad sounds good for with the cake. I'll find another veggie side dish

Thanks

doodlemor

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Re: Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2012, 08:47:22 PM »
I think that your menu sounds scrumptious!

Here is a link to Swedish chef Tina Nordstrom's sauteed cabbage recipe.  I've made it before, and it is delicious.  It is also best if made the day before and reheated.  I think that I just sprinkled in a little spice, and didn't use cinnamon sticks.  This is for green cabbage. 

http://christmas.food.com/recipe/sauteed-cabbage-sweden-170774

Since I've got Swedish food on the brain, thinking about your meatballs, here is a link to Tina's carrots in a cream sauce with parsley and onion, which is also great made ahead.

http://www.food.com/recipe/royal-swedish-meatballs-with-parsley-dressed-carrots-427202

Tina Nordstrom was one of the chefs featured on New Scandinavian Cooking on PBS.

White Lotus

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Re: Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2012, 10:55:14 AM »
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.

DavidH

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Re: Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2012, 11:38:11 AM »
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. 

Hmmmmm

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Re: Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2012, 05:49:40 PM »
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. 

sparksals

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Re: Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2012, 07:45:30 PM »
I think you need another veggie.  Maybe carrots or squash? 

mamakinz

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Re: Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2012, 01:33:03 PM »
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!!!!

Hmmmmm

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Re: Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2012, 09:49:59 AM »
Very nice of you to go forward with the party with everything you are going through.  I'm sure your guests will be thrilled to have a fun activity to attend right now.

mamakinz

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Re: Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2012, 01:05:43 PM »
The party went fantastically!!  We had plenty of food, there is a full tray of ziti in my freezer -- I went overboard and made 4. And a dish of lemon chicken in my freezer, enough for 6 or 8 people.

Plus my mom got surprised because her sister flew in from Arizona for the party and didn't tell my mom she was coming!!! My aunt even called my mom that morning to wish her a happy anniversary!!

And the best for me -- about halfway through the party my hubby ran home to feed and walk our dog and our power was back on!!!

o_gal

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Re: Anniversary Party -- how much food??!! Is this enough variety??
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2012, 12:31:36 PM »
Plus my mom got surprised because her sister flew in from Arizona for the party and didn't tell my mom she was coming!!! My aunt even called my mom that morning to wish her a happy anniversary!!

Those type of surprises are the best - that will probably be the part that she remembers as the best part of the party.

DH's parents were married on Sep 15, 1951 and we planned a 50th anniversary surprise party exactly 50 years later. FIL's brother and his wife had planned to come, flying up from Texas to Ohio, but with all planes grounded, they stuck it out as long as they could to see if they'd get a flight, then got in their van and drove. They arrived in the evening after the official party had ended but still surprised FIL and MIL. MIL remembered that for years as the best part of the party.