Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Your Most Successful Party Ideas

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Mods, if this is in the wrong folder, please move it.

I admit I copied this idea from someone else who did it for Christmas, but I prepared a Baked Potato Bar for St Patrick's Day this past weekend.  Potatoes were fist-sized with a plan of 2.5 per guest (adults, mostly over 30).  75% of them were consumed.  The toppings:

Creamed onions (Birdseye)
Creamed spinach (Seabrook Farms, frozen)
Steamed broccoli and cauliflower
Cheddar cheese sauce*
Beef and bean chili*
Chicken a la king*

*Prepared from scratch.

This was a change from previous menus, but we did keep the devilled eggs and Knorr spinach dip; those two items always succeed.  One guest brought some incredible crusty bread and another a wheel of brie.  Dessert was my Grasshopper Pie and the Mandarin Orange Pie, per my earlier post, and some Entenmann's crumb cake.

We did a salad and taco bar that was pretty successful.  I had soft/hard shells/tortillas.  And I provided 3 kinds of meats, a few cheeses, guacamole, salsa,crema and sour cream plus a quite a few hot sauces and salad dressings.  People either had a salad or tacos or both.  I also served rice and beans and refried beans.

I was able to prep the day before and just lay it all out on a counter before the party.

I've done sandwich fixin's:

good bread/rolls/baguettes
spreads (e.g., tapanade, pesto, something spicy)
then either an assortment of meats and veg OR cheeses and veg (my house is kosher so we don't mix the two). so it could be sliced beef, turkey breast, chicken patties, shredded lettuce, onion rings, tomato slice, pickles OR different cheeses, smoked salmon, tuna, egg slices and veg

I've also done felafel:
pita pockets or the lebanese style pita (larger and thinner, no pocket)
assortment of salads and relishes (spicy tomato, spicy carrot, cole slaw, pickles, pickled hot peppers, chopped tomato and cucumber salad, fresh fennel, beets, etc)
and of course- felafel patties.
dessrt could be something like baklava, kadaif, etc

Outdoor Girl:
I've done 'Make your own Pizza' parties, even with adults.  I prep all the toppings - onion, peppers, tomatoes, pepperoni, bacon, olives, etc., have various spices and herbs available, sauce and cheese.  Then people get their base and go through the line, assembly style, putting on the toppings they want and then I bake them.  Now you can't do this with a huge group - I can get about 8 personal pizzas in my oven at once - but it is a lot of fun.  Serve with an assortment of beer and/or red wine.

I've done make your own pizza, and make your own quesadillas.  Indian food is a great way of serving a crowd buffet-style as well.  The sauciness of a lot of the food stands up well to chafing dishes.

One great dessert was this: fried donut holes served hot out of the fryer.  I put them in a bowl in the center of a fondue setup with all the side bowls filled with homemade chocolate sauce, lemon curd, jelly, etc.  Nobody has a problem with fresh donut holes, and people got to dip and spoon as they liked.


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