the parties that I had catered!
Until my local restaurant closed down
(I didn't even bother trying a different place. The service/food/price was out of this world.) The food was great, the guests were pleased and it was soooo much easier on me! This was when the DDs were younger (before they were 10 yrs. old) and usually coincided with their huge-bash Bday party when there were easily 60+ people in attendance. (DDs are 2 yrs, 1 day apart, so we only had 1 Bday-bash party.)
I think the most successful Bday party was a "Party In The Park -- Fear Factor style"
when the DDs turned 11 & 13. My mother, Niece, friend and I took close to 20 kids to the local park (a block away) and had the "kid" party there while LDH was grilling burgers and hot dogs for the family members and adult friends that gathered at our house. It wasn't so much the menu that was a success, it was the inventive Fear Factor style games
for the kids that was a huge hit! (Does anybody remember Fear Factor?) We had a lot of fun that day!
As far as menu goes, I think the most successful was the Taco Bar party* that we threw last year for the day after Thanksgiving. I think that the DDs being old enough to help me plan, shop, clean and cook is a huge factor for a successful party.
Goat cheese/pistacio covered grapes
Crackers, Tortilla chips, pepper jack, cheddar cheese
Steak fajitas, Lime flavored Chicken, Ground Beef**
Both hard and soft taco shells
Lettuce, cheese, hot & mild peppers, onions (vidalia and green), sour cream
(I was sorely disappointed that my black beans bit the dust due to my crock pot deciding to die on that day.
All of this was home-made with major help from the DDs, and several days in advance to prepare.
The best compliment I received was from Niece, who was originally suppose to host in her new home, but her move-in date was pushed back. Niece said "You know, Aunt JP, I was going to do a taco bar. But this party put me to shame." I said "You can do a taco bar!" She said "Not like this, I can't!" I told her that she could borrow the DDs anytime she wanted to host a party. The extra help makes all the difference in the world!
*I posted here for recipes and ideas for the taco bar, of which, I used many. Thank you all, again!
**The ground beef was the only thing that I used a packaged pre-seasoned mix for.