Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Please help me plan my parties . . . New Questions #21, THANK YOU #29

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California Dreamin:
What about cucumber salad and coleslaw the first day and potato salad for the second party? You could make it ahead of time. I think it is better the second day anyway.

For a fun take on sliders, try making some of 'em stuffed.

For fun appies, you could build on your current chips and dip idea and have a dip bar. Basically, buy or make plain guacamole, tomato salsa, and hummus. Put out some plain sour cream, too. Have little ramekins with add-ins like pickled peppers, cilantro, hot sauce, olives, roasted garlic, minced onions, etc. People can make up their own little bowl of dip. (You can also put out crudités and crackers.)

This isn't quite standard barbecue fare, but college-aged students might enjoy some sushi.

For the barbecue sliders, it really depends on how big or small they are. If they're pretty small, you might be able to get away with browning the sliders and then simmering them in the sauce, kind of like you'd do meatballs. If they'll be bigger, I'd brush them with sauce before cooking, cook completely, and then just add it liberally when it comes time to serve them. These would be good topped with cheddar, cole slaw, and pineapple, of all things. I eat that on my barbecued tofu.

I agree that I wouldn't count on leftover salads from the day before.  They may be gone, or mostly gone, or just not as good.  Maybe you could make a really big batch, and hold back half, or 1/4, or whatever?  I always find that potato salad and pasta salad improves after sitting over night.  And if you don't serve part of it the first day, you don't need to worry about food poisoning issues.

Have fun!  Sounds yummy :)

My go-to for appetizers is bacon-wrapped jalapenos and teens, young adults and all others pretty much love them. I never bring home leftovers when I take them somewhere.

Cream cheese
Jalapenos (medium to large sized)
bacon (not thick-sliced)

Using gloves and a paring knife I cut them in half, making sure to remove all seeds and ribs (the part that is spicy). This makes the peppers very mild provided one doesn't eat the stem.

Once all peppers are cut, I slather somewhat softened cream cheese in them with a butter knife and level them off.

Then, using bacon that's been cut in half crosswise, I wrap each piece so that the ends are tucked underneath (cream cheese side up obviously) and bake on a broiling pan at anywhere from 375-400 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

The downside: can be a little pricey figuring in cream cheese and bacon (if making a lot - get the large brick from Sam's Club).
Also, they can be a little time consuming. It's easy, but repetitive. I've made as little as 12 for me and DH and as many as 750 for a reception. Plan on binge-watching something on Netflix if you're closer to the 750 mark.  :) :)

The upside: delicious and even people that don't like really spicy things usually like them.
Once baked, they can be layered between parchment/wax paper on 'serve' or 'low' in a crockpot or roaster to keep warm.
Also, they can be frozen:
1) with just the peppers filled with cream cheese (to be wrapped with bacon later)
2) peppers filled, wrapped with bacon and frozen raw
3) filled, wrapped and par-baked or completely baked.
Just store between layers of waxed paper until frozen and then throw the peppers into freezer bags. Take out the number that you want to bake and eat!

So if you decided to make them, you could make them now and store them for later! Do wear gloves, though. Like, tightfitting, latex-type gloves. Loose, dishwashing gloves are too difficult to cut with and not wearing gloves can burn your hands if you do a lot.

Is there any chance that they would share the birthday? are any of their friends overlapping?

If both want the same menu, i would make the same menu. you can freeze yummy sliders (i do all the time)

for sides -
Baked oven fries (pototoes sliced lengthwise in quarters or eights, brushed with oil and spices) can be served reheated.
as PPs' said - potato salad, cucumber salad, cole slaw all keep. I also like mediterranean style spicy salads like cooked tomato salad, roast and chopped peppers, carrots etc. and they all keep well a few days in the fridge - let me know if you need recipes.
hummus, bean salad, corn salad - all great sides that are filling, cheap and colorful.


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