Monday, August 16, 2010

Party for 50 + guests? No problem!

A friend asked me last night " What do I serve at my house warming party for 50+ guests? I want to make a a great impression, but don't want to break the bank"... My wheels started turning as I thought of ways to keep the cost low... The best option I told her, is food stations. Sounds intimidating but prep can be done days in advance for the majority of it and people love to customize what they eat. You keep your cost low, guests happy and make an impression. Here are some menu ideas:

Baked Potato Bar
pre-bake all the potatoes in foil and keep them warm in the oven until time to serve and then serve with an array of options:
  • cheese
  • chives
  • sour cream
  • alfredo sauce
  • brocolli
  • hollandaise
  • chicken
  • bacon bits
  • butter
  • tomatoes
  • ham pieces

Or Hamburger stations-
Include a few types of burgers like:
1) burgers with blue cheese mixed in the patties,
2) a tex mex style mixed with green chilles, cumin, onions, garlic powder
3) a turkey burger or veggie burger option

Then you spread out the toppings:
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • pickles
  • tomatoes
  • relish
  • different cheeses
  • lettuce
  • bbq sauce
  • pineapple
  • teriyaki sauce
and anything else you can think of.

Side Dishes like any of the following:
  • a big salad with a few dressing options
  • a big fruit salad (or my favorite is to make the fruit into fruit skewers and then serve sticking out of the shell of the watermelon. )
  • corn on the cob (if in season). Cut them in half and serve with honeybutter ( melt honey and butter in a dish and spread onto the corn once cooked. sprinkle with parmesan and pepper if desired)
  • garlic parmesan fries and/or sweet potato fries
Then for Dessert, keep it simple with an
Ice cream station:

Include a few types of popular ice cream flavors:
  • vanilla
  • chocolate
  • strawberry
  • cookies and cream
And then spread out toppings:
  • crumbled brownie
  • carmel
  • whipped cream
  • cherries
  • nuts
  • fudge
  • sprinkles
  • cookie dough
  • waffle cone pieces
  • candy bar ( like reeses)
  • chocolate chips
  • granola
  • fruit
  • rootbeer
  • coke
Bottled beverage and alcohol adds up quick. If you are trying to keep the cost down, make a big batch of lemonade but make it special by adding raspberry or strawberry juice to it. Then, add cut up berries to flat inside or freeze them in a bundt tray with water to make an ice cube ring and garnish with mint-yum!.

The biggest impression will be how the food looks when it is displayed on the counter or table(s). Cute labels should be set out for all the toppings and when you display it,stagger things at different heights. Using cake holders, or trays you have etc. maybe add a sunflower here or there to make it cute. And viola! Let the party begin!


  1. I love the ice cream stations with Martini glasses! What a cute idea! Also the baked potato station is so unique and fun.