Birthday Party- HELP
  Re: (...)
Hi. I so enjoy everyone's post and love the wonderful recipes. Despite my reservations, my husband has convinced me to have a big birthday party for my 2 year old in 3 weeks. I work full time and have a 2 and four year old so my time for preparation is limited. I'm having about fifty + people and 12 children and would really like to enjoy my guests for once. I'd love some input on a menu and some good make ahead recipes. Many thanks!!
  Re: Birthday Party- HELP by alexsmom (Hi. I so enjoy every...)
Gee, alexsmom, you've been lurking for a while now! If you check out the thread Time and Room in the Fridge and the Freezer you should find LOTS of ideas. It just so happens one of our other members is planning a birthday party right now as well...granted it's for her husband's 65th, but I think a lot of the same ideas will apply. As a matter of fact, if I remember correctly, your guest list is VERY similar!

And a VERY belated welcome. I hope you will join us more often!
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Birthday Party- HELP by alexsmom (Hi. I so enjoy every...)
That's a lot of people for a 2 year old's birthday party! I'd suggest going casual - cookout style.

I think I would take as much help from friends and family as is offered and serve kid-food for the kids... such as hot dogs or chicken strips with mac & cheese and fresh fruit. Then I'd have brats and burgers for the adults if you have a volunteer to man the grill. Otherwise, I'd make pulled pork for sandwiches. Then you can serve them with interesting make ahead condiments. Sides of pasta or potato salad are my usual standby recipes for large crowds.

Unless you're into baking, I'd go for a decorated sheet cake.

You can make this all look wonderful by being creative with the decorations and presentation.

Others will be along with different ideas...
  Re: Birthday Party- HELP by alexsmom (Hi. I so enjoy every...)
Hi there alexsmom, and welcome to the forum! Hope you will come back and join us often. This is a great group of people who have a lot of fun exchanging recipes and ideas.

For your party, can you give us some idea of what type of food you want to serve? I'm guessing it will be in the afternoon? Do you want to serve appetizer foods, or a whole meal? Will you be using an outdoor grill?

Here is a cocktail meatball recipe to get you started. We have been making this one for years. It can easily be made ahead. Check in with us tomorrow, you will probably have about a million ideas come your way!

* Exported from MasterCook *

Cocktail Meatballs

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Appetizers

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 pounds ground sirloin
1 medium onion -- minced
2 large eggs
1 cup bread crumbs,seasoned
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can jellied cranberry
12 ounces bottled chili sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Mix together ground meat, onion, eggs, bread crumbs, water, salt and pepper. Form into one inch meatballs and place in 2 quart casserole.

Melt cranberry and chili sauce, add brown sugar and lemon juice. Pour over meatballs.

Cover and bake 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Re: Birthday Party- HELP by HomeCulinarian (That's a lot of peop...)
I am thinking that the "convincing husband" needs to man the grill and help out a lot! Best of luck, and you are on the right track wanting to enjoy the party yourself. Kids grow so quickly and you don't get second chances. Costco makes great sheet cakes, if you have one nearby. I have also seen people rent little novelty ice cream carts full of treats. Always a hit with everyone. Most importantly, take lots of pictures! My 21 year old daughter looks through her photo albums every time she comes home. She loves the birthday parties and Halloween pictures the best!

Everything tastes better Alfresco!
  Re: Birthday Party- HELP by alexsmom (Hi. I so enjoy every...)
First of all, welcome to the forum!! I hope you can join more often!

Secondly.... Working full time, 2 small children and a party for fifty-you have your hands full!!

I agree, hubby should man the grill, and grill as much food as possible. Another helpful word-potluck. I'd ask each guest to bring a specialty dish, get an idea of what they're bringing, then fill in the blanks. I'd let people help you as much as possible, I think people are happy to contribute in some way to a gathering.

I'll have to find foodfiends thread and bring it up again, if it hasn't been already.

  Re: Re: Birthday Party- HELP by Mare749 (Hi there alexsmom, a...)
Geez, Maryann, just when I think I've perfected the meatball, you throw in another idea. Definately have to try this one with the cranberry sauce!!

Thank you!

  Re: Re: Birthday Party- HELP by pjcooks (Geez, Maryann, just ...)
Oh my, you are certainly welcome! I hesitated posting it because it's kind of an old recipe that most people have some version of, but we do make it a lot for gatherings.

After giving this some thought, I think if I were in your shoes and had to do this party, I would be doing a lot of the shopping at Costco, Sam's Club, BJ's, or Gordon Foodservice. Make it easy on yourself, so you can enjoy the party.

If you prefer to cook some of the food yourself, my vote is with HC's suggestions. That is almost exactly what we would do for a crowd that size, in fact, my hubbie would probably put a couple of pork shoulders in the smoker. (They can also be done in an oven)

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Re: Birthday Party- HELP by Mare749 (Oh my, you are certa...)
Hi there, alexsmom, you might check out this thread for some ideas - it's 8 pages long so you can imagine how many ideas there are.

And here's an idea for the kids (but the adults will love it also) for a fruit platter. It can be done a day ahead.


8 ozs cream cheese at room temperature
1 jar marshmallow crème -- (7 oz.)
Assorted fruit: strawberries -- pineapple, grapes, bananas, melons

Combine softened cream cheese and marshmallow crème; mix until well blended.

Serve with the assorted fruits.


Here's a cake I just made for the first time on the 4th of July and it was really a winner with everyone - all ages. If I remember righ we were eating on it about 4 days later, so you can definitely make it ahead of time.

Well, heck I can't find the recipe for the "Double the Yum Cake" - Daphne!!! I know you have the recipe, so I'm sure I posted it. Do you have it handy? Such a good one for a crowd (with lots of kids)


My suggestion for fifty guests and to not completely wear yourself out is to make larger volumes of fewer dishes. This is much easier to do for a crowd. A few ideas -

Brats - you can easily heat them in large pot in beer & goodies and then easily put them on the grill just to mark them for serving. No one has to stand over the grill for long periods.

2 or 3 pasta salads - LJ has a great Greek pasta salad, I have an Antipasto Tortelline salad, and maybe a rice and cheese salad, potato salad, so many to choose from

Veggie tray with two or three dips - blue, ranch, thousand island

Fruit tray with Marshmallow-Cream cheese dip

a couple of cakes, or a cake (large) and store bought cookies, couple watermelons heaped on a tray is so inviting.

Good luck with your party!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Birthday Party- HELP by HomeCulinarian (That's a lot of peop...)
We do a big BBQ every summer (now it is 100+ people). When it was smaller (50's) we tried Burgers, and corn on the cob, but we found someone had to be busy with it the whole time. Now our menu is pretty much set in stone:

Pulled Pork (super easy crock pot recipe)
Smoked brisket
Cole Slaw
Potato salad
Hotdogs (boiled) for the kids
Mustard BBQ sauce
Regular BBQ sauce
Strawberry Ice Cream Cones

One year I did a party for the kids about that size. I made three kinds of cupcakes and froze them. Then the day of I thawed and iced.
Mom to three wonderful 7th graders!
The time is flying by.

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