Hi to all the people on this forum. I just joined. And here is the reason why.
I searched a lot but cannot find real worth it. I’m planning a home party next month. This will be the first party I plan. I want it to be ideal. But I do not know what to start with. I know I have plenty of time, but I really stressed out thinking about how it’ll go.
Ohh, I didn’t really think about some of these questions.
There’re going to be around 20-22 adults and kids. Friends and family
No theme, really. If you have some ideas I’m open to them. I was thinking about light snacks, fruits and something else. Plus alcohol/non-alcohol drinks. Possibly, cocktails.
It’s going to be outside, on my backyard.
About the budget, I can get I’m free enough in this regard, but I don’t want to go too far. Around $1,000
Have you googled “light snacks” or “party dishes/ideas” for 20? Might be a great start just to get an overview of the possibilities. Same as far as drinks/cocktails go. If necessary, you could have our HOs help you refine.
Possible dietary restrictions might also be something to keep in mind.
I definitely support Linguafood’s advice to google. Also to consider is what sort of tableware set up you have. Finger foods that are easily managed with napkins/paper plates might be your preference (spring rolls, small spanikopita/samosa, crudités, cut up fruit, chicken skewers).
What I would say is that given this is your first, go with what’s easiest.
No, you don’t want to ask them to bring something. What if you plan everything our beautifully, and someone does? Some people are offended by that. You?
For snacks check out the dip thread. I even found gold over there. Maybe some empanadas and crema, arancini, stuffed mushrooms, some sort of fondu, make your own tortilla chips, super easy, with a simple homemade salsa. You’ll never buy Tostitos again.
First thing I thought of (and of course, NOW I WANT!) is a party snack mix - rice, wheat, and corn Chex, Bugles, pretzel twists, Cheez-Its, and peanuts similar to this recipe. (Although if there’s a gluten allergy, this would be a NO GO. Check with your guests.)
Fruit mix - watermelon cut into wedges.
Cocktails - red or white sangria (I prefer red). I use a recipe I got from the late owner of Boston’s oldest tapas bar, Dali Restaurant.
2 bottles Spanish rioja wine (I use Borsao Garnacha, which is what Mario suggested oto me)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brandy
2 oz. Triple Sec
2 cups orange juice
2 oranges - cut into eighths and each eighth cut in half
1 pint club soda (less if desired)
Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the club soda 24 hours ahead, mixing well to dissolve the sugar.
Day of serving - add club soda, and pour over ice to serve. Dali’s bartenders usually top the pitchers with another good-sized sploosh of the red wine.
I double this for larger parties - make it in a cooler with a spigot that’ll fit in the fridge the day before and you have an easy way to allow self-serve from the adults.
Last time I did something like this I did Mexican. Chicken tinga, carne asada, carnitas… rice and beans… red & green salsas, guac, chopped lettuce, cilantro, and onion… chips, tortillas, little tostado shells. You can do pretty much everything the day before (except the guac, lettuce, and tostada shells).
Folks can throw it together however they want. I have one of those long Salton hot trays so it was easy to keep it all warm.
It was a pretty big hit. Folks had fun chatting while gathering around the island and building their plates… and then coming back for more, putting together something entirely different. Everyone loved the food and variety… even had one vegetarian who was quite happy with rice and bean tostadas.
Another thought, think of parties you have attended and enjoyed. What on both booze and food tables did you particularly enjoy? Wine, beer and softdrink asortment? Sliced tri-tip? Ham? Shrimp? Cold cuts and cheeses? Salads? Dips, vegetables, breadsticks and always good bread?
What you liked, your guests most likely will also.e
If you cook, cool. If you don’t, your budget allows a huge take out assortment. In my area, that allows a grand dim sum buffet. Or big make-your-own taco array. Or barbeque and beans. As a guest, I’ve greatly enjoyed all of these.