one day-long event that includes both family and friends. My menu plan is as follows:
- Mini Hamburgers (served with lettuce, fresh tomato from the garden, and condiments)
- Hotdogs on buns (with condiments)
- Bean and Cheese Quesadillas (served with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa)
- Watermelon slices
- Cantelope slices
- Vegetable Platter with dip and hummus
- Pretzels, Chips
- Mini Sour Cream Poundcake Cupcakes
It's all small-size. The burgers are mini, the hotdogs will be cut in half before serving, and the quesadillas will be cut into quarters. I find that kids are too excited to eat much at parties, and this reduces the amount of food wasted. Grownups appreciate the small size portions, too! I set out dessert-sized plates rather than larger-sized ones--this is the one event all year where I use paper plates.
It's all finger food. I can serve up this meal... and no one needs silverware for anything on the menu!
It's portable. If any kids need to leave before we get around to singing 'Happy Birthday', I can send them home with a cupcake as we won't have a cake waiting to be sliced.
It's almost identical to last year. Why reinvent the wheel? I know my kids like these foods, and I know that I can easily serve them up on the day of the party. We eat these things all the time, but friends and family (hopefully) won't be tired of the same menu. One thing that is different is that I am switching to mini cupcakes rather that cupcakes baked in ice cream cones. I'm hoping that the mini cupcakes will be a bit less labor intensive... and less likely to start shrinking and falling over...
Was it the humidity? The extra moist cake mix? Both???? Either way, I'm pretty sure I won't have this problem with my homemade mini cupcakes!
To make things easier on the big day, I'll be preparing things little by little all week:
- Monday: Assemble Bean and Cheese Quesadillas. I'll aim to make around 16-20, freeze them, and then make as many as are needed for the party. We can keep the remaining quesadillas frozen and use them for future meals.
- Tuesday: Assemble Mini Hamburgers and freeze. This will be labor intensive, but worth it! I'll make 4 dozen, bake them the day of the party, then pop them into buns and add small cheese slices to half.
- Wednesday: Make cupcake frosting and refrigerate.
- Thursday: Shopping day: purchase melons, fresh vegetables, and breads.
- Friday: Slice melons, arrange vegetable tray and lettuce/tomato condiment plate, and bake/frost cupcakes.
- Saturday: Bake quesadillas and burgers in oven. Boil hotdogs on stovetop. (I'm not going to fuss the with grill, and kids don't like grill marks on their hotdogs anyway!) Assemble with buns. Serve buffet-style with fruit, vegetables, chips/pretzels, and condiments.