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Ideas for feeding teenagers during student movie shoot?

Our budding teenage director will be shooting a movie again soon. In the past I have provided sliced 3' long layered sub type sandwiches from Gelson's, chips, green salad, fruit salad, good takeout pizza, brownies, cookies, juice squeezes, etc. The purchased items have worked well but it would be nice to have something I can make ahead--save $$ by doing it myself & not have last minute pickup, as I participate in other ways as well as craft service.

I need things I can pull from the frig, heat if necessary, or have at room temp & serve with minimum hassle. They are used to getting a pretty tasty spread, & I enjoy providing it.

Any ideas, anyone? Maybe something like chile? Even if it gets too hectic to prepare the food myself I could use some fresh ideas for ordering prepared items. These are mostly high school freshmen & sophomores (& their parents always help finish eating it up when they pick up their kids).

Thanks for any input!

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  1. I keep alot of food in my freezer just in case. One things the kids love and can be kept in the freezer is taquitos. I make either bbq chicken or beef ones. You can start with a ready made chicken, shred it, or shredded beef, add your favorite bbq sauce and cook in down for about a half hour to let the sauce get into the meat and loose some of the liquid. I then use soft taco size flour tortillas and just roll them up taquito style. I freeze them in baggies, and either defrost them in the microwave with a wet paper towel for about one minute til defrosted, then put them in the oven to get crispy, or just throw them into the oven straight from the freezer. Everyone loves them, make ahead and easy to serve.

    1 Reply
    1. re: paprkutr

      Good idea, they will love it--I think I'll buy them premade as time is running short, & I should be able to get them at a reasonable price nearby.

    2. What's wrong with a bunch of sammys? I've made a picnic for up to 35 people. ALL my own sammys. I made a large bowl of tuna, egg salad and had sliced meat of sorts..bologna or salami or? Slice sammys in half and wrap, that way if one wanted a half a tuna and half and egg salad it was done. Never costs too much and it's easy. How about a big bag of M & M's. Target, KMart, Walmart. They all have the big bags of stuff. For fun, spoon frozen quick make puddings into ice cream cones and sprinkle w/ m & m's. Right now I'm munching on mini c.c Teddy Grahams. YUM I'm sure you could do something fun w/those. Don't forget about fresh berries oranges, grapes and the like.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kitchen Queen

        Why didn't I think of sandwiches for any shooting away from home & the kitchen? And wrapping the halves, great. Thanks.

        I always have fresh fruits & green salads, & teenagers do eat them. I like to have healthy options.

      2. Grill cheese sandwiches
        Tacos--How about a taco station where they have fillings (tomatos, guacomole, lettuce, cheese), where you only have to make the ground beef?
        Another choice is to try buying the frozen tacos from Trader Joe's and heating them up. They are very tasty.
        Quesadillas
        Why not do a Mexican theme meal?

        1 Reply
        1. re: WHills

          I think the Mexican theme will be great for one of the days, thanks. Along with the taquitos I can have quesadillas ready to heat--will the slow cooker I never use work for the ground beef for the taco station?

        2. how about jambalaya? I had my son's basketball team over for dinner one night and I did that with a salad and biscuits and it was a huge hit!

          1 Reply
          1. re: fooddiva

            Do you have a jambalaya recipe? Thanks

          2. My first thought was big dishes of baked macaroni and cheese. My teenage sons and their friends love this one: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec... and beg me to make it more often. Another favorite of theirs is pulled pork sandwiches. To keep it easy, I do a spice rub, roast the pork at a low temp for a long time, and hack it apart. You can do this days in advance. Before serving, simmer the pork in bbq sauce (they like Emiril's), and buy some fresh rolls. Cole slaw is a good side. I also like the other poster's idea of taquitos.

            1 Reply
            1. re: vicarious

              Will definitely do mac n cheese for one day, great idea. Like the pulled pork & cole slaw ideas, too. Thanks!

            2. Pita sandwiches are always good and easy to eat while doing other things. Marinate and grill chicken breasts in advance. Then slice into strips. Then simply cut pitas in half, put in some chicken and whatever else the kiddos like. These can be kept in the fridge until its time to eat. Me and my SO like these with just the chicken, a bit a romaine, tomato and touch of red wine vinegarette.You could accompany it with something like fresh fruit kebabs and an assortment of raw veggies or maybe a bit of trail mix. It is pretty teen friendly.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ArikaDawn

                Pita sandwiches, another good idea. Thanks for the specifics on the chicken. I will try this. The fruit kebabs--also a creative idea for teenagers.

              2. That is so funny. My son is a film student and in December he filmed his magnum opus in a nearby town - with his cast and crew of twenty (YES TWENTY) staying here at our house for a week and a half. I was craft services. 3 meals a day, plus snacks. It was some of the hardest work I have ever done and at the end of the ten days I was a total basket case.

                Here are some of the greatest hits of the shoot (although I have to tell you, they were so happy to get fed that I could have put a slab of styrofoam between two sheets of cardboard and they would probably have eaten it...)

                Shepherd's pie (both meat and vegetarian versions)
                Lasagne, of course (again, both meat and veg versions)
                Various wrap sandwiches for lunch (wrapped individually and labelled)
                A full-out Indian dinner with a chicken curry, a chick pea curry & a veg. biryani
                A tamale casserole (corn bread topping on a baked Mexican-ish bean thing)
                Minestrone soup - huge pot with garlic bread
                An assortment of quiches
                A big pot of vegetarian chili
                Cuban chicken breasts with black beans and rice (and some fake chicken nuggets for the vegetarians
                Baked macaroni and cheese - 3-cheese version, baked in giant aluminum roasters
                Huge apple crumble for dessert
                Gigantic carrot cake
                Oh - and I made this chocolate pudding cake one night that I haven't made for years

                Those were the highlights. In addition every night there was a big salad and good bread. Lunch was usually sandwiches of some sort, one day I picked up pizzas, another day we did curried squash soup and samosas that I got from a good Indian takeout place. They always had lots of fresh fruit, granola bars, homemade or store-bought cookies or squares, juices and water. They are vacuum cleaners.

                Breakfast was always the same - bagels, cream cheese, jam, peanut butter, assorted cereals, coffee, juice, fruit, yogurt. They were out of the house by 7:30 so I set that up the night before and they helped themselves.

                Good thing you like cooking because if your kid is going into film, you'll be doing lots of this stuff! I really enjoyed having them here - it's great to be surrounded by young, creative lunatics. But it's a lot of work.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Nyleve

                  Wow! You deserve medals--one for every meal. As you said, they are vacuum cleaners & have no idea how much work it is, but they need to eat! If no one else gave you kudos, I surely do.

                  These are all great ideas--I've done the steady supply of granola bars, fruit & drinks, too, just to have something on hand at all times. I've worked in show business a long time so I know what the professional craft services people do, but they aren't working lights, helping with makeup, etc, or stage managing while supplying food. Plus these kids are shooting at our house which requires preparing the "set" to be camera ready.

                  Words I never imagined saying as a mother: "Hurry up, we have two murders to commit by 4:30." (He does horror movies, with teenage humor).

                  Thanks again for the good ideas. I will probably have 3 days of shooting to provide for.

                2. Hey Babette-
                  I"m in film school and have crewed numerous movies and done the craft services thing too. Since I'm a poor student, i often make the food myself as opposed to hitting up costco (even though costco is a great place to get prepared stuff).
                  I often make a roast chicken, or roast beef w/ sides - veggies, rice, etc. It's easy and there's plenty of food.
                  I've also made a big salad - (dressing on the side).
                  NO MATTER WHAT - keep the drinks around - lots of cokes, or other caffinated beverages - red bull is always great.
                  Also have snacks around - chips, candies etc. So people can snack btw. breaks.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Marianna215

                    Thanks for your insider tips. Hadn't thought of the roasting idea--good one, & yes, got it on the drinks & snacks. Good luck with your film career!

                  2. I like to do mexican buffets for that sort of thing. A batch of spinach burritos, chips and salsa and guacamole, rice and beans, tropical fruit salad and some cinnamon/sugar crisp tortillas.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Andiereid

                      Yes, the Mexican theme is shaping up as one day's menu, thanks for the ideas. Is the cinammon/sugar crisp as simple as it sounds? I'm guessing there's butter involved as well...

                      1. re: Babette

                        I don't use any butter - I just cut up flour tortillas, use a little vegetable oil, fry them until they're crisp, then sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar as they drain and cool. They're excellent with vanilla ice cream, but also good on their own.

                        1. re: Andiereid

                          This sounds as though they can be done ahead if they don't have to be served hot. I'm guessing you cut them up to tortilla chip size? I want to try this.

                          1. re: Babette

                            Yep. They're really nice kind of warm, but they keep fine if you put them in an airtight container.

                    2. What about items you can cook and keep warm in a crockpot? I use cheap cuts of pork and bottled BBQ sauce to make pulled pork sandwiches (can substittue boneless chicken as well)

                      I throw in pot roasts with broth and onions let it cook all day and shred for French dip sandwiches.

                      1. You could do the MExican theme with make your own taco bar or quesedillas.. Have all of the material out and they assemble it in the case of the tacos. For the Quesedillas, you could have a hotplate, big pan and can of PAM and they can cook it themselves.

                        1. I have a cousin that is a producer. He suggests lasagna. He says it is classic, inexpensive andfits your criteria.

                          1. I want to say thanks again to everyone for the ideas--I used most of them & will keep this thread for next year's movie.

                            I'll add one more menu item which came up as a result of popcorn being part of a couple of scenes--they gobbled it up & kept asking for more. I think we'll keep that as a staple in the future--maybe other crafts services moms would benefit from that idea--easy, quick, pretty healthy (I used just a small amount of almond oil & some salt) & very popular.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Babette

                              Monday night was the premiere of my son's film (of the above insane crew-feeding situation) and it was a huge success! He has now graduated film school so I will not likely ever have to put up an entire film crew ever again.

                              Famous last words, probably. You, Babette, are just starting. Good luck - you'll be needing it. And lots of patience and a Costco membership.