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Graduation Party Menu Help

Here is my menu for my son's graduation party on the 16th. It is from 1-5pm.

Fresh fruit with a cream cheese dip
Hot cheesy corn dip with tortilla chips (son's request)
Potato Chips with french onion dip
Ham and Cheese Cubes on pretzel sticks

Angel Food Cake
Cholocate Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Cookies
Monster Cookies

I think that I have way too much cheese and maybe I need to add an item or two. I am really struggling with this.

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  1. Yes, you do have too much cheese, but more importantly, not enough protein. Your time frame is around lunchtime, so you might do a simple deli platter so guests can make their own sandwiches. Maybe add a salad or two? Tea sandwiches? Or kabobs...you get the idea.

    You didn't mention what level of school your son is graduating from, and who the guests will be. If you have mostly young kids, then the menu is fine with a little tweaking. If you have a lot of adults coming, then you need more "grown-up" food.

    1. Too much cheese/salt and too much sweet for any level of graduation party!

      Ditch the Potato Chips & French Onion dip - it's 'way too 70s *grin*

      You need at least one real Entree - whether it's a coldcut platter, roast (pork, beef, chicken, turkey), burgers & chicken fingers, etc.

      Cake or cupcake and one cookie is more than enough sweet!

      1. I wouldn't go as far as calling this a "menu." This is a list of salty and sweet junk food!

        I agree that sandwiches would be a great addition. Get rid of the dip for the fruit but keep a fruit platter or even easier, make a fruit salad. If you have good fruit you don't need an embellishment like cream cheese dip to go with it.

        I'd also nix the onion dip, but that's just me. It's a great appetizer but to me it is kind of a "smaller gathering" kind of appetizer. You know, a few friends in front of the TV for a Sunday football game.

        I also suggest reducing the sweets at least by half. 2 kinds of cake and 2 kinds of cookies?!? Overkill. There's a lot of junk here and nothing of real substance (unless you get/make a sandwich platter). Remember we're talking graduation party for (what I assume) are hungry teenagers. They're going to get real bored real fast with this kind of food. I wouldn't be surprised if your son came up to you and asked if they could order a pizza!

        What about a tray of chicken fingers or chicken wings in addition to the sandwiches? This is still kind of junky but at least it fills you up without making you sick on salt and sugar.

        If you insist on making the cream cheese dip for fruit, consider making it one of your desserts. When I have a choice between fruit and cookies/cake for dessert, I ALWAYS go with the fruit.

        General rule of thumb: think fresh, not heavy.

        1. Okay....it is a high school graduation party. I tossed that menu out the window. I think we will fire up the grill and have hot dogs and brats. I will make a fruit salad and cut out monster cookies. So any suggestions would be helpful.

          7 Replies
          1. re: vlynx4

            Sounds like good changes. I'd do either hot dogs or brats but not both. They're too similar, eg. the same person who would eat a brat would be fine with a hot dog and vice versa. Add chicken breast skewers or something like that, protein that's not too fattening. Any vegetables? I'm always nicely surprised at how quickly cut veggies go at kid/teen parties. If you want something nicer, do some roast vegetable skewers. Keep the cheesy corn dip because your son requested it. If you don't have a starch, add a pasta salad--CI has a good antipasto pasta salad in the Best Recipe (I think that's where it was) that teens have loved when I've made it. Fruit salad would be great because it could be served alongside the angel food cake, too, maybe w/ whipped cream.

            1. re: chowser

              Sounds like we're thinking the same! The vegetable skewers are a good idea. In fact, to make things SUPER easy, you can even eliminate the skewers altogether. Pre-cook all the vegetables and dress them in olive oil and balsamic and set them aside. Vegetables like this are perfectly acceptable when served at room temp - in fact, I prefer them that way kind of like a salad as opposed to a warm side dish.

              1. re: SQHD

                We were typing the same ideas at the same time. I like the chicken wing idea, too. Easy to marinade in advanced and throw on with the brats. Even better, they taste fine cold if they've sat around in the afternoon, as people get hungry.

            2. re: vlynx4

              Get rid of the hot dogs and stick with the brats is my opinion.

              If you're looking for another protein alternative to bratwurst, I'm still thinking chicken wings. You can grill those too and they don't HAVE to be covered in hot sauce. You could simply toss them with some fresh thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, and butter - best of all they're pretty cheap if you buy them whole and cut them yourself. It's hard to over cook wings too; they don't dry out fast like chicken breast. As long as you don't burn them, they're great.

              Medium to medium low heat for chicken wings AND brats!

              If you're turning this into a light lunch (I think that's a good idea for a 1-5 party) you might want a super easy side like potato chips or a simple macaroni salad or potato salad. Easy to make but they are almost always found pre-made in the grocery store's deli section if you get tight on time or run low on energy prepping everything else.

              1. re: SQHD

                I like the idea of grilled chicken wings- fun to eat and not too fattening.

                You didn't mention if your son is having guys, girls, or both. Maybe add in a tossed green salad?

                Also, are there any veggies in the group? You can buy or make veggie burgers and grill them on foil so they're separate from the meat.

                Menu:
                -cheesy corn dip
                - guacamole with fresh veggies
                -hot dogs or brats/veggie burgers/ wings
                -grilled veg skewers (mushrooms, peppers, squash, onions)
                -green salad
                -pasta or potato salad
                - dessert- cake + cookies + fruit

              2. re: vlynx4

                I'd do your grilled foods with your orignal fruit and dip platter , a veggie platter, chips, onion dip for both, the hot cheese dip your son wanted and then a mixture of white and chocolate cup cakes for dessert.

                It gives you some healthy and not so health options.

                You could also add a shrimp and cocktail sauce for those who don't eat hotdogs/brats.

                1. re: salsailsa

                  Shrimp tends to be quite expensive and god help you if you buy those horrid pre-cooked and then frozen shrimp cocktail platters.