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Menu for sports theme party (for $ 5 or $6 per person)

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I'm in charge of the food for a neighborhood party . It's all seniors, 100 people and we're having a general sports theme. And oh yeah, we can't charge more than $ 8 per person and that has to include decorations, soft drinks (it's BYOB) and the food. We usually do "finger food", but, trust me, these people eat and it's more than chips and dips. last year we did Chinese New Year and had fried rice, egg rolls, etc.

Suggestions? Mini-Pigs in blankets, popcorn, maybe big pretzels?. Any way to do nachos for a group? What for dessert? (These people love dessert).

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  1. Could you do a nachos bar? Set aside the chips, the cheese sauce, a bunch of toppings and let people do their own? I'd also have peanuts (if you're outside, let people shell them themselves). Good call on the pigs in blankets - those should be pretty inexpensive. For dessert, nix the popcorn and do candy corn.

    1. Love the nacho bar idea! I was once at a party with a chili bar. It has beef, chicken, and vegan chili, and lots of toppings, cheese, sour cream, scallions, bacon, etc. This might also work well.

      Also, potato skins are very cheap when home made, and go with the sports theme. A little time consuming.

      I love the soft pretzel idea. I work for a catering company and we do homemade cheese filled pretzel bites (just wrap the dough around a cheese of your choice and cook normally). We serve them with beer mustard for dipping. They're very homey but people love them even at the fancy weddings we do.

      Another idea would be various dips. Salsa, spinach artichoke, seven layer dip etc. Serve with chips, maybe crostini.

      This might be too expensive, but it might be cute to grill up sliders. Serve with gerkins and mustard and there you go. You could even serve mini hotdogs too.

      Another possibly too expensive idea would be buffalo (or other flavored) chicken wings.

      Desert could be chocolate fondue with pretzels, marshmallows and fruit. You could also do a variety of cookies. Homemade popsicles might go well with the sports theme, and there are endless flavors, from tame to truly out-there. A sundae bar also reminds me of sports.

      For drink you could do soda, Arnold Palmers and lemonade.

      This sounds so much fun! Reminds me of planning elaborate super bowl parties as a kid.

      3 Replies
      1. re: luciaannek

        The seven-layer dip is a real crowd pleaser. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be cheaper and easier than the bar that Katecm mentioned, but I like that as well. The wings are a great idea, maybe buying in quantity would cut back on the costs? Soft pretzels sound terrific for this event as well, luv it!

        1. re: luciaannek

          Thanks to everyone who replied. But we have to nix the idea of a "help yuurself" type nacho bar. Lat year I worked a similar party- all pot luck with main dishes etc on one side of the room and desserts on the other. While people were still bringing in the food and setting up, some people started to "drift" over to the dessert area and started to pick away things! had to cover both tables with clothes. And at another group we have learned that you have to dole out the fried chicken (and OMG what they do to shrimp!!). Otherwise, they will stack up their plate sky high, taking 4 pieces of chicken when the rest of the tables haven't been called. Yes, we have to call the tables in a totally fair way or we'd have all 100 people standing in line 2 seconds after the party starts.

          1. re: LynnTTT

            Gosh, sounds like a rough crowd!

            I was once foxed into going to a TGIFridays with someone, and they had this "perfect nacho" appetizer where they just took each chip and put the topping right on them and baked them up. This would turn them into a bite that could be passed rather than a make your own type deal.

            Are you going to have people working the food tables? It sounds like your guests may need supervision. It might go a long way to enlist some local kids to dole out food for people. You'd probably have to pay the kids 20 bucks each, but it would ensure that every one was served and might even keep overall food costs down (less food going in the garbage uneaten).

        2. Drinks: House-made "sports drinks." Should be fairly easy to mimic the Power/Gatorade flavors and even make it better.

          There are so many sports foods. I'd narrow it down to 4 items, each representing the championship cities of the 4 major sports. So, we have:

          Football: Green Bay
          Baseball: San Francisco
          Basketball: Dallas
          Hockey: Boston

          With football I think of tailgating and grills. The Packers have the cheeseheads thing going. So, I'll go with grilled pizzas. Wisconsin style with a good variety of cheeses and maybe some brats for a topping. The flour dominates here, so that should keep costs low.

          Baseball brings up memories of hotdogs and cracker jacks. San Francisco is diverse, so you could go anywhere with this. The most inexpensive way would be to go with AT&T Park's garlic and parsley french fries. Chicken hotdog with a sourdough bun and... Not sure about the toppings (the diversity is overwhelming!); tempted to go with an Asian salsa. Ghirardelli is stationed in the area, so an option would be to shape ice cream into a baseball, red syrup for the stitches and some Ghirardelli chocolate on the side or topped.

          Dallas... Texas... BBQ. Grill some kind of meat. If not, Texas Chili. Toss in some German sausages for extra touch.

          Hockey and Boston. So many foods... I'd go with Boston cream pie with a dark chocolate ganache, so the whole thing looks like a hockey puck. Bonus points for having individual sized!

          1 Reply
          1. re: ediblover

            I'd be careful and stay away from the Gatorade/Powerade drinks with as they are very high in sodium and calories. Since the party is for seniors many will be on meds for blood pressure and cardiac issues, not to forget the high number of diabetics who would also have problems due to both the sodium and calorie content. JMHO

          2. Hot dogs
            Grilled sausage in buns
            Chili
            Pre-made subs (deli meats, cheese, etc, etc) wrapped in foil, heated & kept warm until needed.
            Peanuts/popcorn
            Pizza
            If you do a buffet, don't have a make-you- own situation, takes too long.
            Sorry, I'm redundant. I see you have had this experience.