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Jun 30, 2013 12:24 PM

Critique my 4th Menu

We'll have between 25-40 and I'm the mother to 2 young children so I'm trying to keep it simple (this year) but I'm open to more creative options. I'm cooking for all ages in a fairly traditional area (caprese is okay with this group, carpaccio, no)


Veggie tray (brought by guest)
Fruit tray (brought by guest)
Clam Dip (family tradition)
Chips and homemade pico de gallo (or cheese straws)

Smoked, pulled pork BBQ sandwiches
Tyler Florence's Potato Salad
Caprese Salad (brought by guest)
Fannie Farmer's Mac N Cheese
Pioneer Woman baked beans

I could sub in a quinoa salad or a nice chopped salad- I feel like the menu could be too starchy?

Dessert is
Chocolate icebox cake (brought by guest)
Either a vanilla/strawberry icebox cake or banana cream pie

Thoughts? Suggestions?

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  1. Add a chopped salad (greens and veggies), the rest sounds great.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wyogal

      I agree w/ WyoGal - I would add a chopped salad and let guests add on what else they like (onions, dressings, olives, etc). But in my world, I'd skip the cornbread unless you know it's going to get eaten. I only use the cornbread when something SCREAMS cornbread, like chili. I'd stick with the chips and homemade pico de gallo ilo the cheese straws. Less work and a cool "crunch" for the summer time.

      Bless you for hostessing. Gah! 25 - to 40 people AND wee ones!

    2. I don't think two cakes are going to be nearly enough for 25-40!

      1. Maybe something green?

        -Cold szchuen green beans. Easy to make ahead and all done in the micro. Easily doubled. Adjust the spice level accordingly.
        -cold cucumber/red onion salad. Thinly slice both, toss with sherry or champagne vinegar. The longer they sit the sweeter they get.
        -big mixed green salad with shredded carrots, cukes, cherry tomatoes, etc. Dressing on the side so it stays fresher longer.
        -platter of grilled roasted veggies: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, egg plant, zucchini, etc all tossed with olive oil and fresh basil

        Agree that 2 cakes or 1 cake and a pie are not enough for all those people. Are they those big sheet cakes? That might work. Maybe add a platter of assorted cookies

        How many kids are there? Could you add a cooler stocked with ice and hoodsie cups for them?

        1. Pretty much nailed it IMHO. Personal preference is for jalapeƱo & cheese cornbread. And since you have slaw, no need to feel compelled to add a lettuce salad -- never sells much at these things anyway.

          1. Work on your Cole Slaw. There are many regional variations. Make it festive. Purple, Green (cabbage) and gold. (carrots). Some onion and pepper rings if you like, With a festive and tasty slaw there is no need for a Salad. ~~ Cornbread? Meh. If you do make it don't make a plain bread. Think Broccoli or Mexican, or.......