Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Anniversary Party - Food

In planning the Anniversary party, we really had to sit down and think about food. When you are expected to feed 50+ people, you really have to set a budget and figure out how much food you will need. We went with a simple and cost-effective approach, since we really wanted to spend money on good wine. After much debate and about 2 hours at Sam's Club, we spent $200 on ALL the food for the party. Yes, you heard me correctly. Usually that covers dinner for 8 at a moderately priced restaurant these days, but not 50+ people. So what exactly did we serve? Scroll down for the results.

First, since our food theme was wine and cheese, we spent a good deal of money on big block cheeses, and luckily, Sam's Club had a wonderful selection. We chose cheeses that guests could cut themselves and add to an array of crackers. We had Brie, Goat Cheese, Blue Cheese, Sharp Cheddar, and Asiago. While there are many other wonderful options, like Gruyere and Jarlsberg, we wanted simple and recognizable cheeses that most everyone would like. They were plated on large wood cutting boards with cheese knives, and had wine cork place cards to identify them.

We had other delicious goodies to accompany the cheese. A fruit plate of red and green seedless grapes, and fresh strawberries was paired with a vanilla Greek yogurt sauce. The vegetable spread featured broccoli, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, red, yellow, and orange peppers, and was paired with hummus. Even though they sell prepared trays of fruit and vegetables at any grocery store, it is cheaper to buy in bulk and take a few minutes to prepare the trays yourself. This gives you a better looking spread, and while it may not save you time, it does save you a ton of money, and truthfully, they can be prepared the night before! We also served shrimp cocktail, tortilla chips with a homemade blue cheese dip, and marinated olives to complete the spread.

As the main course, we decided to have a mini sandwich bar in which guests could make their own from an array of options. We purchased small dinner rolls, roast beef, ham, and turkey, and had toppings of tomatoes, onions, lettuce, Swiss and cheddar cheeses, bacon, olive tapenade, tzaziki sauce, honey mustard, BBQ sauce, horseradish and the usual mayonnaise and mustard. We figured the amount of sandwiches to be about 85 total, since there were 50+ people, and some (mostly the hungry men) would want more than one.

And who could forget dessert? Not us! We served another beautiful spread of homemade chocolate, dark chocolate, and spice brownies, lemon poppy seed cookies, curry vanilla bars, and a store bought chocolate cake.

All the food paired wonderfully with the good wine and casual atmosphere. While it doesn't look like that much of a meal, guests were constantly hovered over the food tables, and not one of them left hungry!

No comments:

Post a Comment