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Old 08-12-2013, 05:19 PM   #1
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ISO - Something New For Son's Birthday Party

We are having my son's birthday party next month (3yo) and having somewhere been 25-35 people coming over. We have cooked for that size several times before, but are wanting to try some new recipes.

Normally we cook the proteins and main food while the rest of the family makes all the sides. In the past we have done pulled pork in crock pot and smoked brisket on smoker much to people's delight.

We were thinking though of switching out the brisket and possibly the pork for new items, but not quite sure what to do that cooks at such scale so easily.

The can't be too "foody" as teenagers still have to eat it and many of the adults are not that food adventurous.

Would love for any suggestions.


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Old 08-12-2013, 05:42 PM   #2
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You could smoke a couple of turkeys and get enough meat to serve everyone. Teens like turkey too.

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Old 08-12-2013, 06:01 PM   #3
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How about a boneless pork leg, marinated, slow roasted on the bbq, (way easier than it sounds) and sliced thinly, served with soft buns, or pita, with some greens, toppings such as pickles, raw onions, hot banana peppers,etc, and a few sauces(garlic, mustard-mayo and bbq) Set up a buffet table and they can all build their own. And a bunch of side dishes to round out the meal....
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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TNT for kids - spaghetti bake. You can do it a million ways. With my daughters we just made several different pasta's and then made several different sauces and made like a pasta bar. Every thing from Pesto to meat sauce. Add in a couple loafs of french bread and you are good to go.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:18 PM   #5
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We went to a graduation party a couple months ago, they had a baked potato bar. We thought it was brilliant, a roaster with big baked potatoes, along with all sorts of toppings like broccoli, cheese and cheese sauce, bacon, ham, sour cream, chili, etc.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:47 PM   #6
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A taco bar is fun. Have beef and chicken options and lots of toppings. Mexican rice, guacamole, a couple of salsas, corn-black bean salad, etc. Check Rick Bayless's site for recipes.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:57 AM   #7
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I have done these with great success

Pasta party----fun shapes pasta for the kids, zitz , crock pot of sauce, Lasagna, meatballs, sausage, big green salad, bread, and small dinner rolls for kids

Big hit was --Taco Party -- soft tortilla, hard shells, I found some mini taco shell for the kids and I use a lg biscuit cutter and made smaller flour tortillas for the il ones., ground beef, chicken, shredded pork,
all the fixings , beans, rice, lettuce, onion, tomatoes, cheeses, olives, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, etc.

Another big hit was Hot dog party - mini dogs , regular size dogs, coneys, with topping bar --sauerkraut, chili, relishes, pickles, onions, cheeses. cole slaw, ketchup , several kinds of mustard. etc.
Took dinner rolls cut them in 1/2 to make mini then put a slit in them to make mini rolls for the ones that wanted their mini dog in a roll.
Took biscuits (Tube ones) cut in 1/2 and then took mini dogs and wrapped the biscuits around then making into a mini roll and baked them. ( they disappeared with the kids in a flash) Then just added, potato salad and mac salad, chips and dips.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:18 AM   #8
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Bar, did someone say BAR!

I like the idea of a bar/buffet for a large group. Tacos, burgers, hot dogs, lots of topping and sides. The tweens and teens can gross each other out with various toppings, the dieters can pick and choose, it seems to work for everyone.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:06 PM   #9
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One of the more successful kid's gatherings I've been to was one where the host made lasagna in foil pans. He said it was quite economical and easy, especially if you use the lasagna sheets that don't require pre-cooking.

Sophisticated enough for the parents, but still fun food that the kiddies won't turn up their noses at.

Add side salad and garlic bread, and you have a complete meal.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:39 PM   #10
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Something we've been making in the family since our own kids were small (5ish the first time) is Pound-Of. As in: pound each of elbow, rotini and ziti pastas - basically a pound each of 3 different shapes as I've also used bowties and wagonwheels. Pound of ground beef, Italian sausage (bulk or slices of grilled links), pepperoni (we found 1/4 pound to be plenty enough). Pound of grated mozzarella cheese, some mixed in and some saved for a topper. And lots of jars of your favorite sauce - unless you want to simmer quarts of homemade. Cook things up as if for any casserole then mix well, put in those foil baking pans you can find everywhere, and bake.

I still make this for Himself and myself - but it's now One-fourth Pound Of with plenty of leftovers.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
We went to a graduation party a couple months ago, they had a baked potato bar. We thought it was brilliant, a roaster with big baked potatoes, along with all sorts of toppings like broccoli, cheese and cheese sauce, bacon, ham, sour cream, chili, etc.
They have a push cart at Fanueil Hall (Tourist Trap) here in Boston. It is the biggest food hit in the whole place. Just baked potatoes with any topping you can imagine. Absolute genius! Even on the hottest days of summer. Even fussy eaters love baked potatoes. Including kids. I know every time I went there, it was always the place I headed for. And if I was working in the area, I would go get one for my lunch. Love those crispy skins. They just didn't put a pat of butter on the potato, they poured melted butter all over it. They are very generous with the toppings.
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jabbur View Post
You could smoke a couple of turkeys and get enough meat to serve everyone. Teens like turkey too.

Second this. Consider doing just drum sticks and smoking them. Drumsticks are easy to eat as they have a handle and you can add some comforting sides that will be kid friendly. Maybe a mac n cheese, some slaw, a carrot raisin salad, steamed veggies, etc.

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