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Old 05-07-2018, 06:47 PM   #1
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Help plan backyard bash

I have been asked to help throw a backyard b-day bash for a friend and could use some ideas.

The bash would be in someone elses yard - not mine and there would be limited prep time. It's for one of those 'important' b-days that ends in 0

About 80 folks have been invited and they are coming around dinner time so either heavy munchies or some sort of buffet/dinner.

There is a kitchen available and a Weber gas grill in the yard as well as tables and chairs. The aim here is easy AND nice; there are respectable folks coming..

Any menu ideas?

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Old 05-07-2018, 06:59 PM   #2
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Burgers are easy, and you can set up a toppings bar for people to build their own burger. Potato salad can be made the day before (and taste better than fresh).

Fajitas or tacos are good for "build your own," too. Rent a Margarita machine for fun adult beverages.

That's just a couple ideas.

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Old 05-07-2018, 07:20 PM   #3
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You can make salads and sides ahead of time and then cook the meat just before you eat..so, whatever you decide this will make it easy for you
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:22 PM   #4
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also rent a nachos machine...

That along with a margarita machine is always a hit. My daughter has had them on several occasions for her big backyard parties...
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:47 PM   #5
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I would do a traditional backyard cookout with the best hot dogs, burgers, and rolls available in your area.

Lemonade with or without and iced tea.

Add a short buffet line of condiments, salads, baked beans, chips and dips.

Finish with an ice cold watermelon, brownies, lemon bars, oatmeal cookies, ice cream cones or bars, etc...

Maybe even some marshmallows for toasting or some upscale smores for dessert!

Make sure that grill has a fresh tank of propane!!!
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for the ideas. This will be an entirely adult crowd and the Marquita machine sounds like a great idea - I didn't know that this even existed :)

I'm thinking burgers will be too casual but need it to be as simple as burgers. Maybe something like spiral cut hams and turkey breast on rolls with fixins and sides?

Skewered things with sides?
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:01 PM   #7
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Pulled pork sliders on Kings Hawaiian rolls are usually a hit at outdoor parties, and they're easy on the cook. Maybe a vinaigrette based pasta salad for one of the sides...?

We were posting at the same time...although I was slow. A spiral cut ham sounds great!
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:09 PM   #8
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Cooks Country just did an episode on BBQ baked beans that looks outstanding. That's something you can/must make ahead and just reheat for service.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:46 PM   #9
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Thanks for the ideas. This will be an entirely adult crowd and the Marquita machine sounds like a great idea - I didn't know that this even existed :)

I'm thinking burgers will be too casual but need it to be as simple as burgers. Maybe something like spiral cut hams and turkey breast on rolls with fixins and sides?

Skewered things with sides?
Margarita machines can be rented, and delivered to your party location and set up. You add the ingredients and tequila, and they pretty much take care of them selves. They come and pick up the machine a day or two after the party.

Check out Mexican restaurants that have catering. They will probably rent margarita machines. Some good liquor stores have them to rent, too.

I've rented them, and they have always been a big hit with guests.

CD

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Old 05-07-2018, 08:53 PM   #10
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Pulled pork sliders on Kings Hawaiian rolls are usually a hit at outdoor parties, and they're easy on the cook. Maybe a vinaigrette based pasta salad for one of the sides...?

We were posting at the same time...although I was slow. A spiral cut ham sounds great!
+1.

You can make pulled pork in the days preceeding, or even the night before in crock pots. Once they're cooled and shredded, all you have to do the day of the party is add bbq sauce while packing it into aluminum serving trays and reheat in an oven. And who doesn't love King's rolls?
We also almost have either a pasta salad (elbow mac, diced trinity, mayo, optional canned tuna stired in), or a baked ziti; another make-ahead dish thst you can re-heat with the pulled pork.

Pre-mixed, bagged leafy salads are always easy to append with with whole grape tomatoes and sugar snap peas, and things like sesame seeds, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
I mention whole veggies because the leftovers last longer with unsliced veggies.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:07 PM   #11
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+1.

You can make pulled pork in the days preceeding, or even the night before in crock pots. Once they're cooled and shredded, all you have to do the day of the party is add bbq sauce while packing it into aluminum serving trays and reheat in an oven. And who doesn't love King's rolls?
We also almost have either a pasta salad (elbow mac, diced trinity, mayo, optional canned tuna stired in), or a baked ziti; another make-ahead dish thst you can re-heat with the pulled pork.

Pre-mixed, bagged leafy salads are always easy to append with while grape tomatoes and sugar snap peas.
I mention whole veggies because the leftovers last longer with unsliced veggies.
I'm with you most of the way. In these parts, pulled pork is BBQ, which means about 10-12 hours of low and slow cooking on a smoker. BBQ sauce is added by the guest -- only if they want it. But yes, you can make it the day before, and re-heat it.

Granted, a pork butt is probably the easiest thing to BBQ, and it works with rolls or flour tortillas. If you use tortillas, you can get away with calling it carnitas.

As for King's Hawaiian rolls -- I never quite got the memo. Forgive me K-Girl, but they just don't do anything for me. They taste like processed bread in a plastic bag (I hope I don't get banned from DC for saying that).

I'm with you completely on pasta salads. Like potato salads, they taste better the day after you make them.

One other consideration. If there will not be enough table space for everyone to sit down and eat, make sure the food is easy to eat with one hand, with the other hand holding a plate.

CD
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:25 PM   #12
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Casey, Janet is in the Pacific Northwest, so pulled pork is a bit more lax than it is in Texas - although someday I would love to try a down home Texas pulled pork dish.

I get the impression the outdoor birthday dinner party is kind of a step above hamburgers and hot dogs, while still making it easy on the cook(s), as well as the guests. Trust me....if there's not seating for everyone, pulled pork on a flour tortilla is not easy for a lady to manage while holding a plate.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:57 PM   #13
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As for King's Hawaiian rolls -- I never quite got the memo. Forgive me K-Girl, but they just don't do anything for me. They taste like processed bread in a plastic bag (I hope I don't get banned from DC for saying that).

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Old 05-07-2018, 10:13 PM   #14
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A pizza bar by the grill? You could use 5he pre-cooked pizza crusts like the ones by Boboli, or even store bought naan or pita, set out the cheeses, sauces and toppings, and let ‘em tear into it! Or use tortillas for a grilled tostada bar.
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:14 PM   #15
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I agree about the kings rolls - they are sort of sweetish seems well.. wrong.

Pulled pork is an interesting idea and being from the northwest (and probably unqualified to make the real deal) I've made this before in a crock pot.

It's also just about salmon season and so I've wondered about grilling little chuncks of salmon to go on rolls - sort of hamburger style. Fish on the grill is tricky however and doesn't hold well and there will be 80 people....

The link to the food and wine article has me wondering about ice cream now...hmmm.
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:27 PM   #16
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How big is your grill?

Grilling 80 portions of salmon safely will be tricky, but it appears you don't want to go easy.

So, for appys, how about bacon wrapped around jumbo shrimp and a slice of water chestnut, and a spicy/sweet chili dipping sauce. Times 160 (people will want at least 2) I've been craving that, lol.

As far as ice cream goes, you're gonna need about 8 to 10 gallons, plus toppings if so inclined.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I agree about the kings rolls - they are sort of sweetish seems well.. wrong.

Pulled pork is an interesting idea and being from the northwest (and probably unqualified to make the real deal) I've made this before in a crock pot.

It's also just about salmon season and so I've wondered about grilling little chuncks of salmon to go on rolls - sort of hamburger style. Fish on the grill is tricky however and doesn't hold well and there will be 80 people....

The link to the food and wine article has me wondering about ice cream now...hmmm.
Bake the salmon chunks in foil on the grill, grill pineapple slices, for your smokey flavor, add to rolls. Salmon for 80 is a lot of salmon.
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:43 AM   #18
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If you are thinking about pulled pork and don’t have a smoker, I would recommend Kayelle’s kalua pork—crockpot, recipe from DC 6/10/2010. As an alternate for those who do not prefer pork, make pulled chicken to go along side the pulled pork. Sauces choices on the side to be added by guests, bowl of cole slaw for topping, or quick vinegary cucumber slices. Advantages with pulled meats, is it can be served plated or on a bun for sammies. It can be made well in advance and frozen, thawed and crocked on party day.

And, as long as I’m naming names, one of our summer faves is Cheryl’s kick butt corn salad. Pretty sure it has another name, this is the best. Not sure what's in the original recipe anymore, since I've played with it over time.-- I use way less olive oil and add more lime juice, cumin, jalapeno/ serrano chilies, black olives
Black Bean and Corn Salad

I like Hawaiian rolls if they are served with something sturdy, like ham not so much with saucy foods.

Mixed fruit salad, or pineapple spears or watermelon triangles served icy cold.

The guest of honor’s favorite cookie, made into ice cream sandwiches. You will be bringing these from the freezer just before serving, so will be a surprise.
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:50 AM   #19
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If you have some help in the kitchen sandwich and wrap platters might be a good option for the main course.

Some basic ham, turkey, roast beef and some fillings like shrimp salad, chicken salad, etc... Good bread, plenty of fresh veggies, etc...

Everything could be prepped ahead with a small team to assemble them at the last minute.

If you have nerves of steel you could offer a grilled panini or a warm beef tenderloin sandwich from the grill but being a coward I would keep it simple.

Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2018, 08:01 AM   #20
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Thinking of easy, a Cuban style meal consisting of Roast or crockpot pork butts which can be marinated 3 days out, cooked the day before and reheated the day of. Big pot of black beans using canned, made the day before and reheated the day of. Rice can be made the day of. As an alternative to the pork butt, make picadillo which will go well with the black beans and rice. This can be made the day before. Serve salad and coleslaw for sides. If you can't get Pan Cubano, get a light, long bread from the grocery or bakery. Mojo can be made using either bottled sour orange juice or equal amounts of orange and lime juice. Just an idea.
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