Our dog rescue group does the food (hospitality) for a dog show in May. We have access to an industrial kitchen, but I am the only volunteer who cooks (I kid you not, the others use the microwave and eat "pre-packaged" food). We are given a budget of $1000. We have to serve lunch 3 days (30, 50, 60 people). We also have to provide snacks. We have a couple of crock pots, and two "warming pads." People come in from 11:30-2:30 for lunch. So we need stuff that keeps. Often it is bloody hot on that weekend, other times, it is cold. About $300 of the budget goes for bottled water, pop, paper plates, etc. So we have about $700 for food.
lasagne (didn't work well because of the timing)
cheese and meat platters
chicken wings (bought those at M&M)--they liked those
chili (always a hit)
I'm trying to come up with the "main" dishes for the three days (chili is one). I was thinking Shepard's pie...and maybe do the wings again. Thoughts? We are not caterers....I was also thinking of maybe doing a rolled pork tenderloin (several of them....).
I usually have a homemade soup each day--my favorites have been Italian Wedding Soup, a vegetarian soup (for those who don't like chili or can't eat it), and chicken noodle soup.
We usually have muffins (I make up the batter and those are made there while the coffee's brewing...draws people in <g>) and cookies: peanut butter, Neiman Marcus Cookies, Applesauce cookies.
I drop everything off on Thursday and two volunteers come and help prep stuff on Friday. The gal who handles stuff on Saturday DOES NOT cook so things have to be stuff she can put in the oven--she does a great job re: presentation, but DOES NOT cook (I had to tell her how to make cole slaw...she thought it came in containers...). I usually go on Sunday because I have to bring my stuff home, so I help on Sundays.
I don't have a lot of spare freezer space, but ideas re: stuff I can make now?
And, BTW, since we started making the salads, etc., we have been able to return about $250 to the Club every year--even with the increases in food prices. This is our 7th year of doing this. It does put $ in our rescue group's account, so I'd like to do it again, I'm just at lost this year re: ideas because the gal who used to work with me on the ideas has moved on--her parents are failing and she doesn't have time. But, with all the folks on the Forum, I should be able to replace K.'s help <g>.