In addition to my regular menu planning this weekend, I had to finalize our party menu, too!Â Saturday was our bi-monthly Sam’s shopping trip–excellent timing on that one–so we took advantage of already being in the warehouse store to stock up on the usual goods plus anything else we’d need for party food.
Todd’s trunk was so weighed down it made alarming noises when we stopped at red lights! And there was no way everything was fitting in the pantry, so party prep items are still hanging out at the end of the dining room table until needed. I’d estimate we spend $200-$300 extra in groceries when prepping for a big party like this, and it always feels like money well spent. Our guests have plenty of options and the leftovers feed us (and sometimes our offices) in the days after the party so we don’t have to worry about cooking after the fun. It all evens out.
Speaking of those options, this is what the menu is currently set at:
Spanish Pulled Pork with Kings Hawaiian Rolls
Vegan Corn Chowder*
Roast Beef and Swiss Pinwheels
Smoked Gouda Pimento Cheese Pinwheels
Bacon-Wrapped Artichoke Hearts*
Spicy Black Bean Dip* with assorted crackers and chips
Chocolate Chip Brownies*
Paladin Punch* (non-alcholic)
Mulled Apple Cider
Black Juleps (whiskey)
Beer: Yuengling Oktoberfest and Not Your Father’s Root Beer
Assorted wine, sodas, full bar, and mixers are always available
(Menu items marked with an * are from my cookbook, What to Feed Your Raiding Party.)
It’s very similar to last year’s menu with a lot of “fan favorites” like the bacon-wrapped artichoke hearts and the pinwheels. I had multiple dips on last year’s menu, but with so much food they got overlooked, so I slimmed it down to only one (and one that is always a hit at out parties). I also had a couple more desserts on the menu for last year, but I know that at least one guest is bringing a couple of sweet items for the table, so I lessened my to-do list knowing that we’ll have plenty.
And last year’s table was so jammedÂ full that I thought it would be nice to have a little more room to maneuver this year!
This picture is from last year, too–I like to plan what is going where on the table and what serving dishes I’ll need before I start filling platters and dressing up the table. It looks like we only had 2 of the 3 leaves in place–I guess we only added the third leaf for Thanksgiving, though we’ve left it in place since. Good! That means we’ll have even more room to work with!
Okay, now back to work on my costume!