Food and Party Planning Ideas
Don't Make Hosting a Graduation Party Like a Final
An easy graduation buffet is the
perfect way for the parents to enjoy the celebration
along with the guests. It's a time of new beginnings
for the graduates but also an opportunity to honor
all the people who have shared in their
accomplishments. And what better way to gather them
together than an open house?
Work Ahead. Preparing the food a couple of days
ahead helps reduce a last-minute rush and confusion.
Serve simple, but inviting foods. Foods dont have
to require a lot of time to look like a work of art
or be tasty and inviting.
A buffet set-up is easiest if the
graduation party is in an open-house format. Serve a
menu to match the theme of the party if you are
using a specific theme, or serve traditional teen
favorites such as a taco bar or built-to-order
nachos, mini pizzas or burgers and hot dogs. Great
staples for a buffet style finger food meal include
chicken wings, meatballs, salads, veggies and dip,
and an assortment of fresh fruits with dip.
Remember that you will much
rather have leftovers than a sparse spread at your
buffet line, but here is a guide for you when you
are estimating your food quantities for your buffet.
For individual meats, fish, poultry:
5 - 6 ounces per person
If the cuts of meat have bones in them, consider
adding more weight per person.
For multiple meat meals and buffets:
4 - 6 ounces per person
For pasta dishes:
A pound will serve 4 - 6 people.
With a premixed salad, estimate one handful per
One head of lettuce will feed approximately 5
people, 4 medium heads will serve 15-20.
Estimate about 8 items total per person.
Make 3-4 of each item per person, keeping in mind
that everyone may not take all of the items.
Calculate one full portion of dessert per person.
For multiple desserts, people will taste smaller
portions of each item.
Use disposable tableware, a good
quality paper plate and disposable plastic glasses.
For a touch of "diplomacy," roll white buffet
napkins (paper or cloth) around flatware and hold
them together with small tassels or ribbons.
To keep salads cold you can use
either small ";kiddie" pools filled with ice or buy
several "bus tubs" from your local restaurant store.
You'll find they will take less ice to keep salads
cold and can easily be stored and used again.
You can get inexpensive chafing
dishes now to keep hot food hot that can be thrown
out after the party with aluminum inserts. The
holders can be reused multiple times and can be
found for under $10.00. Don't forget to buy the
Make small trays of cold meats,
appetizers and keep a backup ready. It looks better
to replace the whole tray than to keep adding to the
one on the table. The same goes for salads. Don't
leave any food setting out for over 2 hours. If it
does, toss it, no one wants sick guests!
Make everything ahead of time,
and store hot items in a warming tray, or in an oven
set at 200 degrees.
Desserts can be a graduation cake
that you make or order from the bakery. You can also
do a dessert table which is always fabulous and
people love them. Set up the table away from the
buffet line and place desserts out after people have
gone thru the buffet.
If you are setting tables up and
decorating them, don't forget to buy a few
disposable cameras to set on the tables. Encourage
people to use them with a small handwritten note
attached to or under the camera. It is also fun to
set up a spot for picture taking with the graduate.
Decorate an area in school colors or to match your
party theme if you have one. Have some scrapbooking
paper available for everyone to leave a special
memory or best wishes to the graduate with. You can
make a scrapbook for the graduate later.
Here's the hardest tip of all,
relax and enjoy the day, after all you've earned it