Cooking for a Crowd
Want to do your own cooking for your Graduation Party? Do a search in Google using keywords like "cooking for a crowd". You'll find lots of tips and recipes!
Doubling or tripling a recipe may not always work
So be careful with this unless you've tried it before. It may be safer to cook two or three batches rather than doubling the recipe. Or look for recipes for large numbers. There are plenty on the Internet and you may even be able to find a recipe book meant for large crowds.
Prepare as much as possible ahead of time
You may not be able to cook everything ahead of time but you can certainly chop, pre-cook (where possible), and pre-mix (where possible). Even pre-measuring may save you a lot of time on the day of your party. Of course, keep in mind where you are going to store everything. If you have limited refrigerator space there may be only so much you can do ahead of time. Don't be shy about borrowing your neighbor's fridge space if you need to!
Ask for help!
If you want to cook and bake for the party that's great. However, it would be a shame if you had to spend the whole time in the kitchen instead of enjoying the party. Consider asking a friend or two to help you in kitchen finishing the cooking and preparing the food to serve.
Keep hot things hot and cold things cold
For hot foods, borrow or rent chafing dishes, warming trays or buffet servers. And don't forget the Sterno or electrical extension cords! For cold foods, use bus tubs or kiddie pools filled with ice. Be careful about keeping foods out for a long period of time without keeping them properly chilled or heated.
Make several smaller trays of the same food instead of one large tray
Smaller trays are easier to store plus it's better to replace empty trays with full ones rather than adding food to existing trays.
Recipes for a crowd
Not sure what you can make for so many people? Here are some of our favorite grad-pleasing party recipes:
Cheesy Chicken for 50
Macaroni Salad for 50
Bean Salad for 30
Brunch Baked Omelet (3 pans for 40 people)
Taco Bar (for 10 people, multiply for total guests)
Mexican Roll-Ups (for 20 people, multiply for total guests)
Meat & Cheese Tray for 50
Deli Sandwiches for 50
Fruit Tray with Fruit Dip for 50
Veggie Tray with Ranch Dip for 50
We saw this idea for chocolate mortarboards in the Family Fun magazine (great magazine!). Place miniature peanut butter cups, bottom up, on a plate. Top with a small dollop of peanut butter, then press on chocolate covered graham crackers. For a tassel, cut up a long rectangle of fruit roll-ups, keeping part of the little square in tact, cut little tassels. Stick on top of cookie. This is a great project to have younger siblings help with – and they look so cute!