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Cook Talk

Graduation for 250
Patty
04/12/12
This is my third child graduating and I have cooked all the food for the other 2. The first one, I had way too much food. I wrote down all the quantities and did a much better job figuring out for the 2nd one. However, I have changed the menu. Here is the problem - using your site I would have planned for at least 18 dozen rolls. For both parties, we used less than 10 dozen. We used less than 18 lbs. of pasta. The same is true for almost every other food. Is it the time of the party 2-6 PM? Is it because there are other parties the same day? Do I have too many foods? Here is my current menu and estimates: Pasta - Rigatoni 15 lbs. and Tortellini 10 lbs. Sausage with Peppers and Onions: 35 lbs. sausage, 18 peppers, 13 onions, plus sauce. Meatballs - 500. Tossed Salad - 12 lbs. mix (plus olives, tomatoes, croutons. Caesar Salad - 15 Heads of Romaine. Rolls - 12 dozen. Cheesy Potatoes-5 trays. Chocolate Fountain with Oreos, Ruffles, Marshmallows, pretzels, strawberries, pineapple, graham crackers. 2 sheet cakes, 15-20 dozen cookies. I am having a Pasta station where the pasta is cooked to order. I will be having garlic, onions, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes with choice of Red Sauce and an Alfredo. I will also have Chicken and Shrimp to add to the pasta (which will be added by a "chef"). How much Chicken and Shrimp do I need? How do I keep the chicken moist? Do I need another vegetable (green bean almondine) on the buffet?
ellen
04/12/12
Parties 2-6 pm count as receptions and use 1/4 to 1/3 less food that my tables, which are set up for full meal buffets.

Pasta - Rigatoni 15 lbs. and Tortellini 10 lbs.
Is this in addition to the pasta bar? How much more pasta?

Sausage with Peppers and Onions: 35 lbs. sausage, 18 peppers, 13 onions, plus sauce. OK. probably none left

Meatballs - 500. 1 pound per 6
Tossed Salad - 12 lbs. mix (plus olives, tomatoes, croutons. OK
Caesar Salad - 15 Heads of Romaine.
Rolls - 12 dozen. OK
Cheesy Potatoes-5 trays.

Plenty of desserts.
Chocolate Fountain with Oreos, Ruffles, Marshmallows, pretzels, strawberries, pineapple, graham crackers. Check amounts on the chocolate fountain article.

2 sheet cakes, 15-20 dozen cookies.

You need to write back about the pasta. Amounts of chicken and shrimp will depend on how much pasta.

Patty
04/13/12
The pasta and shrimp and chicken are all on a pasta station being manned by a chef. I actually will have 21 lbs. Rigatoni (I checked to see how much I already bought) and 10 lbs. Tortellini. The chef will saute the veggies and chicken and shrimp and then add the pasta to the saute pan. It will be plated on small plates. Then the guest have the option of adding white or red sauce and meatballs. For both my sons parties, I used approximately 18 lbs. of pasta. Similar menus, but I did not have a pasta station. There was another graduation party at the same location with many crossover friends which will hold true for this party also. The weather for all the parties was hot. All the cookies (I had 20 dozen) were gone as was the cake. I had probably 5 lbs. of pasta left and I had tons of sausage. I gave away a tray of potatoes. The only thing different with the other two is that I made 40 lbs. of chicken francaise (instead of the chicken on the pasta station) and I had probably 10 lbs. of chicken left. I am okay with running out of an item or two. People know that I am self catering and all are close family and friends. If I run out of shrimp or chicken we still have plenty of other items. I don't want to run out of pasta, but I don't want to be eating pasta for weeks either. We are within 5 minutes of a grocery store so we can have someone run if we need during the party.
ellen
04/13/12
Sounds like you have it under control. At a minimum, 20 pounds of shrimp (get frozen, thaw only as needed after the first 10 pounds). People LOVE shrimp. 20 pounds boneless chicken, strips.

I think you could go to 25 pounds sausage with the second party and this menu.

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