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Cook Talk

Sweet 16 party for 35 people
AnnB
brittingham4@comcast.net
08/08/05
Help! I'm planning a sweet 16 party for my daughter and expect 65 people. I'm thinking kid-type food - nothing fancy. Any suggestions? How much food do I need?
AnnB
brittingham4@comcast.net
08/08/05
Sweet 16 party for 65people
Help! I'm planning a sweet 16 party for my daughter and expect 65 people. I'm thinking kid-type food - nothing fancy. Any suggestions? How much food do I need?
ellen

08/09/05
You need about what you would make for 100 adults, check the quantities for 100 page.
Cheap Chick
pcjunkychic@yahoo.com
08/10/05
I just had a sweet 16 party for 30 people & I served hamburgers & hotdogs. I had many kinds of chips in bowels on my table & breakfast bar witha bowel of salsa. I had corn chips, fritos, potato chips, sour cream, bbq & cheese puffs. I have a big garden so I had trays of fresh cucumbers, carrots & other veggies with ranch. My Dear Hubby cooked 1 1/2 boxes of 32 count 1/4 lb hamburgers & 8 packs of hotdogs & we had OVER HALF of the food left. I would say this would be the perfect amount for you if you wanted to go with cooking out? Hope this helps?
ellen

08/10/05
So you made 48 burgers and 64 hot dogs and half left- sounds like allowing 1 burger and 1 hot dog for each person would have been about right-
gordo
sackss@comcast.net
08/11/05
How about a taco/taco salad bar with tortillas, chips, meat, beans, cheese or cheese sauce, salsa, sour cream, tomatoes, olives, shredded lettuce....... This way every one can make what they like.
I've done this for over a hundred people and it was fairly simple.
These are easy to get in large quantities, hot stuff can be kept in roasters or crockpots; you'd need a system for keeping cold stuff cold--maybe rotating bowls from the frig depending on where you are having the party.

Rice krispie treats, ice cream, brownies, make your own sundaes are possibilities for dessert that our teens always enjoy.

danielle
bellasmami1@aol.com
08/30/05
1st bday party 85 people 20 kids how much food ?
i have no i dea how much food to make
ellen

08/30/05
Use the amount for 100 on the quantities for 100 page

http://www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/quan100.html

and there are also beverages, desserts,, etc for 100.
Cut back 10% if all the children are small.

ledria
mlmonyG1@aol.com
09/29/05
Sweet 16 party for 50 people
what kind of food do they normally have for sweet 16 parties
LeDria, huntsville

09/29/05
my party is haveing hot wings, pizza, and shrimp i know its a weird combo, but everyone don't eat pizza or hot wings they could just like shrimp, and plus i love all three of them.
Jo
cntn4_2@peoplepc.com
10/11/05
Wow - Our guest list is about 40 ppl for my daughter's Sweet 16. I'm serving a HUGE tray of Ziti along with another tray of garlic bread and a bowl of meatballs in sauce. Also some bowls of Chexmix and peanuts around at the tables, and a veggie tray. Later, it's the cake and an assortment of cookies and pastries.
Amanda
04/27/07
Sweet 16 party for 75 people
I am planning my own sweet 16 party but i have no idea how many people i am to be expecting & need to know how much food i will need for at most 75 people. Have any ideas?
ellen
04/27/07
Hi, Amanda,

I planned my own sweet 16 party, too. You need to give me some idea of time, budget, etc- or you can just use my plan for 100 list and get 3/4 for 75 people. When you get your list together, I will check it if you post it.

Toni
06/05/07
I am having a Sweet Sixteen Birthday party for my daughter 7pm to 10:30, I thought light food
chips, salsa, cheeze and fruit trays.

How much should I buy of food and drink

ellen
06/05/07
Toni, teens eat about twice what adults do, so see the appetizer planning page and double up. A acouple of crockpots full of queso dis or bean dip are usually a big hit wththis group.

If you post your estimates, I will check them for you.

sharon
06/22/07
chips family size bags salsa for 100 people
Hi I was wondering if you could help me with how many family size chips I would need for 100 people as well as salsa?
ellen
06/22/07
You want 8 pounds corn chips or 6 pounds potato chips per 100 people. 2 gallons salsa would leave some left over.
tim taylor
07/27/07
Sweet 16 party for 70 people
Hi I am cooking for 70 people for sweet 16 party and wanted to make rigatoni and meatballs. Would you help me on quantity and suggested side dishes/appetizers. I was planning on buffet style. Thanks.
ellen
07/27/07
Teens LOVE to eat pasta. I would use a recipe for 100, you can always freeze any remainder. Take a look at the lotsa pasta page for quantity and cooking discussion.

For 100 people, I usually use a meatball recipe for about 20-25 pounds meat, and I like a mix of beef and Italian sausage or lean ground pork. Here is a current favorite meatball recipe:
144 meatballs

8 lbs lean ground beef
2 pounds 32-40 slices white bread, broken into small 1/2 inch pieces (or you can use rolls or any stale bread you have and want to use up)
8 eggs, slightly beaten
8 cloves of garlic, crushed OR 2 teaspoons garlic powder (or to taste)
4 teaspoons italian seasoning (or to taste)
8 teaspoons parsley flakes (or to taste)
1-2 cups grated parmesan cheese (or Locatelli)
OPTIONAL few teaspoons fennel seed
4-8 teaspoons salt
1-2 teaspoons black pepper

Bake them in a preheated oven in a single layer (i use a broiler pan, so they drain)at 400 for 20 minutes. Simmer in sauce to season both sauce and meatpballs.

You may have a few vegetarians, consider mixing the rigatoni with some sauce but serving the meatballs in sauce separately.

You definitely want garlic bread (see my cajun garlic bread recipe), 3-4 ounces per person. Choice of two green salads- one Caesar/ ranch type, one greens/ tossed/slaw. They would LOVE an appetizer type choice such as mozzarella sticks, if you can manage it. 7 layer taco dip. Hot spinach and artichoke dip, crockpot. That old favorite, chili con queso or rotel dip. 1/4 cup per dip per person.

Candy
09/29/07
Sweet 16 party for 80 people
I am having a sweet 16 for 80 people in a community room and want to do the cooking. We are kosher and cannot eat meat and cheese together. I would like to cook italian food (baked ziti) (garlic bread) (eggplant parmigan). Do you have any other suggestions or can you add to the ones I already have. How many trays of each do I need? If I do deli meats, how much will I need. Thank you.
ellen
09/29/07
Happy Birthday, Candy,
Looks like you are tending in a dairy direction.
I would add a ceasar salad (has cheese in the dressing) or antipasto type salad tray (marinated veggies). The amounts for 100 are good for main courses for 80-85 teens, who eat more than adults.

If you did deli meats, usual is 1 pound meat for each three persons PLUS 1 pound sliced cheese for each 5-6 person, if you did not do cheese, I would allow 2 pounds meat for each 5 persons. There is a table for self serve condiments (lettuce, mayo, etc) on the sandwich page.

Debbie
11/02/07
Baby Shower
I am planning a baby shower for my daughter. There will be at least 30 adults and 3 children. How many italian meatballs will I need to make?

I also need to know how much chicken salad and egg salad to prepare for mini sandwiches, as well. Please help. Thank you!

ellen
11/02/07
Depends on how big you make you meatballs, but you will have plenty if you allow 1 pound raw ground meat for each 4 adults- no need to add extra for the 3 kids.

You want a total of about 2 1/2 gallons of the salads for the sandwiches, I don't have advice on how to split it- varies depending on crowd, region, and the salads themselves.

Josh
12/13/07
2 pounds of egg salad?
I have volunteered to bring 2 lbs. of egg salad to a hannukah party this Sunday. I did not want to purchase it at a deli. I'd prefer to make it myself. I can figure out the rest of the ratios, but can you tell me how many eggs i would need to hard-boil in order to make 2 lbs. of egg salad? I'm figuring 1/2 cup of mayonnaise per 8 eggs.
ellen
12/13/07
One dozen large eggs weighs 18 to 20 ounces- I would just use 2 dozen-
Jo
12/28/07
Appetizers only
Ellen,
I am having a get together for 10 adults and and 6 teenagers and want to serve appetizers only. But I don't want them to be hungery. How much meat/cheese do I need for a tray that will serve as sandwich meat also?
ellen
12/28/07
If this is at a mealtime and you want a meat and cheese tray that is basically meal size, see the sandwich event page and use 1/5 the amount for 100 (teens eat almost double what adults do). See also the appetzer planning page for help with quantities.
Dawn
02/07/08
Lenten Supper
Hello. Our women's group at church is planning on preparing & serving a dinner at a Lenten Supper soon. I need help trying to find out how much of what to prepare. We're serving 125 people the following menu:
sloppy joes
potato chips
pickles
sliced veggies
dessert
Thank you for your assistance.
ellen
02/08/08
Hi, Dawn,
Because I have posted all my quantity charts, I ask readers to make an initial estimate and post it. You can use the charts for 100 and increase to 1 1/4 the amount; for example, 6 pounds potato chips for 100, 7 1/2-8 for 125. The sandwich info, pickles, etc, is on the sandwich event page, the veggie info is on the veggie tray page, including dip; there is a dessert planning page and a beverage planning page. Often for Lenten meals, the dessert is skipped and the cost contributed to the local foodbank or senior meal program.
Shannon
02/11/08
Hello,

I decide to throw my daughter a sweet 16 party. we have a guest list so far of 100 people ( this might go up) we are going to have it a local boys club with a d.j.(nothing fancy just a room with tables, I figure we will decorate it. it will be fine) We decided we were going to serve chicken wings, sandwich platter, salads and chips. This was fine till she decide to throw in special attire for the guest's and a fancy dress for herself. I feel with this change the food we have chosen will not be ok. Any help will be great. Will it be ok to keep this menu. Or should I change it and if I change it any help on what to serve. Please at a loss at what to do.

ellen
02/13/08
This would be a very good time to introduce your daughter to the concept of a party budget. In other words, she can have x many people for an informal party or y fewer people for a dressier party-

The sandwiches would still work but you will not want anything drippy if they are going to be dressed up. Also it is not clear if you intend this to be dinner level feeding? You are looking at $4-5 minimum (usually $10) per person so don't let the guest list grow unlimited

Donna
02/22/08
These are real good ? but were do I find the anserwe?
ellen
02/23/08
Where do I find your question?
Liz
02/27/08
Informal sweet 16
For 125 people thinking about having Mini meatballs, chicken wingettes and tenders, baked ziti & mini hoagies. Do you think this is appropiate menu? (too much or not enough)I'm also having a BIG chocolate fountain with 12 different types of treats. Not sure about the cake, big, med size or cup cakes?
Thank you for your assistance!
ellen
02/28/08
Read the chocolate fountain page. See the dessert planning page for help on cake sizes, plan for small to medium servings with that much chocolate. Add some kind of salad or vegetable, with 125 kids you will have some vegetarians. Consider adding chips or corn chips and dip or salas. Menu will be popular.
Helen
04/26/08
Sweet 16 party for 75 people
How many beef sticks should I provide for 100 people? I'm throwing Cinco de Mayo party. We wil have "build your own taco, burrito, tostada, taco salad and nacho". I know meat should be at least 20 to 25 lbs. Tortilla chips should be at least 8 to 10lbs.

Thanks...

ellen
04/27/08
Beef stick? Do you mean a beef flauta or some kind of sausage/ jerky type thing, or what? You can use the baked potato bar guide with the doubled sour cream and salsa as your topping guide- all these dishes take basically take the same toppings. Have chopped ripe olives as a topping. Have queso (melted cheese dip) as a topping for the nachos and as a dip. Supply corn as well as flour tortillas.

If it is all teens, increase your amounts by about 1/4 and be sure to have rice and beans. They eat A LOT!

mel
05/13/08
I have a new catering company, and want to price accordingly. My friend wants me to cater a formal sweet 16 party for her twin daughters and their 150 guests...I have done some research and don't want to underbid or overbid. Should I charge by the person or tray? She wants to have cheese and crackers, pinwheels, drummettes and meatballs, veggie tray w/ dip and punch. She will buy the cake and decorations.
ellen
05/14/08
Mel, experienced caterers set the cost about three to (usually) 4 times the food cost. You will need at least 2 other cooks and 6-12 experienced servers/crew for this event, more if it is sit down, 6-8 if buffet. I personally would NOT take on a formal dinner this size as a first event.

Go read the boards on chef2chef.com.

carol
05/21/08
birthday party for 125 people
how many pounds of baked ziti will I need for 125 people. We are also having a chicken dish and a pork dish.
ellen
05/21/08
If you are making it yourself, take a look at the baked sausage and mozzarella dish on the spaghetti page. Omit the sausage and you will have a generous pasta dish for 125, so you can use this as a general guideline for your recipe.
D.
06/10/08
How many large pizza's do I need for 14 adults
ellen
06/11/08
Quetion is discussed in the 25 servings table:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/shop25.html - very last section

About 1/2 a 12 inch pizza is great for party type servings for adults

Kristy
07/01/08
Hannah Montana birthday party
hi, I'm having a Hannah Montana party for my daughter who is turning 7.. Last year we had 75 people show up, I had plenty of food, but I was hoping to do snacks or something much easier this year. We had hamburgers and hot dogs last year. I was thinking finger sandwiches shaped like stars, chips, cookies. I would like to serve something more filling since her party is at 1:30pm.. Tell me what you think.
ellen
07/01/08
I don't know why people do hot dogs and hamburgers for parties, it is expensive and a lot of work. A big tea party with the fancy sandwiches, an ice cream sundae bar or dessert bar would be great- 75 people with half kids eats about as much as 50 adults, so you can use the tea party planning pages and plan for 50. You can plan to do a lot ahead-

Or you could consider a taco/nacho bar, again for 50. This is much less work than the grilled burgers, and kids like it. Add rice and beans to fill up the tummies and plates. And nacho cheese sauce in some big crock pots, of course.

Janet
07/07/08
High School Graduation Party 50 people
WE are doing all the cooking/having fruit and veggie platter/ziti with meat balls/bread/sausage and peppers and an assortmnet of desserts.I need to know how much to cook for 50.
Lisa
07/07/08
Sweet 16 party for 150 People
I am throwing a Sweet 16 party and inviting about 150 guests.

I want to serve Meatballs, drummettes, chicken wings, salad, veggie trays and a huge fruit bowl. Besides the big cake, what am I missing or should I serve or omit from this tentative menu?

ellen
07/07/08
Teens eat more than adults, so instead of counting as 150, count as 175; instead of 50, 60.

Lisa, this is a fine menu, but I would add one heavier side dish, as meats and fruits are expensive and people eat lots of them. This could be something as simple as mac and cheese or a pasta or potato salad; or you might consider the cheesy potatoes in an electric roaster, easy and very popular; or a baked potato bar. At the very least, hot garlic bread.

Your salad, veggie tray and fruit tray quantities are covered in the plan for 100 table, the veggie tray article and the fruit tray article.

You want about 1/2 pound wings and drummettes plus about 3-4 ounces meatballs per person for a 3 hour party. more for longer.

Janet, you see the above articles plus the dessert buffet article for your menu, and use a bit less that 2/3 the amount for 100. You want about 4 ounces of sausage per person plus necessary peppers PLUS about 10 pounds dry pasta and sauce/meatballs to your recipe. You might look at the spaghetti dinner for 60 at the bottom of the spaghetti/ lotsa pasta article; it will help with bread and salad as well as pasta and dessert amounts.

shannon
07/09/08
Iam also having a sweet 16 party I looked on your site for the party punch I wanted to know if you had a recipe I could follow to make this punch.
Thank you
ellen
07/09/08
Happy birthday. My favorite punch recipe and liks to several sites with lots more recipes, slushes, etc., are in the thread labeled "punch" here on cook talk.
shannon
07/09/08
Thank you
I found the tea punch and also looked at the web site would you be willing to recomend a certain punch that teen's would like that can also go into a fountian. if you could also give me a hand with how much I need for about 60 teens.
Thank you
ellen
07/09/08
The punch with apricot nectar, almond extract and ginger ale of seven up is delicious and can go in a fountain.
shannon
07/09/08
ok thanks so much how much this serve. I need for about 60 teens

1 46 ounce can apricot nectar, 1 46 ounce can pineapple juice, and 2 liters of gingerale with 1 tablespoon of almond extract

Thanks so much fo all your help.

ellen
07/09/08
This makes about a gallon, you want about 4 gallons. Two things:

be sure everything is very cold before youadd it to the fountain

Have a sugar free alternative (tea, diet soda) for the no sugar folks- about 2 gallons or 4 two liter sodas.

laurie
09/14/08
I amh having a sweet sixteen pool party wit a DJ for my daughter, What should I serve
ellen
09/14/08
Laurie, you don't say your teen's taste, the time of day, your region, your budget, how many people, how much help you have, or what is the kitchen and serving situation. No way I can help yet.

There are many ideas in this thread, start by reading.

Since I have posted all my quantity tables in 2004, I no longer do initial estimates. I ask readers to make an initial estimate for their own party and post it. You can use the charts for 100 and increase, for example to do chips for 125, you increase to 1 1/4 the amount; if you need 6 pounds potato chips for 100, 7 1/2-8 for 125. The sandwich info, pickles, etc, is on the sandwich event page, the veggie info is on the veggie tray page, including dip; there is a dessert planning page and a beverage planning page. Then I will review and comment.

Thomas
09/15/08
Hi Iam having a sweet 16 party for my daughter it will be on a sat night 6pm-10pm with 80 guest the guest range from toddler to adult About 30 teens. Iam getting the food allready made. This is what Iam serving will it be enough.
2 trays meatballs each tray serves 20-25.
2 trays hot roastbeef each tray serves 20-25.
1 tray kielbasa serves 20-25.
2 trays peproni and cheese each serves 20-25.
2 veggie platters 5lb each tray.
I am going to make your potato salad for 100.
will also have chips and pretzels around on tables.
I will be having birthday cake. Will I need any other kind of dessert to serve or will this be ok.
I will have 2 sodas per person and some juice.
I will also need to get chhese for the sandwhiches how much do you suggest I get I was thinking about 2 lbs.
Do you think I need to add or remove anything please help.
Thank you
Debbie
09/18/08
I am having a party for my son with 75 to 80 people. around 6 pm half of this being teen boys. He wants to have pizza I read your listing ( 12” round thin crust, 20 pies
12” round thick crust, 16 pies
Note:One and one half to double amounts, approximately, for teens and college students )
So I fiqure I need about 30 12" thin pizzas. Is this right.
Thank you
ellen
09/18/08
This particular age group eat like locusts! If it is thin pizzas, I would allow at least 1/2 per person. I would add nachos and dip, or garlic/cheese French bread or bread sticks, or some other heavy extra for the really starving.

A big tub (about 10 pounds) of green salad would actually get eaten, especially by the girls. Allow 3-4 quarts of dressing, 1/2 ranch, 1/4 light ranch, 1/4 light Italian.

Thomas
09/19/08
Hi Iam having a sweet 16 party for my daughter it will be on a sat night 6pm-10pm with 80 guest the guest range from toddler to adult About 30 teens. Iam getting the food allready made. This is what Iam serving will it be enough.
2 trays meatballs each tray serves 20-25.
2 trays hot roastbeef each tray serves 20-25.
1 tray kielbasa serves 20-25.
2 trays peproni and cheese each serves 20-25.
2 veggie platters 5lb each tray.
I am going to make your potato salad for 100.
will also have chips and pretzels around on tables.
I will be having birthday cake. Will I need any other kind of dessert to serve or will this be ok.
I will have 2 sodas per person and some juice.
I will also need to get chhese for the sandwhiches how much do you suggest I get I was thinking about 2 lbs.
Do you think I need to add or remove anything please help.
Thank you
ellen
09/19/08
Nice plan. I would add breads such as 80 rolls- all your meats make good sandwiches- about 8 pounds of deli sliced cheeses for the sandwiches and 3/4 the amounts of condiments for sandwiches for 100 on the sandwich planning page, and dip for the veggies. Ice cream is a possible addition, you would need about 2 gallons.
Sheila
09/24/08
Senior Night for Girls and Boys High School Soccer
I am planning a Senior night for the high school boys and girls soccer teams. I am planning on having wings and pizza some sides but are not sure what sides to make. So could you help me out by letting me know what sides would be best there is going to be about 50 people total. I also need to know how much pizza and wings to order. We are going to have cake and cookies for desert.

Thank so much,

Sheila

ellen
09/24/08
I order 1/2 pizza per person plus 3-6 wing pieces per person for teens. A big tub of green salad (see the plan for 100 page, use 1/2) with taco salad type toppings would be a great healthy choice- see the baked potato/ taco bar article for ideas about toppings. Check beverages for ice and beverage planning.
sue
09/25/08
hi I came across your site. I was looking for ziti for about 50 peole. would you happen to know recipe and amouts I would need.
Thank you.
ellen
09/25/08
Take a look at the spaghetti/ lotsa pasta page. 1/2 the recipe for mostaciolli and sausage would give you about the right pasta, sauce and cheese amounts for the ziti. I don't recommend a specific recipe because there are a LOT of baked ziti recipes with a lot of variation; you need to select one to your family's/ guests taste.
Donna
10/17/08
Sweet 16 party for 50 people
Hi I'm giving a sweet sixteen arty in about 2 weeks but have yet to come up with a menu. We have invited about 50 guest and it will be a semi formal event. I wanted do something other than meetbals and wings. I have a budget between $200 and $250 Any suggestions.
ellen
11/11/08
If you are willing to cook and prepare in advance, you might look at the Spinach Parmesan squares. Also small rolls with thin sliced ham. Also some hot dips- artichoke, for example.
nicole
11/12/08
Hi Iam having a sweet 16 for my daughter on a fri night from 6-10 pm I want to serve your meatballs for 100 do you know how much sauce I will need for this. (I plan on making the coctail size you said about 24-25 per pound at 14 pounds gets me about 336 meatballs) would put this in chafing rack for sandwiches. will have rolls and potato salad and mac salad and cheese for those who want it.

I am also looking for another food dish to seve along with this something that wont cost alot and that teens will like. please any help will be good.

Thanks

ellen
11/12/08
About 18 quarts sauce.

A fruit tray with dip is possible, see the fruit tray for 25 and do 2 or 3. Or a hot dip such as nacho cheese dip or queso dip, with corn chips. You need 1/4 cup per person, 8 pounds corn chips minimum.

nicole
11/12/08
Thanks for the fast response I think I will do the nachos. as a side what I was asking was an idea for another food item to serev that is cheap.
Cynthia M. Vermette
11/13/08
Baby Shower for 50
Could you please help me on how much smoked & fresh Polish kielbasa to purchase for 50.

Thank you

ellen
11/14/08
2 pounds for each 5 persons.
laporchia rogers
12/15/08
im having my sweet sixteen bday party jan.2 and im expected 250 to 300 people at my party but i dont now what kind of food to serve for so many people. Also my party is a formal type theme so i need help.
ellen
12/15/08
laporchia, the budget for a meal service for this size party is about $10-20 per person, and it requires three cooks and a dozen full time servers to set up, keep the tables filled, and clean up for this size party. If the time is over a mealtime, you need a meal's worth of food for each person, even if it is an appetizer meal. And when you say "formal type" does that mean you don't want pizza and that type thing, or you do want a plated meal? Also, where is it being held and what are the cooking and refrigeration facilities?
So, you need to read the article called "wedding dinner" (button at the top of the main cook talk page) and write me more information.
jasmine
03/25/09
yearbook party
how many bags of chips do you think you will need for 250 people
ellen
03/25/09
6 pounds potato or 8 pounds corn for a single serving per person for 100 people.
Linda
04/13/09
egg salad
I need to know ho to make egg salad sandwiches for about 30 people. How many eggs do I need?
ellen
04/13/09
There is a recipe on the sandwich event page. It is basically 1 egg per person. Many people serve the egg salad mounded in a bowl and let people make their own sandwich- less waste.
Dawn Cooper
04/23/09
I am planning a sweet 16 party for my daughter. She is wanting pizza and there will be some adults there. I was planning on a lunch meat platter with assorted salads and a vegetable tray and pepperoni and cheese tray. Could you give me some other ideas to throw in for this party.
ellen
04/23/09
You are serving the pizza, right?

A good big fruit tray or melon boat is popular with both teens and adults. You want three or four different desserts in 2-3 bite size pieces, so everyone can have several, or how about an ice cream sundae bar to go with the cake? I posted an article on how to do this.

sandy
04/23/09
cooking for 30 people
I am cooking for 30 adults.I need help with the amount of food to prepared.My menu is curry chicken, curry chick pea with potato brown rice and garden salad. Anyone who can help.Thank You
ellen
04/24/09
You need 1-1 1/2 cup chicken curry, 3/4 cup curried chick peas, and 2 1/12 pounds dry rice (5-6 cups). For salad use 1/3 the amount for 100 on the plan for 100 page. Don't forget raita, bread, chutneys and curry condiments.
Toni
04/24/09
Communion Party Buffet Style
How many pounds of Kielbasa would I need for 70 guest.
Toni
04/24/09
communion party
I forgot to mention there will be other food along with the Kielbasa
ellen
04/24/09
Tony, if there are other popular meats, figure 1 pound kielbasa for each 4-5 people. If it is the only meat, you have to allow 2 per person, size varies by brand, so count a package and figure it out.
marsha
06/03/09
school graduation party
how many chips and pretzels do I need for 125 kids. Also having pizza, watermelon, popcorn, snowballs & cotton candy?
bianca
06/04/09
I'm having a sweet 16 for 30-40 people and so far I have finger foods like chicken buggets, bagel bites, and quesidilla rolls. And simple drinks like sprite, coke, furit punch, and water. Is this good enough or should I consider changing aome of my options to lower the price?
ellen
06/04/09
Marsha, chips or pretzels are 6 pounds each per 100 for a modest 1 ounce serving. With kids and so much other food, you could use these numbers for 125.

Bianca, some made at home dips and sweets would be great with this maybe a fruit tray. How much you need is covered on the appetizer planning page and the fruit tray page. If it is at mealtime you need about twice as much food as midafternoon or later evening.

Lynessia
06/14/09
I'm catering an event for approximately 100 guests. I need to figure out how many greens I need to cook.
ellen
06/14/09
I think greens are in the cooked vegetable quantity table on the plan for 100 page.
Ty
08/13/09
I'm Having a casual sweet sixteen for 60-70 people.I have no idea what food to serve. I want my family to prepare everthing.any ideas on a menu?
ellen
08/13/09
Assuming that it is to include a dinner type meal there are several inexpensive options that are not hard to prepare for this many people:
taco bar or tex mex buffet
baked potato bar with BBQ or chili toppings included
Italian fest or spaghetti meal
pizza buffet with salads

One step up in costs, roast or baked chicken or wings, BBQ sandwiches, hoagies/subs/heroes.

Do any of these appeal?

Ty
08/14/09
yes it is to include a dinner thanks so much.you are a big help.
traci
08/26/09
ho much pasta, meat and sauce do i need to serve 80 people? thanks!
ellen
08/26/09
See the pasat dinner for 50-60 at the bottom of the spaghetti page and make 1 1/2 times the amounts.
Julie Swingle
09/30/09
Sweet 16 party for 100 teenagers
We are having a nightclub theme sweet 16 party for our daughter 7-12pm in less than 3 weeks and I have yet to start planning the food. Our daughter wants lots of finger foods. Any ideas... I thought fruit, deli sandwiches, buffalo wings, etc....
ellen
09/30/09
This is a very long party for finger foods, and you might want to do it in 2 parts, meaty stuff for the first few hours, then sweets. Your ideas are all do-able.

Instead of deli sandwiches, consider make your own minis, with slider size buns and a variety of deli sliced meats and cheeses. Takes longer, kids eat a bit less, and it provides a socialization center.

Tater Tots with side dishes of chili and cheese?
Unlike French Fries, they hold better and are pretty do-able for large parties.

A nacho bar with some shredded chicken, guacamole and sour cream, or maybe a 7 layer dip.

A dessert bar in addition to the cake, with three or four different desserts in 2-3 bite size pieces, would be very popular, so everyone can have several, or how about an ice cream sundae bar to go with the cake? I posted an article on how to do this.

You need to end up with at least 1 1/2 pounds of food per person, not counting dessert.

Julie
10/01/09
Sweet 16 party for 100 teenagers
Thanks Ellen,
Great ideas....
Most kids will have eaten dinner but I want to have food as teens a lot...
I have been trying to figure out my quantities of the meat, cheese, veges, fruit, condiments for mini sandwiches (i.e. mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes) etc. Can you please help me out?
ellen
10/01/09
OK, then about 1 pound per person will be fine.

Condiments fore 100 people are the same whether mini or regular. See the sandwich event page, it is all outlined. The tables also tell about how much fillings-

julie
10/01/09
Hi again,
Sorry to keep asking but I want to be sure I have enough food for 100 teens. I have fruit platters 30 lbs, vege platters 20 lbs, tater tot bar (?), mini sandwich bar (14+ lbs), chocolate fondue (10 lbs. )with dippers(10+lbs.) and full sheet cake... is this too much and how many 8lb bags of tater tots, 5 lb. shredded cheddar cheese, 108 oz can of chili con carne do I need for the tator tot bar? Thanks for helping a mom out!!!
ellen
10/01/09
You are doing pretty well! Consider adding about 8 pounds of sliced cheese for the sandwiches, or else upping the meat a little.

I allow 57 pounds of fries or tots to make 1 cup per person for 100 people. Allow 2 bags of cheese- you will have some left- and 4-5 cans of chili (only open 3 to staRT). Let me know if this works for you and have a great party.

kyra williams
01/31/10
Sweet 16 party for 100 people
Hi, I am having about 100 people for my sweet sixteen. It is hollywood themed. I was wondering if there's any food i could have except for a cake that goes with my theme and also what other foods would my teenage friends like. -Thanks.
ellen
01/31/10
If you are doing Hollywood as in movies, you could rent a popcorn cart and a slush machine and have all kinds of movie snacks including nachos and hot dogs. If you are doing glamor, you want cocktail party type food. Little bites of things on silver trays, fruit kabobs stuck all over into a "tree trunk" made from whole pineapples threaded on a long dowel; sushi; glitzy stuff and some mock cocktails like mocktinis and mock champagne punch. What direction are you headed in?
ellen
01/31/10
Have you taken a look at the "Planet Hollywood" menu?
Heather
02/06/10
help i planning a sweet 16 for my sister and i don't know what to cook please help me.
Karrah
02/06/10
Sweet 16 for a couple people.
help my cousin is having a sweet 16 and i have to bring a desert what should.
ellen
02/06/10
Heather, what time of day, how many people, and what is the budget?

Karrah, Good brownies are always a hit. Lemon Bars. Big fat cookies.

ellen
03/10/10
Beth, I apologize. I thought the message was a joke, as I have never had someone ask me how to prepare a party meal for $1.00 per person.
karla
03/15/10
I am having a sweet 16 party for my daughter it is mardi gras themed,however we are not looking for traditional mardi gras themmed food; i would like it to be as inexpensive and simple as posible in terms of food. it will probably be for about 20 teens . it will be in JUNE AND OUTSIDE, SO I AM CONCERNED WITH SAFETY OF FOOD CAN YOU HELP
ellen
03/15/10
Least expensive easy buffet that is popular with teens, a taco bar. Crockpots for hot and setting cold bowls inside larger bowls of ice will keep things safe. I would do one 6 quart of Spanish rice, 1 of beans, 1 of ground beef(5 pounds) and one of fajita style chicken (4 pounds boneless thighs). 4 corn tortillas apiece with 3 crispy, one soft; 1 large flour burrito size each, chopped lettuce and other toppings same as the baked potato bar on this site.
Christie
05/11/10
Sweet 16 party for 80 people
Hi, Ellen...
I am having my daughter a sweet 16 party this weekend with about 80 guests in attendance. It will from 7p - 119 & there will be a DJ and dancing. I will have food for snacking purposes. Here is what I am planning on:
~ Chips (3 flavors) w/ dip - (2-3 lg bags each)
~ Nachos w/ Salsa (2-3 bags)
~ Meatballs (in sauce) (100 ct)
~ Hot Wings (100 ct)
~ Oreo Cheesecake Bites (100 ct - throwing them in as filler & to go w/ the theme of zebra with hot pink accents)
~ strawberry sugar wafers (100 ct)(daughters favorite & they match) :)
~ Lil Debbie zebra cakes (100 ct - bite size pcs - cut like petit fors)
~ 3 tiered specialty cake (to feed 100 ppl)
~ punch (in fountain) (4-6 gallons)
~ Sodas (6-8 two liters)

Will this be sufficient? (This group of kids just want to hang out & dance but I do realize it begins around dinner time).
Thanks for your help.

ellen
05/11/10
You are OK on sweets, and they will be cute, but quite short on other food for a 4 hour party. If it were me, I would have about 6-8 pounds each potato and tortilla chips and at least a gallon each of dipping sauces and salsa. For 80 teens, 16-20 pounds of meatballs, at least 4 wings each. I would add 160 pieces of something else- maybe rollups, cheese cubes and slices, etc.I would probably add some big fruit trays for color and because teens like them, and garnish them with nuts and chocolate of some kind.
Tracy
05/11/10
80 Ladies for Tea
Our church is hosting a spring tea with bagels, cream cheese, cheese cubes & fruit. How much fruit do I need to buy(pineapple, grapes, strawberries, kiwi, watermelon, honeydew, canatloupe etc) for 80 ladies?
ellen
05/12/10
See the fruit tray page. Get 3 times the tray for 25, subbing in any specialty fruits for some of the watermelon. There is a table that shows how many bites or pieces you get from various fruits, so you can figure how many kiwis are the same as a pound of watermelon.
Alana
06/07/10
Birthday party.. Kosher foods??
I hope you can help me. I'm throwing my daughter a party at place where I was told I can bring pizza but cannot have meat. When I asked if the foods had to be kosher, she kind of gave a little shrug. I'm not sure if I was suppose to know the answer to that, but I don't. I already plan to have plain pizza and white pizza with broccoli. But what about any other foods, be it snacks or an additional meal? It's for children. But I know how they pick and can be picky (talking 7-9 year olds!). Is there anything I should stear clear from?
ellen
06/08/10
Is this a temple or a Jewish facility? If so, you would not want any meat products, such as jello, bouillon, in addition.

Kids this age like fruit trays, don't care much about vegetable trays and salads. They like the relatively plain pastas, mac and cheese for example. They like both corn and potato chips and Ranch-type, not too highly seasoned dips. Many like nachos or popcorn.

I am not too clear on what time/ meal time you are aiming for?

Shawna
06/08/10
Borracho Beans
I am making your bean recipe for an upcoming graduation party and I was just reading over the recipe and it doesn't say at what point to add the cilantro.

Thanks.

ellen
06/09/10
Ooops. I stir it in about 1/2 hour before serving.
Caroline
07/10/10
Sweet 16 party for 35 to 50 people
HELP.
i am planning a surprise sweet 16 party for my sister. It will be at night from 7 to 11. I have no idea what food to have there
ellen
07/10/10
Do you have a budget?

The least expensive dinner is the Tex Mex buffet or the baked potato bar. Or you could do all dips, appetizers... write back.

julie
08/28/10
Sweet 16 party for 35 to 45 people from 7 to 11p
Hello. Your past posts have been very helpful. We are looking for some very light snacks for this crowd. This is a seemi formal dance party with a dj. What is the minimum that would work? We were thinking ice water, punch, chips, salsa and queso, pretzels and m&m's, a nice three tiered cake will be the centerpiece. We have spent most of our money on the dj and venue. Thanks julie
ellen
08/28/10
These are all good choices, but for a 4 hour party, it is light. I would make a couple of additions;

Fruit trays- 1/3 the amount for 100 or 1 1/2 times the amount for 25 from the fruit tray page. Strawberries and grapes would be very popular and easy to eat in dressy clothes.

About 150-180 small cookies and bars- two to three bite size. You can make these between now and the party and freeze them. People, especially teens, love sweets.

For the punch have a llight colored, sophisticated punch, rather than a red kid-style punch- see the punch thread- one of the mock champagnes would be good-

Teresa
09/01/10
reunion for 30 adults/ 12 children
hi, we're having a reunion with bbq, hot dogs, and hamburgers.

How many family size bags of chips will I need for 30 adults/12 young children? Thanks for your help.

ellen
09/01/10
4 pounds would be plenty for potato chips a bit more if it were corn chips.
Teresa
09/03/10
reunion for 30 adults/ 12 children
how many hamburger/hot dog buns do we need for 30 adults/12 children?
ellen
09/03/10
I allow 1 burger plus 1 dog plus 10 percent per adult Kids under 10 count as 1/2.
DD
09/16/10
Sweet 16 party for 65 people
I'm planning a Sweet 16 for my daughter and wondering how much food I will need for 65 people? I'm serving Sausages & Hamburgers, potato salad, coleslaw, chips, pop.
ellen
09/17/10
Nice simple menu. Teens eat a lot.
1 burger plus 1 3to4 ounce sausage per person, plus 10% Buns and condiments to match (see the sandwich page for help on the condiments).
3 to 3 1/2 gallons potato salad, 2 gallons slaw. Chips about double what you allow for adults, 2-3 ounces per person. Add salsa or another chip dip, 1/4 cup per person
For beverages, see the beverage planning page.
Wendy
09/18/10
If cooking tater tots for 40 teenage boys, can they be cooked the night before and reheated for breakfas? If so how long would they take and at what temperature? Can you cook them in a casserole or only a single layer? Also how long can you keep scrambled eggs warm in the oven prior to serving them without the eggs turning green? What temperature would you keep them warm at? Thanks so much!
ellen
09/18/10
For help with the eggs, see the eggs faq in the recipe box.

Consider doing a cheesy potato/ hash brown casserole, do enough for 50 adults.

sheila
09/19/10
How many meat platters to feed 75 people
How many meat platters would be needed (roast beef, turkey, ham and cheese) to feed 75 people. Or how many pounds of bulk meat - roast beef, turkey, ham and swiss and American cheese should I buy? Thanks!
ellen
09/19/10
See the sandwich page, use 3/4 the amount for 100 unless it is teenagers, in which case you would use almost enough for 100.
gabb
09/20/10
Hi,
I'm having a Sweet 16 party but it's going to be more of a Red Carpet theme. It will probly have about 150 people but i'm not sure exactly what to do about the menu. I don't want it to be too expensive, but at the same time i don't want it to be regular like chips and whatnot. Any ideas?
Donna
09/20/10
Hi,
I am having a Sweet 16 party towards the end of February 2011. There will be around 50-75 guests there. (Majority are teens) It will be heald at from 7:oopm-10:oopm. I want a full menu, but budget friendly. There will be a slumber party afterwads of probably 10-15 girls. (And any nice food decorations on the table or cake ideas will be EXTRA appriceated!)
Thanks (:
--Donna
ellen
09/21/10
Gabb, is it a dinner and what time and how long is the party, write back.

Donna, a Tex Mex theme with tacos, burritos and fajitas would be a thrifty possibility. Fruit trays, or what about fruit bouquets for decoration?
Maybe 2 cakes, one chocolate and one tres leches?

Gabb
09/21/10
I was thinking about a type of formal sit-down dinner, and it will possibly have at most 180 people.But right now were looking at 150.
Gabb
09/21/10
It will be from 5-11 and we were thinking about dinner being served around 8.
ellen
09/22/10
Gabe, Then you need heavy hors douevres, about 12-16 bites per person. You will also need 4 people in the kitchen cooking, then plating and 1 server per every 12-15 people

The dijon wedding chicken in Big Pots, with a rice pilaf and whole green beans , would be a possible.

Gabb
09/22/10
Thankyou!! :D
Candice
09/29/10
Sweet 16 party for 50 people
i need some ideas on how to do a menu. its for an assignment
ellen
09/30/10
You discuss picking a theme, you discuss the importance of a clear budget in picking both the theme and the menu, then pick a theme and develop it. Hawaiian luau, dressy dance party, 50's party, ice cream social, tea party, pig roast, etc- all done this year...
Robin
10/27/10
Pre Homecoming Dance Dinner
Hello. I'm looking for ideas for hosting a pre-homecoming dance dinner for approximately 10 teens. I'd like to do sit-down, semi-formal (as if they were going to a restaurant). I'm not really sure of the budget, but I would like to keep it resaonable. Also, time-wise, we will have about an hour and a half from the time guests arrive until when they leave for the dance, so I'm not sure about hors douevres. Any advice you could give would be appreciated. Thanks.
ellen
10/27/10
very nice effort.
You want something delicious that does not drip or spill. How about chicken cordon blue, or chicken wrapped in a filo dough shell like a strudel? Roast pork loin?
Whole green bean medley- the new mixes with yellow and green beans are attractive.
Mashed potatoes, or possibly rice.
A plate garnish such as a spiced peach or apple ring.
An appetizer is a great idea. What about a mild cheese log/spread with some really good crackers, and some fruit kabobs. I don't usually recommend these, but they are very do-able for 10 people.
Then a great dessert. I would probably do a full-fledged cheese cake and something devastatingly chocolate.
Amber
02/15/11
Sweet 16 party for about 40 people or more
Hello, i'm tryin to throw my self a sweet 16 party. but all i got down so far was the guest list and i'm trin not to make things expensive for my parents do you know what kind of food to have thats really cheap but also deliscious and filling it would really help me thank you
ellen
02/19/11
Good for you, Amber and happy birthday!

Delicious, cheap and popular with teens- tex mex buffet or taco bar.

Debbie
03/14/11
Sweet 16 party for 40
I am having a "super sweet 16" party for my daughter. We are inviting around 50 teens and it will be from 6or 7-11 on a SAT night. Our venue is an american Legion post but we are transforming the hall into a night club with black lights an d lots of neon. We have a dj for 4 hours. She is undecided at this time if she will have it semi formal or casual but either way the teens will be wearing white(to glow in the blacklight). I am however stuck on the food. I know we are having a candy buffet and a 3 tier cake. I will have mocktails at the bar along with the standard soda choices.
What should I do for food?????
I want something a bit different. I like the taco bar idea but think it may be too messy. I love the idea of finger foods too but can not find a lot teen type foods that caterers offer for Hors d'œuvre. Any ideas? My daughter has had a very tough year and I want this to be a party everyone rememers..but I cant take a mortgage on the house for it either. any ideas
ellen
03/14/11
Nice idea, Debbie. You want food they like that won't be drippy or messy.

How about miniburgers/ sliders, miniquiches baked from frozen, or see the sausage tarts in the old Bisquick recipes thread, or sausage balls. Spinach-Parmesan squares from this site, or impossible pies cut into small wedges. Fruit trays, cheese trays with crackers. Cocktail sausages or pieces of smoked sausage done the same way.
Spiced nuts. Caramel corn using the recipe on site (it is really good).
7 layer dip with large corn chips is an option for the taco flavor without the taco mess.

Elizabeth
07/03/11
Sweet 16 party for 20-30 people
Hi,
I am having a sweet 16 and I have no idea on what to serve. I'm thinking of have h'orderves.
Help

Thanks

Ann and Brad Coble
08/21/11
We are hosting a rehearsal dinner/party for about 100 folks. Not a sit down type of dinner... h'orderves and snacks...more of a party type deal.We want shrimp,wings, hush puppies along with a few snacks. About how much of the above items should we plan for to accommodate 100 folks?
Many thanks
ellen
08/21/11
Elizabeth, I am sorry I missed your post! If you still need info, please start anew thread.

Ann and Brad, for 100 people, you want at least 8-10 choices. Also, the amount varies depending on what the time the party is and how long it lasts; over a mealtime, people eat about double what they do in the middle of the afternoon or later in the evening, so you need quite a bit of food. If you are having it catered, hors d'ouevres can be more costly than a meal!

Are you having it catered? Tell me more?

Tabitha
10/19/11
Sweet 16 party for 40 people
help!my sweet 16 is in 3 weeks and i don't know what kind of food to have!
ellen
10/19/11
Tabitha, is it a dinner buffet, sit down, or smacks? How long is the party? What is the budget? Do you do the cooking yourself, or do you have help? I need more info.
misty
11/10/11
having a sweet16 masquerade party for my dughter this month.its semi-formal dress,and at 7pm.going to be around 30 people.wanted to do mess-free appetizers.i am making it myself,but as cheap as possible.
ellen
11/10/11
OK, no dips.

Little (slider-size) ham and chicken sandwiches, fruit trays, mini quiches or mini-muffins; cookies of all kinds; cheese tray and crackers. Anything on toothpicks.

Maggie
11/29/11
Dear Ellen,
I am having a small sweet sixteen party for my daughter and inviting about 25 people at a community center with a DJ. I would like to have it from 2p-5p because we are having a sleep over and activities at my house for the girls only. Is the time ok for a sweet sixteen party?
Thanks,
Maggie
ellen
11/30/11
Yes. Have really fun food, maybe a taco bar with nachos and so on, or an ice cream sundae bar.
Samantha
12/14/11
Christmas snacks!
Dear Ellen,

I am putting together a small Christmas get together of about 40 people and i wanted to make Chili Con Queso dip with tortilla chips, any tips on how many lbs or oz. of cheese to use and how many bags of chips to buy?

ellen
12/14/11
If teens, about 6 pounds of chips and a gallon of queso. Adults, 4 pounds and 3 quarts.
Karen
12/19/11
Sweet 16 party for 100 Teens
I am having a local italian restaurant caterer my daughter's party as the firehouse won't let us bring our own food. How much should I order - I was thinking Penne Vodka, Penne & Sauce, Meatballs, Chicken Fingers and Mozzerella Sticks. I can ask the restaurant but I thought I would get a second opinion.
ellen
12/19/11
Teens eat like locusts. They also like Alfredo. If I were doing 2 pastas, I would do one red and one alfredo.

About 16-18 9x13 pans pasta, wich is about 8 "half pans". At least 3 chicken fingers per person, 1 pound of meatballs per 4, 3 cheese sticks per person plus 1/4 cup dipping sauce per person. I would definitely add 12-14 pounds of garlic bread and tossed or Caesar salad, or fruit trays.

Aurora
01/06/12
Sweet 16 party for 25-30 people
I am planning Sweet 16 Party for my daughter. Simply cannot afford to have it at a resteraunt or catering hall, so I thought I would have it in my fully finished basement. I always have my family parties here,and there is plenty of space. My daughter wants to dress up with gown and Tiarra and we thought a semi formal attire would be appropriate. My question is: What sort of menu should I serve that is affordable, easy, but with a touch of elegance since she is having a fairytale theme. I thought maybe appetizers served on silver platers such as cheese, fruits , potatoe croquettes, bruchietta, foccaccia squares, and the like. I would like some suggestions on what to serve for the meal. I plan on making the desserts and cakes. I would appreciate any suggestions. Her birthday is March 3rd, but we may have to move it to a later date due to many school conflicts, so I still have ample time. I also plan on dressing up the basebent with toule and ribbon and fancy talble clothes to help keep with the theme. I greatly appreciate your opinion. Thanks!
ellen
01/06/12
Wedding reception type food would be excellent for this, and I suggest my Orange Dijon wedding chicken, or a similar dish; a rice pilaf with almonds; two beautiful side dishes, veggies such as whole green beans or asparagus and maybe a spiced peach, or a casseroled veggie.
talia
02/05/12
18th birthday for 75 ppl
Hi! I'm haven an 18 th birthday party from 7-11 and yet have no idea what to serve as food. I'm on a tight budget but was thinking of finger food or homemade stuff. I already have dessert figured out which will be a candy buffet .
ellen
02/05/12
Talia, is this a casual party where pizza would be great, dance party, dressy? What kind of beverages? Would you like something like a pasta bake or lasagna? Will you have cake? More info, please.
Talia
02/05/12
It's a bit formal and there will be q few adult family members I was planning on have cupcakes and going with bottles of sodas instead of cans ..... How much finger food would I need of chicken tenders mozzarella sticks ? Is there cheaper food options? Thank you so much for your time !!!!
ellen
02/06/12
Talia, please look at this page:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/appetizer.html

You need 3/4 of 100.

I would do fruit trays, cheese and crackers (some could be cream cheese logs or balls you make), and make some Parmesan squares, sausage cheese balls, meatballs (easy to do at home, or available frozen)and about 3 other choices- dips are a challenge if people will be dressed up.

A good punch is much less expensive and more interesting than canned or bottled sodas. Take a look at the punch thread in the forum- lots of ideas and lots of links.

You don't want much that has to be individually cooked in the oven at the time of the party- things like meatballs are made ahead and held in crock pots.

Olivia
02/11/12
I really need help. I'm planning my own sweet 16. I want it to be in the park of my home town. I'm thinking the time range is going to be like 4-8. I need help deciding what food and drinks to have. There will probably be around 60 people and its completly casual. And I'm making the colors pink and silver. Its in april so I have time but we still have to make reservations and stuff like that so I really need to get this out of the way...please help...thank you:)
ellen
02/11/12
It sounds like you would do well with picnic style food, which is well within your capacity for this many people. Do you like to cook? Do you want to do some ahead and store it in the freezer? Do you have a budget in mind yet? Do you have parents or friends who will help make the food, or help set up and serve the day of?

Write me back some more info, and we can make plans.

Olivia
02/11/12
My mom and sisters will probably make the food that I tell them do I love baking so id end up doing desserts. They'd also be the ones setting up for the party..id want to make the food like the day before the party. I'm not completly sure of the budget but it can't be too expensive. Like at all..
Thanks soo much for your help & time
ellen
02/12/12
OK. If the park has grills/BBQs, how about grilled chicken quarters, previously made baked beans or mac and cheese heated on the grill in shallow pans, cut up fruit, potato salad, lemonade (cheaper than soda). For dessert, brownies, 7 layer bars, some kind of cookies, one of each per person, made ahead and frozen, and cake, of course.
Hannah
02/16/12
Sweet 16 party for 60--75 people
oook so I'm having a sweet 16 dance party at a club and don't really know what to have as food. My mom and I thought maybe appetizers like quesadillas, walking tacos, wings,salad trays meat and cheese trays, sodas sushi, slushis. Any recommendations of anything?
ellen
02/16/12
This is a perfectly OK menu, not sure what the question is?
Ann
03/10/12
Baby shower for 20 people
I am having a baby shower for approximately 20 ladies on a Sunday afternoon. I am serving pinwheel and ribbon tea sandwiches. How many loaves should I prepare for this number of guests.
ellen
03/10/12
These are so pretty and so rare these days! If it is med-afternoon, you want the equivalent of 3 slices bread per person.
tootie
05/31/12
Sweet 16 party western theme
I'm giving my daughter is having a sweet sixteen party in about two weeks. It is outdoor and we are transforming the carport into a barn. The party is from 7-11 with a d.j. We don't know exactly how many guests but we are figuring at least 50. I'm having trouble deciding on food. My budget is low. We are thinking simple,easy, non messy. So far we came up with mini burgers and some one suggested nachos, which I think is nota good idea. We are serving iced bottled water and punch. I ordered 36 cupcakes and 8 inch round layer cake. Should I order more cupcakes? We also have swirl lollipps. Any other ideas for food?
ellen
06/01/12
A taco bar would be neater than nachos and in keeping with the Western theme, simpler than burgers and not expensive, add the rice and beans. Take a look at the taco bar page. The baked potato bar with a bbq beef option is another possibility.
Yaura
06/27/12
Sweet 16 party for 100 people
My daughter is having a sweet 16 for a 100 people. The party's theme is Paris. What would be a good idea for food and drinks.
ellen
06/29/12
How about mock champagne punch based on gingerale.

Have a rather fancy appetizer of some kind.

Have a chicken dish with sauce such as my orange Dijon wedding chicken, chicken with mushrooms, etc; a rice pilaf with toasted almonds; whole or French cut green beans; a fruit trim such as a melange of berries, spiced peach or apple slice;

Croissants and butter for the bread.

A little cheese course.

A "gateau style" cake

Yaura
07/02/12
Sweet 16 party for 100 people
My daughter has switched her theme to Hollywood.What would be good to serve for appetizers and dinner?
ellen
07/09/12
This could be anything. Look up "Hollywood foods party" on google for lots of ideas.
SOLIS
08/08/12
Sweet 16 party for 60 people
I am planning my daughters sweet 16 it's on a saturday night 6-10. I will have pork, rice, chicken wings, potatoe salad, macaroni salad, bread rolls,and rice. Do I need to serve or have appetizers. Thank you for your time. This site is awesome has helped me plan.
Teresa
08/19/12
My daughter is turning 16 and I am throwing a dinner for about 40 to 50 people on a budget. Need some good ideas. Catering is to expensive so I will probably do it myself. Any ideas?
ellen
08/19/12
Solis, teens always enjoy appetizers. You could do the chicken wings as an appie (less eaten), add a fruit tray and one other item- either a dip and chips or pita, or bites of something.

Teresa, least expensive are a taco fiesta or baked potato bar, or some kind of chicken with rice and great sides.

Terrie
08/23/12
The posts for food for sweet 16 party have been very helpful. What about drinks? We're just going to have soda & water. How many should I calculate per person? Thanks for the help.
ellen
08/23/12
Check the beverage planning page for all necessary. Reduce costs by adding iced tea or lemonade to the choice.
Sarah
03/24/13
Hey. Im having a sweet 16 in about a week. Its a shabby-chic kind of vintage themed party and we are hoping to have around 80-90 people at the most ranging from toddlers to adults. Its gonna be from 6pm-10pm and its gonna be outside. I was thinking for dessert (excluding the cake) to have macaroons and cake pops. And i have wonton pizza bites and fries & chips as appetizers. We were gonna do chicken tenders, fried chicken wings, and boneless bbq chicken bites as the main meal. Its a very casual party with a dj and its not going to be very formal so i thought those kind of foods would be appropriate. Do you have any other suggestions or advice to improve the menu, that would be great :)
ellen
03/24/13
Happy birthday!

I would add fruit trays or a watermelon boat, since there is no fruit or veg and they are popular and look very nice. If you are cooking all those items, you have too much to cook, especially frying- this takes a lot of time and labor compared to some cold items. I would swap at least one for something cold- maybe mini ham and cheese rolls or another tiny sandwich that could be made ahead. You need some kind of starchy/bread items for at least one dish.

Osiris
08/19/13
Hi, I wil be hosting my daughter's sixteen party in a few days. In our back yard( might be a mistake) since she invited 100 teens. I was thinking of serving sliders, Mini potato tacos, meatballs,and mini quesadillas. As well as fruit trays, cookies,and a three tier cake. And small water bottles and strawberry lemonade . Is this a good menu and how much would I need?

Thank you,
In desperate need

ellen
08/19/13
Hope it's a big yard, but I think you have too many hot foods for a home kitchen.

Look at the taco bar for 100. You can add 10 pounds of nacho chips, nacho cheese sauce (get 3 #10 cans, open 2 to start), and a gallon of sliced jalapenos; add refried beans and rice in amounts indicated, and have a really simple popular spread of tacos and nachos.

Then if you want to add sliders or meatballs, do about 200 small sliders or 15 pounds of meatballs with about 1 gallon of sauce..

Get the larger bottles of water, 2 per person, and at least 12 gallons of lemonade, and ice (see the beverage planning page) or maybe mock margaritas to go with the fiesta theme? Have a few gallons of unsweetened iced tea and Splenda or stevia for the carb watchers

It takes 2 full sheet cakes (ie 8 9x13 cakes or 16 layers) to make 100 servings.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per person, to support the site.

Natalia
08/29/13
Hey my mom is having a sweet 16 for me and it's a formal theme but I don't want to have meals that's are a little too formal sice they are teens. Do you have any ideas for me?
ellen
08/30/13
Take a look at the dijon wedding chicken, nicely formal, with a rice pilaf with almonds, whole green beans or another nice vegetable. If your mom wants to use a frozen entree, a chicken cordon bleu (Sam's or Costco) would be another good choice.
fortunate
09/13/13
Hi am planing a sweet 16 for my daughter next year,I dnt hav any idea what to hav food,theme,snack,deserts everything please help
ellen
09/13/13
You need to talk it over with your daughter. She and her friends will have preferences on how formal, whether to base it with an activity such as skating or bowling. Then come back.
Sue
09/15/13
Pre homecoming Dance semi formal dinner for 14
I am hosting 14 teens for a semi formal Pre dance dinner. What would you recommend menu wise and also any tips on prep that will allow me to be not so busy in the kitchen an hour before their arrival (so we can take pictures before the meal)
ellen
09/15/13
What a pleasant opportunity.

One of the wedding chickens from the Big Pots page, with a rice pilaf (maybe with almonds), whole green beans or sugar peas, maybe a bit of fancy fruit (spiced peach or apple? apricot compote?) as the main course, allowing minimum spills and stains on their good clothes. 2 crisp rolls with butter at each place.

Sparkling cider in champagne glasses and maybe an appetizer of 2 miniquiches and 2 other "bites (stuffed mushrooms or shrimp, etc) before the dinner; maybe a white cranberry juice or sparkling white grape juice with dinner?
Dessert is an eclair, a few petit fors, or some other little elegant bites.

The chicken can be made well ahead and frozen, how to reheat is in the recipe. The rice is baked in the oven covered and takes care of itself. The green beans are set up before they start arriving, to steam, covered, don't turn on till they get there, minimal watching. Plenty of time for pictures.

If this saves you time, trouble or money, consider a donation, maybe a quarter per guest to support this site. Thanks.

Jamie
09/21/13
Sweet 16 party for 70 people
I'm having a sweet 16 dinner and dance in a hall at the end of the year and need help to feed 70 teens on a really low budget. Catering is waaay to expensive so my parents and I don't mind cooking meals and buying cheap snacks but I would really like to keep the budget, once again really low to help out my parents with other costs but I still being able to serve good food. Any ideas?
ellen
09/22/13
Good for you, Jamie. Take a look at the basic budget entrees on the big pots page or the taco bar or baked potato bar and see if any of those flavors appeal to you. Then write back and tell me, what time the party starts, how late it runs and whether there are ovens you can use at the hall- if there are you could do a build it yourself pizza party, for example. You can start a new thread, so I can be sure to find your letter.
Also, a dessert/ cookie bar to go with the cake is always popular at teen parties.
A dessert/cookie bar to go
Jamie
09/28/13
Hi It's Jamie again
I'm planning on starting my party at 7 and keeping the dinner for about an hour an a half making it end around 8:15- 8:30ish then I will start my dance...I like the idea of a taco bar and the dessert/cookie bar.and I for sure know I will have an oven I can use at the place I am renting
ellen
09/29/13
Sweet 16 party for 75 people
Hi, Jamie,

Good choices. I would use the taco bar page, plan for 3/4 the amounts for 100, adding the rice and beans discussed. Add 6-7 pounds of tortilla or corn chips, 3 quarts of salsa and a large crock pot with a #10 can of nacho cheese to the line, and you will have a fine feast.

For the dessert bar, how about a full sheet (which is the same as 4 9x13), or a 2 layer half sheet of cake, then about 4 smallish cookies or bars per person. The cookies can be made ahead and frozen. Each should be about 3 bites (2" cookies). If you want ice cream with the cake, 4 gallons would be plenty.

Iced tea or lemonade/ fruit punch is less expensive than soda. You need about 6 gallons. There are a lot of recipes on the punch thread, or info on sodas and other beverages on the beverage planning page. Happy birthday.

Ann
12/31/13
Sweet 16 party for 50 people or more
Hello,
I am having a Sweet 16 and it is winter wonderland theme. I do not want my parents spending too much money on food. I would only like finger foods not too messy. The party is at night. But I am planning for a candy bar and chocolate fountain but I have no idea what else to have. Please I would love your help. I am also having a giant cake.
ellen
12/31/13
Ann, just by the way, chocolate fountains are messy.

Can you tell me what time the party starts and how long it lasts? Write back.

Deanna
01/31/14
Hi Ellen,
Were having a sweet 16 birthday party for our daughter,it will be from 6-11pm at the VFW Club. I decided on a taco bar because for the most part, it's easy. My problem is that I just thought about where am I going to by hard taco shells in bulk! I called Costco, no go there. Any ideas of where I can buy hard taco shells by the bulk, in less then two weeks?
ellen
01/31/14
Yes.

Almost any restaurant supply or grocery wholesaler.
Or, by the case from your grocer.

Also, with teens, add 1 pound chips per 15.

By the way, if this saves you time, trouble, or money, please consider a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support the site. Thanks.

kelsey
04/24/14
hey there i am having a sweet sixteen and it is easter color themed. but i am not for sure on what types of food to have. my mother was thinking bbq because it is a inside and outside party at my house. i sure would love if you could help me out....
ellen
04/24/14
Kelsey, this depends a lot on what kind of party you want; do you want to have dancing? Or play games or sports? You could do a coffee house/bistro type theme if you are into that; you could do a 50's party with punch and colored ice cubes and burgers and an ice cream sundae bar; you could do a taco fiesta, or a baked or mashed potato bar with or instead of BBQ. I need some more information from you in order to make good suggestions- read this thread and see if it gives you any ideas. Then write back.
Malachi Haskins
05/28/14
Sweet 16 party for 100
I doing Catering Project I have design a buffet can u help?
Malachi Haskins
05/28/14
Sweet 16 party for 100
I need one cold Hors D' Oeuvre and one Hot
Salad
Soup
Two Main Entrees
Two Vegetables sides
Two Starch sides
One Dessert
One Non Alcoholic beverage

Please any ideas anyone?

ellen
05/29/14
Malachi, I can't do your work for you. Read the threads about graduation and sweet 15 parties for plenty of ideas.
Malachi Haskins
05/31/14
I got everything, Thanks anyway..
Can u give out any recipe for me for
Deviled Eggs
Stuff jalapenos with cream chess and bacon wrap
Bake Mac and Chess
Grilled Samoln
I need them to be converted to 100 portion by pounds

Please can you at least help me with getting a goodrecipe..

ellen
05/31/14
Deviled Eggs, on this site
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/appetiz2.html

Bake Mac and cheese, see classic mac and cheese on this site, link on the Big Pots index page

I don't have a recipe for the peppers, but there are MANY on a google search

The salmon, this is a simple, tasty, well-tested recipe:
allrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-salmon-i/

fantasia
10/22/14
hey my name is fantasia i am looking for some help. i trying to have a party for 40 people it a sweet 16 and i trying to do something cheap. but that people would love to eat it. please help me
fantasia
10/22/14
hey my name is fantasia i am looking for some help. i trying to have a party for 40 people it a sweet 16 and i trying to do something cheap. but that people would love to eat it. please help me
ellen
10/22/14
The least costly that is fun might be the taco bar or baked potato bar. You would use 2/5 or 40% the amount for 100. Happy birthday.
Cheryl
11/14/14
caramel recipe for fountain
On your info on chocolate fountains you mention using 1 part water to liquid caramel. What is liquid caramel? Caramel sundae topping in a jar? Thanks, Cheryl
ellen
11/15/14
Yes. For a large party, you can purchase caramel sundae topping in #10 cans.
Jennifer
02/06/15
Sweet 16 party for 50
I am having a sweet 16 dance party for 50 and thinking of pizza, chips maybe salad. What should I be looking at bags of chips wise? I am thinking 15 large pizza's. AM I in the right ballpark?
ellen
02/06/15
15 large pizzas is OK, no leftovers. You definitely need salad- see the plan for 100 page and do 1/2 the amount for 100. Maybe also cheesy bread sticks? About 2 per person.

Chips, 1 pound per 10-12 and 1 pint dip or salsa per pound.

Happy birthday!

Raven
03/02/15
Sweet 16 party for 10-15 people
I am having my Sweet Sixteen pretty soon and would like to know: How many pounds of meat would I need to do sloppy Joes for everyone for about 2 each and how many chips and dips would I need? Thank you for looking at this! I appreciate the help!
ellen
03/02/15
For 30 sloppy joes, about 7 pounds. Happy birthday.
Fran
03/05/15
Sweet 16 party for 100 people
Giving my daughter a Sweet 16 party with about 100 friends...her theme is the "Decade's"..definitely need some food ideas..we are doing a candy bar with the at least 2 candies from each decade from 60's til 80's, music is the 80's til now and cake is the 50's theme..but I have no idea what food to serve. Thanks for your input !
Anisah
05/07/15
I need a cheap sweet 16 party idea for between 35-40 people?
ellen
05/08/15
A taco bar as outlined on this site would be a simple and popular choice.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/potabar1.html

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support this site. Thank you.

Abriana
08/15/16
Sweet 16 party for about 35 people
Hello, I have a nice sweet 16 that is coming up in March. I am so lost with my food theme. I know for sure I want it light foods and grapes. I don't want large courses that fills the belly, because we will be active with dancing in ball dresses and that sort. So, maybe a light Roman type foods? Like, almonds, figs, grapes, walnuts, pears, Libae(smaller rolls), panis sordidus (dark bread), etc. I need advice with my food theme lol
ellen
08/15/16
Hi, Abriana,
For a formal party you definitely don't want drippy foods. but at the same time, teens, especially guy eat a lot; can you tell me how long your party will last and when it starts? Please write back.
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