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Cook Talk

50th birthday party
Norma Jimenez
I need to know how much food I need to prepare for a large party of 200 people. The menu consists of chicken marsala, mashed potatoes, and a vegetable melody. I need to many chicken breasts, how many boxes of instant mashed potatoes, and how bags of vegetable melody I need. I also plan to have cold salads as appetizers. How many should I prepare? I am also having a dessert table but I will buying different desserts from sam's warehouse. I will have home made tea and lemonade as drinks. Food will be served with dinner rolls. We will also be serving coffee later in evening when we cut the cake.
3-4 serving lines

chicken marsala, use the chicken marsala for 100 recipe on this site as a quantity guide

mashed potatoes, I don't use instant, please consider doing a baked rice pilaf with this entree, it would be easier to prep and goes better. 8 pounds dry rice per 100.

vegetable medley, 24 pounds per 100

For salads, use the plan for 100 salad table on this site, also discusses dressings

rolls, 2 per person, 3 pounds butter per 100

tea, 9 gallons per 100, 1/3 unsweetened
lemonade, 8 gallons per 100
coffee, see dinner/reception coffee on the beverage planning page

The dessert menu, 3-4 different bites per person

Please consider adding an appetizer plan and here is why:

A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread; or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex with chips, salsas, Texas caviar and guacamole; Italian with bruschetta or antipasto; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits.

One appetizer service area serves about 100 guests.

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

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