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Cook Talk

Graduation
Serena
05/03/06
I am having a graduation party for about 75 people. I am serving It. Beef, mostaccioli,Salata(Fresh vegggies in oil and vingar) Fruit and saugage bread, Cake, mints, nuts and of course drinks tea,leamonaid,beer. but, I'm not sure if the menu is ok? and What kind and how much bread to get for the It. Beef? It will be around dinner time. How much beer should I get?
ellen
05/03/06
This is a fine menu. Most of these foods are listed on my quantities for 100 table, you would use 3/4 of the amount. The beverages, including estimating alcoholic beverage, are discussed in the beverages table.

I am not sure what fruit and saugage bread is. When I make garlic bread for a crowd, I allow a 1 pound loaf for each 8 people, or 1.2-1.5 rolls per person. Since you are having the Italian beef,, will people be making sandwiches? Bread is cheap, and an easy thing to have extra on hand.

Since this is at dinner time, I would get 35 pounds raw boneless chuck to make the beef for this many people. It will cook down to about 25 pounds, which will give a nice 5 ounce portion per person. If you have a meatless casserole of mostaciolli, that would give the vegetarians an entree. If you make it with sausage, consider adding a 4 pound sliced cheese tray to the menu for vegetarian and others.

Julie Starr
05/07/06
I have been asked to coordinate the refreshments for a graduation reception (late morning) for my daughter's small private school. As most of the families will be heading on to brunches, parties, etc., we thought small finger sandwiches, cheese and fruit, cookies and brownies and lots of cold beverages (it's already very hot in Charleston, SC at this time of the year!) would be nice. Any other suggestions, and/or recipes you could suggest?
Julie Starr
05/07/06
By the way, we are expecting approximately 150 people to attend.
ellen
05/07/06
An icy green tea punch ala Arizona iced tea would be lovely, and my Frappacino punch would provide a delicious coffeee kick, probably very welcome at this time of the morning.

The small finger sandwiched would be lovely, see my article on teas and tea sandwiches, as there are some tricks to speeding up production while maontaining freshness. Celery stuffed with pimento cheese and deviled eggs are two excellent mornig items (a little protein). Mini bagels with whipped cream cheese and spreads would be a very acceptable sub for the sandwiches and MUCH less prep. Also check with local bakeries for prices on mini muffins and pastries, again, very desirable and much less prep.

Sandy
05/18/06
I am planning my daughter's graduation party. My menu is lunchmeat and cheese with various breads, potato salad, veggie tray, chips, hot wings and cake. The only thing I am really having a hard time deciding is how many wings to do. My husband will be grilling them ahead of time. There will be lots of teenagers there. We are expecting about 75 people. Thanks
ellen
05/19/06
Minimum is 3 pieces per person, but I have found that with teens 3 pieces per person per hour is more realistic.
lupe
05/22/06
I am having around 50-60 people for after graduation party.

Main entree will be provided by a caterer -- soft tacos (corn tortillas) with 3 different types of meet.

My problem; I will have to provide the Mexican rice and beans; I know how to make these for my family, but not for 50.

Can a make the rice, refrigerate and then reheat? Do you have any suggestions.

ellen
05/22/06
I have several good rice recipes for 50-100 in the Big Pots section which can be made in the oven and are very hard to goof up- quite helpful cooking directions. So you do not have to try to reheat the rice, which is better fresh.

The beans can also be heated in the oven or in an 18 quart electric roaster (Nesco, Rival, GE), which is just the right size for this size group. Or you can use 3 7-8 quart crock pots. Can be made ahead, they are actually better that way, but reheat slowly and stir.

Michelle
05/25/06
I am hosting my daughter's graduation reception. I need a recipe for pea salad for 150 people. I am also having ham, turkey, and roast beef. I am planning on 15lbs of ham, 15lbs of turkey, and 10 lbs of roast beef. I have 4 different cheeses, of which I am planning on 5lbs of each cheese. I am also having ham salad. I have 12lbs of chips, 4 veggie trays, 12 lbs of fruit salad, 10lbs of potato salad, 10lbs of cole slaw, 12lbs of mac n cheese, 15 doz deviled eggs, 14lbs of miniature smoky links. Does this sound right on quantities? I am also planning on pop, tea, lemonade, and adult beverages. Thanks
ellen
05/26/06
This is enough meat if you are having sandwiches and adding bread and rolls, but is only 4 ounces per person, not a lot for a plate dinner. The sandwich events page has condiment amounts. If this is a lunch or dinnertime reception, not midafternoon, you are going to come up short in several areas. Per 100 people (and you have 150) I recommend 40-50 pounds of potato salad, at heast 20 pounds of cole slaw, pasta mac and cheese starting with 15 -16 pounds DRY pasta. I suggest 3 ounces of fruit per person, which is 5 people per pound, or 30 pounds for 150; deviled eggs and chips OK; your sausages will allow about 2-3 per person.

For the pea salad, look up the Texas caviar recipe and use the quantities as a guideling for your English peas.

Trixy
05/26/06
Can you tell me how much soda i would need to buy for 100 people?

Thank you

ellen
05/26/06
Yes, check the beverage planninhg page.
Kim
05/27/06
We are having a grad party for 150 - mostly adults and teenagers. One of the dishes we are serving is Penne pasta with a pesto sauce. How much pasta should I cook??
Thanks much!
ellen
05/27/06
It depends on whether this is the only entree and what time you are serving. For entree portions, 4 people per pound dry. For side dish portion, 6 persons per pound.
Jane
05/28/06
I'm planning a graduation open house for about 150 people, 4:00 to 7:00 pm. While this is over the dinner hour, we live in a small town, and most guests will be going from one graduation party to another, and won't be eating a full meal. My menu is: chicken sate, hummos, pita bread, vegetable tray, baklava, and chocolate fountain with pineapple, strawberries, pretzles, and cake to dip. The hummos, pita, and baklava are being purchased from a deli. A couple of questions. How much boneless, skinless chicken breasts should I purchase for the sate for 150 people? For a similar party I previously did, 3 lbs. of chicken served 15 people. Second question, we're planning on grilling the chicken early in the afternoon. How would you recommend keeping it hot, yet not drying out? Much thanks!
ellen
05/29/06
I would stick with the 1 pound per 5 person menu.

Please consider making the hummus yourself if you have a grinder or good food processor. A #10 can of chickpeas is cheap and the tahini for the whole batch will cost about the same as a pint of ready-made.

I would NOT grill all the chicken ahead. It should only be held 2 hours MAX at serving temp, and I don't know any way to keep it moist for more hours if help hot. If you brine the chicken, it will saty moister/juicier.

ann
05/30/06
I'm having a graduation open house for my son and having a taco buffet. I am planning on around 150 people and have aprox 25# of hamburger mixed with seasonings ready. Now I'm wondering how much of the fixin's I'm going to need. Soft and Hard shells, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, onions, olives, beans, sour cream, ect. Can you help me out with this. Thank you
ann
05/30/06
One more thing the Open House will be from 4-8 on a Saturday.
ellen
05/30/06
25 pounds ground beef is 50 cups, or 1/3 cup per person. This will make 2 tacos each- three if you have charro or refried beans available as part of the toppings, which I recommend with teens.

You can do this either of two ways. Use the topping amounts and suggestions from the baked potato bar (the toppings are essentially the same)
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/potabar1.html

or check the taco ans salsa recipes on this page:
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmex100.html

Sandy
06/04/06
Birthday Party
how many deviled eggs, fried chicken, shrimp cocktail for 75 people, help
ellen
06/04/06
Is this dinner or a cocktail buffet? Makes a difference.

All these items are in the quantities for 100 tables, you use 3/4 for 75 people, for example you want 2 pieces of chicken per person if it is dinner, but 1 to 1 1/2 is plenty for cocktail buffet. Deviled eggs, use 4 dozen eggs to start. Shrimp cocktail falls in the "they will eat all you put out" realm; the best way to limit is to dish up a portion of about 3 ounces of shrimp mixed into cocktail sauce into individual plastic glasses with some shredded lettuce underneath and make one each.

mark
06/06/06
I need to know how much pasta and sauce I will need to serve 100/125 people.
ellen
06/06/06
Look at the guidance on the lotsa pasta page in Big Pots, especially the baked mostaciolli and sausage for 120 recipe, for guidance on amounts.
Joe K
08/23/06
Family Table for the Homeless
Hi, Ellen...Every Tuesday I have volunteered to cook for 150 people at a facility for needy/homeless, etc.

Do you have any recipes for that many people:
Mac n' Cheese
Pea Salad
Potato Salad

Do you have any suggestions for other dishes?
Thanks.

ellen
08/23/06
Go to the Big Pots Index and check all the recipes under basic budget entrees. I have several recipes for mac and cheese and potato salads for 100 posted.
Sandee Thomure
03/18/07
Wedding Reception
I am doing a wedding reception for 125 people. The menu includes the following:
BBQ Brisket (for cocktail sandwitches)
Sliced Ham (for cocktail sandwitches}
Potato Salad
Frozen Pea Salad
Baked Beans
Develed Eggs
Meatballs (crockpot w/sauce)
WE ARE HAVING IT COOKED BY FRIENDS, AND NEED TO KNOW THE AMOUNTS TO BUY TO SERVE 125 PEOPLE.
CAN YOU HELP, WOULD SURE APPRECIATE IT. THANK YOU
ellen
03/19/07
You need to tell me what time of day- if the time is over a meal period, you need a meal's worth per person. If 3 in the afternoon, you need about 1/3 less.
This is basically a sandwich and appetizer meal, and you need to read the articles on sandwich events and appetizer amounts and try to make an initial estimate- then I will be glad to check it for you.
Jean
03/30/07
I am having a graduation party for 200 people. The menu includes the following.

sausage
chicken salad
baked beans
scalloped potatoes and ham
potato salad
fruit
bread
chips
bars
cookies
cake
pop
beer
wine
I need to know the amounts of food to purchase and prepare. I would appreciate any help! Thank You!

Jean
04/03/07
The above request is mine. When I'm looking at the amount needed to serve 100 people for salads, it must depend on how many different salads I have. If I have two salads do I cut each amount in half? If I have chicken salad, potato salad and beans, would it be one third?
ellen
04/03/07
Jean, assuming this is a high school graduation and you are basically providing dinner for teenagers, you want a total of about 2 pounds of food per teen, 1 1/2 pounds per adult.

Some salads are veggie/ side dishes and some are entrees. For the veggie/side dishes, you want a total of 10 gallons for each 100 adults, and I would increase this to 12-14 for 100 teens. I usually split the ten into 4 gallons potato salad and about 3 each for beans and slaw (which you might add slaw or green salad- cheap and popular). For teens, keep the division about the same, just increase the amounts to larger of each.

The sausage, chicken salad and scalloped potatoes with ham are basically entrees. I would allow minimum 1 pound sausage for each 4 perwsons, Plus, 1/2 cup chicken salad, plus 1 cup of the scalloped poatoes with ham (for 100 people, as a single entree, I would do 40 pounds of potatoes with about 18 pounds of ham. With the other entrees, that would probably be enough for this group as well.

Fruit salad, about 9 gallons, or use my fruit tray page to calculate. Don't forget dip.

Rolls/bread, 4 ounces per male teen, 3 oounces per female teen, 2 ounces per adult. But again, good bread is cheap, so consider generous amounts with bowls of whipped flavored butters.

Chips, 6-8 pounds per 100 people, plus about 3 quarts dip.

Cookies and bars, 1 of each flavor per person, up to 4. 1 smallish piece of cake per person; a full sheet (4 9x13 pans) serves 96.

Beverages you can calculate yourself using the beverages page. If there are grown ups, be sure there is coffee.

Jill Blegen
04/09/07
We are having a graduation for 200 people and we are having sloppy joes and I was wondering how much hamburger to buy. We will be having salads, beans, fruit, nacho cheese and chips and bars. Also how much beans?
Brenda Bankos
04/09/07
Wedding Reception - Barbecue
I need help on how much food to buy for 60 - 70 people.
menu: hamburger, hot dogs, sausage and peppers, fried chicken, fruit basket, ambrosia, baked beans, potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, macaroni & cheese, barbecued ribs.
How many lbs. of potato and macaroni salads and coleslaw should I buy? The bride has a favorite deli, but I don't know how many pounds to buy of each. Thanks for your help.
ellen
04/10/07
Jill, about 36 pounds beef; 6-7 gallons beans. Increase at least 1/4 for teens.

Brenda, you will have a hard time with this many entrees. You want 3 gallons of potato salad, 2 of cole slaw, 1 1/2 to 2 macaroni salad, this will be plenty.

Lisa
04/13/07
I am having an after graduation party for my daughter and the main entree is covered by a caterer which is pulled pork and chicken. I am wanting to make scalloped potatoes to do with this. My question, how many potatoes to I need for 100 people? And can the scalloped potatoes be made ahead of time, refrigerated and reheated in warmers?
ellen
04/13/07
Start with about 35-40 pounds raw potatoes use your favorite recipe. If it is a lot of guys or you don't have many side dishes (beans, etc), increase the potatoes up to as much as 50 pounds. You can make and bake the day ahead and reheat the day of.
Loni
05/01/07
Baby Shower
I wan't some small sandwitches that are served warm and something a little different to serve at my baby shower, I've tried a few at some other baby showers but I want something really good and different. This is my first child and first baby shower!
ellen
05/02/07
I have a few pages on tea sandwiches, which is what you are talking about. How about shrimp salad with a touch of curry powder and a dab of chutney? Lots of filling recipes and preparation hints- check it out.
P>S> Hope all goes well. Motherhood is hard work!
Judy
05/04/07
We planning a party where we are planning on serving approximately 300 individuals. The menu is turkey, BBQ, Potato salad, fruit salad, chips, and bars/cookies. How much will I need to prepare of the turkey, BBQ, potato salad, and the fruit salad?
Sally
05/05/07
We have two young ladies graduating from highschool. I am planning a reception at 10:00 am at our church for our graduating seniors. Any ideas?
ellen
05/06/07
Judy,What kind of BBQ?

You have two meats, you split by your estimate of local preference, then add 10% to each part. For example, if you decide 200 turkey and 100 bbq, you make 220 turkey and 110 BBQ, because people take both and more when there are several choices. The potato salad amount is on the plan for 100 page. The fruit salad is discussed expansively on the fruit tray page. Turkey is on the holiday cooking section planning page at the top of the Big Pots section. BBQ, about 35 pounds boneless raw meat to serve BBQ for 100.

Sally, I suggest really good cookies and cake and maybe my Frappacino punch, or another sherbet punch, with coffee and coke on the side.

Carol
05/07/07
Planning a graduation party for my daughter/100 people invited.
My menu is
Shredded Chicken
Sloppy Joes
Potato Salad
veggie tray
fruit tray
cheese & crackers
baked beans
chips/dip

My problem is how much to make of each

ellen
05/07/07
All of these foods are covered in my plan for 100 page, veggie tray page, fruit tray page. Plan to make about 75 sandwiches of each type and you will have enough.
Jamie
05/07/07
wedding reception
I am expecting appx. 160-180 people for our reception. I am planning on mac and potato salads, cole slaw, sliced ham/roast beef/turkey, rolls, cheese/pepperoni/cracker trays. There will be sweets and wedding cake for dessert. My mother and I disagree on how many pounds of potatoes to make for the salads. The reception is at 5:30. How many pounds of potatoes do you suggest to go along with the other salads and meats?
ellen
05/08/07
for 175 people I would make potato salad from 65-70 pounds raw potatoes (the lesser amount if unpeeled) plus all the appropriate fixings. I have a bunch of good and different potato salad for 100 recipes on the slaw, mac and potato salad page in Big Pots.
Theola
05/10/07
50th Anniversary
having a 50th Anniversary party not sure how many well be here so well plan for 100 people.
How many potatoes should I start with, I aways put lots of eggs in it.
Theola
05/10/07
50th Anniversary
How many eggs would I need for the potatoe salad for 100.
thank You for both questions
ellen
05/11/07
Check out the basic recipe in the salad section of plan for 100, or one of the more interesting potato salad recipes on the slaw, mac, and potato salad for 100 page.
cindy
05/14/07
Im having a graduation party I am so confused on the amounts i need.Im having 100 people and I've ordered 2 subs that are enough to feed 36 people and i am having meatballs in sauce I bought 3 - 5lb bags of meatballs I didnt know if i should buy more subs or have a ham sliced to help feel in. Also could you tell me how many pounds i need of these side dish Im having macaroni salad potatoe salad green bean cassorole and cheese and crackers 1/2 sheet cake and 2 - 9 by 13 cakes with jello. please help thanks
Jeannie
05/14/07
If I'm having a graduation party for 100 people. Is there an easy way to calculate how many gallon of side dishes needed? You have different options listed; if I chose two do you cut the amount in half (3 in 1/3rd's)? The same with the entrees? Thank you, you and your web site have been very helpful!
ellen
05/16/07
Jeannie,Cindy, you want 10 gallons total of side salads for 100 people. I allow 4 gallons of potato salad and divide the rest among the slaws, salads, etc.

For multiple entrees you need to divde according to the amounts you want, then add 10% for example if it is 1/2 and 1/2, you make 60% and 60%- yes that is 120%, but people take more, and usually some of each, when there is a choice.

You want 9-10 9x13 pans of green bean casserole. 17 packages of jello for 100 servings jello salad.crackers 6 pounds, cheese about 8 pounds.

Steve
05/16/07
Memorial Day 2007
Planning the following menu for Memorial Day for 60 people - how much do we need in the way of fried chicken, burgers, potato and macaroni salad

Vegi Tray
Cheese Tray
Artichoke Dip
Guacumole
Tortilla Chips
Other Chips
Nuts
Quisadillas
Walmart Chicken
Bison Burgers
Shrimp
Potato Salad
Macaroni Salad
Tossed Salad
Buns
Condiments
Strawberry Shortcake
Cookies
Ice Cream

ellen
05/16/07
Steve, pretty nearly all these are covered on the various quantity and planning pages- for 60 you want 2/3 of the amount for 100. You can use for lists and for recipes.
I don't do the original estimates since I posted all my quantity tables. i WILL check your own estimates if you post it.
whyme
05/17/07
We are having a graduation party for a senior. My friend sent 40-50 invitations. We plan on around 40 people to show. We are having hamburgers, potatoe salad, baked beans, and pasta salad. How much do I need to have on hand. Also for paper plates, cups, napkins, plasticware? Thank you.
ellen
05/18/07
Assuming teens, use all my amounts for 100 and make 1/2. All these foods are covered. Get heavy plates and allow 2 per person. Get 120% of enough flatware. Glasses and ice are covered on the beverage page.
Sherry
05/22/07
I didn't see on your beverage planning page how much soda pop to buy for 100 guests at a graduation party where dinner is served and the party will last 4 hours.
Michele
05/24/07
Having a graduation open house 4-8pm. Having sloppy joes. Need to know how many pounds for 150 people. I also have 30 pounds of potato salad and 10 pounds of dry pasta for pasta salad. Will this be enough?
ellen
05/24/07
Sherry, if you only have pop (no tea, punch, etc) allow 30 2 liter sodas.

Michele, I use a recipe that has 25 pounds burhger for 100. If the pasta salad has lots of add ins, it should be enough. If not, add 8 or 10 pounds of potato salad.

ann
05/24/07
ellen, I am having a graduation party with 150 guest.
menu hamburger, hot dogs, potato chips, corn on cob.slaw
baked beans and lemonade. I need to know how many pounds. of baked beans slaw and lemonade I need to prepare for.

I need a reply soon.

bon
05/25/07
wedding
How many pounds of uncooked macaroni do I need for 150 people?
ellen
05/25/07
Ann, Baked beans, about 6 gallons (see some of the bean recipes for 100), slaw made from 30 pounds of shredded veggies plus dressing, lemonade at least 12 gallons, I would be ready to make 15.

Bon, for salad, 9-10 pounds. For a main dish entree with a thin sauce, 30-35 pounds.

Mary Gonzales
05/25/07
Graduation High School
Ellen, I am having a High School Graduation party for 200 adults. The Main menu will be sliced brisket, Beef Sausage,Rice,Beans,and Potatoe Salad. I would like to know how much Brisket to have on hand. The seving time is about 1 1/2 hours long. Also, about how much of the rest of the sides. Thanks.
talayna
05/25/07
Hi Ellen I'm having a graduation party from 2 to 5 . i'm having make your own ham and turkey sandwiches I figured 10 lbs turkey and 15 lbs ham.30 lbs potatoe salad 30 lbs green beans ,30 lbs baked beans, 1 bucket of cole slaw that feeds 43 people i figure everyone dont like that so i didnt need as much? and also veggie tray.Also I'm having 3 differnt cakes and jello this is for 100 guest.Is this enough food? Thanks for your help
ellen
05/26/07
Mary, allow about 1 pound ready to eat brisket for each 3 people (1 pound raw uncooked for 2 people) Plus 1 pound sausage for each 5 people.

Talayna, what a pretty name. Assuming teenagers, you will probably be short of meats. I would add 10 pounds of other cold cuts- this could even be salami and bologna, or tuna and chicken salad- PLUS about 6-7 pounds sandwich sliced cheese. This can be inexpensive jack and cheddar ($4 per pound), but it will make quite a difference in your sandwiches.

talayna
05/26/07
Thank you so much for your help.I was just wondering am I ok for the amounts of side dish?
ellen
05/27/07
Yes, you have plenty. An inexpensive "insurance" would be 6 pounds of chips and a couple quarts of dips- if you don't need them, you just don't open and they keep.
kathy
05/29/07
ENTERTAINING 250 KIDS AND ADULTS MIX. BURGER, FRANKS, PENNE VODKA, WINGS , BAKED ZITI AND GREEN SALD. HOW MUCH OF WHAT DO I MAKE?
HOW MUCH SODA TO BUY?

thanks kathy

Sherry
05/29/07
Thank you for the answer about how much soda pop to buy for 100. I forgot to ask how many bags of ice I would need (if I have 30 2 liter bottles of soda.) Thanks!
ellen
05/30/07
Sherry, 1 pound per person, more if very hot or more than 3-4 hours.

Kathy, since I posted all my quantity tables for 100 in 2004, I don't do original estimates. If you will use the lists to make a first estimate, I will be glad to review it if you post it. I start with 1 regular patty and 1 dog per person, but for example, I don't know if your wings are an appetizer or a third entree.

There is a beverage planning page, and some additional info on this thread on 5/22.

Kim
05/30/07
We are having a party for 50 teens and 10 adults. It will be out doors, menu is hot dogs, bratwurst, potato salad, beans, chips, bottled water and cans of pop. How much of each should be enough? Some kids will be dropping by but not necessarily eating and I'd rather have some food left over than come up short. Thanks
ellen
05/30/07
Kim, you would have enough if you use 3/4 of the amount for 100, maybe adding if it looks short, for example, you will want 2 sausages or dogs per person. Beans and potato salad are covered on the plan for 100 pages. Cans of pop, 2 to 3 per person if you supply cups and ice, or 2 the first hour and 1 each additional hour straight, depends on how long the party is.
Joanne
06/01/07
50th birthday party
I am cooking for a 50th birthday party. It will be from 5:30pm- 9:30pm. 60 people attending. How much ziti, sausage and peppers, meatballs would I need?

Thanks so much.

ellen
06/02/07
If you look at the mostaciolli for 120 on the lotsa pasta page and take half, you will have a good place to start. About 16-20 pounds of meatballs.
Dawn
06/04/07
I am having a graduation party and will be cooking for 100 people. The menu is fried chicken, meatballs and gravy, mostaccioli,
potato salad, pasta salad, taco salad and baked beans. How much of each thing should I make? The party is from 4pm till 8pm.
Thanks so much!
Jill
06/04/07
Grade school Picnic
I am in charge of the year end picnic for my daughters school. The fruit served is watermelon wedges. How many watermelons will I need for 210 kids?
Tricia
06/05/07
I am planning a graduation party and am expecting around 200 people. We are having BBQ brisket and sausage. I have 10 briskets and need to know how much sausage to buy. We are also having baked beans, potato salad and all the condiments that go with (pickles,onions,jalepenos and bread).
ellen
06/05/07
Do it by weight allow 1/2 pound per larger kid, 1/4 for kindergarteners. Chill by packing in ice in clean (new) garbage cans till cut.
ellen
06/05/07
Dawn, get make enough for 60 each of the chicken and meastballs (2/3 of 100, se the plan for 100 pages). Taco salad for 50. Total of 10 gallons of the others, start with 4 gallons potato salad, about 3 gallons each of beans and pasta salad.

Tricia, allow 2 pounds raw brisket for each 5 people PLUS 1 pound ready to eat sausage for eack 5 people. The condiments amounts are covered in the plan for 100 page, sandwich event page and the BBQ and brisket page.

jodi
06/05/07
anniversary party
I am having a party with 100 people . How many lbs of pulled pork and beef brisket do I need? We are also serving sausage with peppers and onions, coleslaw, garden salad, salt potatoes, baked beans, fruit salad, macaroni salad and veggie and olive trays before hand. party is from 3p til? Thanks for any help you can give me.
ellen
06/06/07
Jodi, nice menu, since this will be over dinner, you want 7-9 ounces cooked ready to eat meats per person, usually the laarger amount with multiple meats, since people take more and try several when given the choice.
All the other items are specifically covered on the related pages in the planning section of big pots.
Kevin
06/13/07
Dinner Party
I am having a dinner party for 60 adults, will this be enough?

Fajita Chix w/ peppers & Onions 6lbs
Beef Taco Meat 6lbs
Taco Tray 2ea (Supermarket Deli)
Refried Beans 4lb
Hard Shell Tacos 50ea
Soft Shell Tacos 50ea
Tortilla Chips 4bag
Salsa 5lbs

Thanks for any help you can give

ellen
06/13/07
Kevin, you have a good start on your party. If this is dinner time, and especially if there is beer with the Tex Mex, you need more food for 60 people. Your meat is light, I would go for 12 pounds of chicken and veggies, and you want at least 16 pounds of refried beans- 1 pound is 1 can, which is usually good for 4 people. The beef is borderline, you could go up as far as 10 pounds. Add 2 quarts of sour cream for the toppings, a big plus. I would suggest you add 1 recipe of the oven-baked Spanish rice for 75 servings from this website- it is inexpensive and VERY EASY to fix, even for a non-cook, and fills out the plate nicely. About half way down this page:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/texmex100.html

Donna
06/19/07
I am having 60 people for a college grad party. I'm making chicken, seafood and tuna salad finger sandwiches. How many sandwiches would a pound of salad make? I figured 120 sandwiches, also have sloppy joes, mac & potato salad, coleslaw and beans. Is this enough?
ellen
06/19/07
I have a page for sandwich events which includes quantity tables for salad fillings for sandwiches. Use 2/3 of the amount for 100 for your 60 people. The sloppy joes should count as part of the sandwiches, too. The menu is fine if you use the right quantities.
theresa
06/20/07
I am having about 100 people for my daughter's graduation party. I was planning on serving rigatoni, bbq pulled pork, cheesy potatoes,fried chicken, beans, and other things. I was wondering how many pounds of rigatoni, frozen hashbrowns, and pork to serve 100 people. The pork I will be buying is boneless country pork ribs. I found they have less fat and no bone.
ellen
06/20/07
Theresa, see
"baking cheesy potatoes in a an electric roaster" on 6/13 for the cheesy potato recipe. One roaster (60 servings) would probably be fine since you have the rigatoni also, unless it is many teen boys- then I would make 2. The mostaciolli and sausage for 120 without the sausage, on the lotsa pasta page, will give you a basic guideline for a big pasta casserole for 100. With the fried chicken, I would probably allow 2 pounds raw boneless pork for each 5 people for the pulled pork. There is a very good pulled pork recipe in the thread called GE roaster 18 quart, posted just a few days ago.
Lori McNiff
07/17/07
picnic
Ellen,
I am cooking for a party the menu is sausage and peppers, lemon chicken, penne with marinara sauce, ceasers salad, and rolls, how much chicken will I need boneless breast I was figuring 80 lbs and sausage 70lbs, and 5 #10 cans of sauce do you think this is enough, I planned 30 heads of romaine lettce from your info does this seem ok
Lori McNiff
07/17/07
picnic
sorry ellen the party is for 200 people
thanks lori
ellen
07/18/07
This looks about right, you will need more sauce if you simmer the sausage and peppers in sauce- some folks do, some don't. You will spare the meat if you add at least one cooked vegetable or marinated antipasto type vegetable tray.
Marie
07/18/07
I am having a grad party for 100 people
serving
bbq pulled pork on rolls
baked ziti
marinated chicken breast cut in strips
baked beans
salt pototoes
tossed salad
fresh fruit
also as apetizers
cheese crackers peperoni
relish tray
2 vegie tray
peanuts on all tables
chips and salsa
I just don't know how much to buy of eash ingreadient to have enough
ellen
07/18/07
Marie, all these foods are covered in the plan for 100 page, fruit trays page (for fruit salad) and the appetizer planning page.

If you make an initial estimate and post it, I will check it for you.

Debbie Yanez
08/02/07
Family Birthday for 80 yr old father
We are having a b'day party for my father-n-law and i need to prepare for 70 people. How do i figure for deviled eggs?
ellen
08/02/07
I have a recipe for a large amount of deviled eggs with extra hints:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/appetiz2.html

1 recipe would be about right...

BETH GREGORY
09/19/07
Reunion
I AM PLANNING A PARTY AND AM SERVING 1OO PEOPLE AND NEED TO KNOW HOW MUCH CHICKEN,FROM A CAN 3LB.SIZE,I WILL NEED TO MAKE SHEDDED CHICKEN SANDWICHES.thanks
ellen
09/19/07
Please see the sandwich page, I don't know whether you mean chicken meat only or the whole canned chicken with skin and bones- which is only 1/2 meat. I pound checken meat is 2 cups which makes 6 generous or 8 regular sandwiches.
Wanda
12/08/07
rehearsal supper
How many cabbages will I need to make cole slaw for about 75 people?

Thanks!

ellen
12/08/07
lways `best to shredd, press and drain before proceding, for the crispest slaw.
JOhn
12/14/07
I have a party of 200 adults. Prime rib/ boneless I am calculating cooking 160# of raw meat to feed the 200 guests. AM I correct with this calculation?
ellen
12/14/07
160 pounds, 30% cooking loss, say 1/3= about 110 pounds cooked, you will have over 8 ounces per person, so you could go with less- 6-7 ounces is a great serving. so about 135 pounds would be plenty if roasted low and slow to keep the shrinkage down.
ellen
12/14/07
Wanda, I did not realize that the 15 pounds cabbage recommendation was cut off.
smc
01/02/08
rehearsal dinner
what can be served for rehearsal dinner that is very inexpensive, will be 150 at that dinner.
ellen
01/02/08
That is a very large rehearsal dinner! Usually the rehearsal dinner only includes the folks who participate in the rehearsal plus the bride.

Depends on the formality level of the dinner- a taco bar, baked potato bar, texmex or baked pasta buffet or chili fest would be inexpensive but easy to fix possibilities. Take a look at the basic budget entrees section in big pots and see if any of these appeal to you. Write back-

Sheree Crotty
01/06/08
Daddy/Daughter Valentine Dance (4-12 yrs.)
Hello Ellen,
I am a mobile DJ, and I am planning to have a Daddy/Daughter Valentine Dance in February. Number of guest is aprox. 200. The menu will be chicken fingers, baked beans, potato chips, goldfish and soda. How much should I purchase?
Thank you
Sheree Monti
www.shereemonti.com
ellen
01/06/08
Sheree, use the plan for 100 pages and the beverage planning page to prepare your initial estimate, post it, and I will be glad to check. You want to allow 5-6 ounces of ready to eat chickn per person. Goldfish, if you mean the crackers, 6-8 pounds per 100. I would add slaw or some kind of veggie or fruit salad to the menu- about 3 gallons per 100.
Vivian Gosselin
01/14/08
bsby shower brunch
I am giving a baby shower with 75 guests. On the menu, scrambled eggs and other breakfast foods. How many eggs should I scramble?
ellen
01/14/08
There is a whole section devoted strictly to breakfast foods. You want 3/4 of the amount for 100. You might also want to look at the recipe in the egg section of the recipe box for "Scrambled Eggs that Hold", lots of tips on how to keep them tasty in a buffet line.
Monica
02/06/08
I am catering a retiement party for 125 people. The menu is baked brisket, grilled chicken breats, green beans almondine, grilled summer squash and scalloped potatoes. Can you give me a breakdown or these items? The second event is a barbque for 400 for a fundraiser. The menu is brisket, chicken, pork and beans. How much should I prepare? Thanks for the help
ellen
02/08/08
Monica, all these foods are covered in the various quantity tables on site, so I no longer do initial estimates. If you prepare your estimates and post them, I will check them for you. In particular, see the BBQ and brisket page on how to estimate a mixed plate for the second event.
Lynn
03/10/08
Graduation 100 people
I would like to if

15 lbs lunch meat
40 chicken salad sandwiches
5 lbs of cheese
3 lbs cauliflower
3 lbs baby carrots
1.5 lbs broccoli
1.5 lbs celery

19 lbs watermelon
6 lbs grapes
4 lbs strawberries
3 lbs honeydew
3 lbs cantaloup

would be enough food/

If not or if to much please let me know in lbs how much to buy or not to buy. I really do not want to over buy or under buy. Budget $250.00 plus pop, bread and chips.
What about number of plates, napkins and forks.

Thank you for youe help

ellen
03/11/08
This is a VERY scanty budget for 100 people, and the menu quantity is about right for 50. I would double the meat, get 15 pounds of cheese, add 100 rolls or equivalent bread, and at least triple the veggies for 100- plus ranch dip, 3-4 quarts. You also need a heavy side dish such as potato salad or pasta salad to decrease the amount of sandwich meats eaten- made at home, these are cheap.

You could use a big bowl of egg salad for part of the meat, 1 dozen eggs makes salad equivalent to 1 pound deli meats.

You need at least 120 plates, 200 napkins, 150 forks (200 if there is a cake or dessert that needs a fork), 200 glasses or cups.

Hope this helps.

Rosa
03/19/08
I am having a graduation party for 100 people from 5-11 for an adult crowd. The menu is
chicken marsala
mash potatoes
ham
mac and cheese
broccoli
corn
fried chicken
shrimp marinara
ziti meatballs
appetizer
veggie platter
cheese platter
mini crab cakes
penne pasta
Is this too heavy for a June 14 party?
ellen
03/20/08
Seven entrees for 100 people? Too much food!

appetizer-???- you have several already. You might consider tiny roasted and salted red potaoes with sour cream, or something like that
mini crab cake- move to appetizers, allow 2 per person
veggie platter-OK with dip
cheese platter-OK with crackers

Add green salad, slaw or relish platter

chicken marsala
ham
fried chicken
Choose TWO of these

shrimp marinara
ziti meatballs
penne pasta
Choose ONE of these three pasta dishes, especially since you have mac and cheese as a side

mash potatoes- change to rice, easier to cook and goes better with your other dishes
mac and cheese-OK
broccoli-OK
corn-OK

Sue
04/02/08
50th Anniversary Party
We are having a 50th anniversary party and would like to know how many bags of ice will we need to stock the bar at the hall with for 150 people.
Thank you.
ellen
04/02/08
2 pounds per person if it is not hot, 3-4 if it is, plus 40 pounds per large cooler.
Lori
04/15/08
I am planing a graduation party for about 150 people and i am making cheesy turkey sandwiches i was wondering how many buns i should order and how much potatoe salad i should make.
Lori
04/15/08
Me again another thing do u think 3 12 turkeys will be enough to feed 150 people or do u think i should get another turkey
ellen
04/15/08
1 pound whole turkey only makes 1 3/4 cups of meat. That means 36 pounds of turkey makes 63 cup of meat, and that is if you get every bit of it; that is about 1/3 cup of meat per sandwich, which is a little skimpy. I would definitely get another turkey.

You need 180 rolls and 6 gallons of potato salad.

Sara
04/15/08
I am planning a baptism party with about 30 people. I am planning on buying BBQ meat by the pound and green beans, baked beans and macaroni and cheese by the gallon. How many puonds of meat do I need and how many gallons of sides for 30 people(adults)?
ellen
04/15/08
You want 10-12 pounds of meat (the lesser if it is chopped, the more if it is slices); about a gallon each of baked beans and green beans; the mac and cheese, about gallon and a half- with 2 gallons you would have some left over, but not too much.
Dawn
04/21/08
Ellen,
I am planning for 75-100 guest at my daughter's open house and listed below is my menu.

Sloppy Joes-- how many pounds of burger,and how many cans of manwich? How buns (8 per bag)?

Macaroni Salad-- how many pounds of uncooked pasta?

Potato Chips-- How many bags?

Ice Cream -- How many gallons?

Cake-- the cake I am having made by the bakery.

ellen
04/21/08
Dawn, since I posted all my tables in 2004, I ask my readers to make and post an initial estimate, which I will be glad to check. All these foods have recipes and/or are included on the plan for 100 tables- even the chips and alamode ice cream (see the dessert table). See the sandwich planning page for condiments for 100.
Kristy
04/29/08
How pounds of strawberries in juice do I need to serve 75 people strawberry shortcake?
ellen
04/30/08
about 25 pounds.
jackie
04/30/08
help
have graduation party for 200 people
how many cases of beer and pop/water to have
we are an irish-catholic family
ellen
04/30/08
See the beverage planning page.

Be aware that in most states, the hosts are legally responsible for the drinking of the guests. Especially underage, and dwi issues.

jackie
04/30/08
also we are serving chicken
1/2 tray cabbage rolls
1/2 tray rigtoni
hot sausaage
meatballs
green beans
fruit salad
noodles
baked beans
baked ham (for sandwiches)
cake
cookies
chocolate fountain
is there anything else you would reccomend
jackie
04/30/08
thank you
i should have looked further at your page
this is VERY helpful
jackie
04/30/08
can't find recipie for cheezy potatoes or scalloped potatoes for 100 people
please forward
thanks
ellen
04/30/08
This recipe is posted in the "cheesy potatoes in an electric roaster", currently dated 6/28. Here it is again:

This recipe has quite a few variations. Most folks agree that without the sour cream it is pretty dry, or they double up the canned soup. I often use home made thick white sauce, made with 1/2 beef or chicken broth and 1/2 milk, in place of the soup- or at least I use the low fat, low sodium family size cream of mushroom in plce of regular.

It really matters how cold the mix is to start. If you mixed and refrigerated the night before, it takes about 3 1/2 hours to cook. If the soup/sauce etc is room temp, at least 2 hours.

Electric Roaster Hash Brown Potato Casserole
One roaster (60 servings, approximately; double for 100 people).

* 5 (2 pound) packages frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
* 1-1/2 cups melted butter
* 5 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom, celery or chicken soup
* 5 (8 ounce) containers sour cream
* 2-1/2 cups chopped onions, sauteed in butter until tender but not brown
OPTIONAL, chopped celery or bell pepper cooked with the onions
* 2 1/2 pounds (10 cups) shredded Cheddar cheese, Colby cheese or blends (see note above)
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
OPTIONAL, 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
OPTIONAL, crushed garlic or garlic powder to taste
OPTIONAL, 5 small cans green chilies
* 5 cups French fried onion bits for topping

1. Spray the inside of the roaster with a heavy coating of non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, combine hash browns, 1/2 cup melted butter. Make sure hash browns are thawed as per recipe instructions. Pour melted butter/margarine over the potatoes and mix. Then add the cheese and mix. Lastly add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Pour into the roaster, holding back the topping till later.
4. Bake in the electric roaster covered for at least 1 hour, 40 minutes, up to 3 hours if the mix was cold/refrigerated to start with. Sprinkle on the onions,cover, bake 20 minutes longer.

Here are more Variations:
Add some chopped or minced green pepper, or some cooked and crumbled bacon.
About halfway through baking, place more cheese on top and finish baking until the cheese is nicely browned.

***White Sauce***
1 gallon whole milk, warmed but not boiling (or use 1/2 beef stock)
10 ounces flour, may need a little more
1 pound unsalted butter or margarine
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
White pepper (optional)*

Topping with the French fried onion bits is my preference, as the electric roaster does not give a crisp finish to the top. But you MUST wait till about 20 minutes before serving, or they will get limp.

Cracker Barrel uses Colby cheese. My current favorite blend is the Kraft Mexican blend and Italian blend, 1/2 and 1/2. No spices in this, just many creamy, flavorful cheeses.

ellen
04/30/08
PLEASE read the chocolate fountain page before setting your heart on one; a chocolate fondue is better.
Janelle
05/05/08
Ellen,

We are having a 2PM-6PM graduation open house for our oldest son next month. Because I am a rookie at cooking for more than thirty and preparing all of the food myself for this event, I am trying to keep things doable. I have a friend coming over the day before to help with cutting veggies and fruit. She will be here party day, as well.
We are also having a "regrets only" 18th birthday party for our son later on party day, and these ninety guests have also been invited to the open house, so we likely will have about 250 guests show up throughout the day: 60% adults, 30% teens, 10% kids. I have a large table sized island counter I can serve the food from as a buffet so the food will be safe inside. The menu will be as follows:

sloppy joes and shredded chicken in broth with BBQ sauce on the side, white and wheat buns on the side to make sandwiches

potato salad, brown beans, five bean salad

watermelon, cantaloupe, and green grapes

baby carrots, celery, and grape tomatoes with dill dip

black olives, green olives, kosher dill pickles

Mixed nuts, brownies, and marble cake with white buttercream frosting

Coffee, lemonade, 8 oz. bottled waters

12 ounce cans of Jones' Soda: root beer, cream soda, blueberry pomagranate, strawberry lime, and berry lemonade

To combat food temperature concerns, I will be serving the two entrees and the brown beans from a large electric roaster that has three divided sections and the BBQ sauce will be served from a mini slow cooker. The potato salad and relishes will be served from chilled serving dishes.

My questions are as follows:
1)Does the menu look acceptable and balanced in what is being offered for this many guests?
2) With two entrees, I was planning on buying eighty pounds of hamburger for the sloppy joes and 48 pounds of chicken breasts to pressure cook and shred. Does that work?
3)Do you think I need to add a cheese and cracker tray? It might come in handy if someone didn't want the meat offered.
4) Can I prepare and freeze the meat entrees ahead of time and thaw in the fridge a couple of days ahead? I was going to freeze the food in freezer bags after chilling it in the fridge. I am concerned that the flavor and texture of the meat won't be maintained if I freeze it. On the other hand, I am concerned with getting the food made if I don't prepare it ahead of time.
5) Do I need to serve more than one kind of dip with the veggies?
6) Should I have regular and decaf coffee or just regular coffee?
7) Would I need 30 pans of brownies?
8)Does my general shopping list check out?
80# ground beef, 48# chicken breast, 12 #10 cans of brown beans, 300 hamburger buns (half white and half wheat), 60# pounds potatos, 3 large watermelons, 12 cantaloupe, 15# green grapes, 15 pounds baby carrots, 20# celery, 6# grape tomatoes, 4 gallons 5 bean salad, 2 gallos baby dill pickles, 36 oz black olives, 84 oz green olives 320 cans soda, 10 gallons lemonade, 480- 8 oz bottled water, 3 pounds coffee.

I am sorry that this is a long post but I have had hard time finalizing my plans. I am very grateful for any feedback you can offer. Thanks very much. Best regards to you!

ellen
05/06/08
This is a perfectly acceptable post for this type plan, and I appreciate your effort.

OK, you need some help here; start lining up your volunteers.

First, I suggest you borrow or rent at least 3 more 6 foot tables; one for a beverage station, one to hold the desserts, and one to hold the appetizers/ relishes. This is way too many people, and way too much food for 1 serving area. Space them out around the house or yard to avoid congesting any one area.

Also, a 6 foot island is not nearly enough space for the hot foods for this many people. I would set up 2 6 foot tables that could be accessed from both sides for the entrees.

The menu looks appropriate, but you are not visualizing the sheer amounts of food you will be handling. Besides the added serving spaces, you need to borrow refrigerator and freezer space for this event- check with neighbors and family.

Allow 1-2 pounds of ice PER PERSON PLUS 40 pounds per large cooler.

The beef is OK, The chicken will be moister and more "chickeny" flavored if you use thighs; I would allow at least 60 pounds bone in. Unless you are CERTAIN of the whole wheat lovers, get 200 white buns and 150 wheat.

You need sandwich condiments- see the sandwich even page.

Yes, you can freeze the meats ahead, but freeze in the sauce, thaw in the refrigerator and reheat quickly, with stirring and attention.

I would definitely add 30-40 pounds of cheeses, cheese spreads and cheese logs/balls with 12-15 pounds of crackers. Can be made ahead and frozen. Plus 4 gallons of assorted dips (or seven layer dip, bean dip, nacho queso, etc) in addition to the veggie dip and 12-16 pounds of chips. Take a look at the relish tray for 60 at the top of the vegetable tray page; 2 of these would be about right for this group, but I would plate them up on 4-6 smaller trays and replace as they empty. It will also give you guidance on the amounts for your vegetables.

Use the beverage guide to get dinner coffee amounts for the adults, and yes, you do need decaf as well as cream, sugar, etc. Unless you have very unusual teens, at least 1/2 will want cola type sodas, and another quarter sugar free cola type.

12 #10 cans of brown beans
Unless these are very popular locally this is too much. I only plan on 4 #10 cans per 100.

60# pounds potatoes,
I would go 75. I use 1 egg per pound of potatoes

3 large watermelons (GET SEEDLESS),
12 cantaloupe,
15# green grapes
probably OK, but strawberries would add a lot to this mix. Also, you want dip.

15 pounds baby carrots,
20# celery,
6# grape tomatoes
Add 10 pounds broccoli florets and 6 pounds multicolor bell pepper slices. Use the leaves and outside pieces of celery, destinged, chopped in the potato salad. Dip quantity on the veggie tray page.

4 gallons 5 bean salad,
OK

2 gallons baby dill pickles, 36 oz black olives, 84 oz green olives
See my relish tray notes on the veggie tray page for help here. Some veggies can be prepared more than 1 day ahead.

320 cans soda
OK but see note on selection- you will have a LOT left if you go all fruit flavors

10 gallons lemonade, 480- 8 oz bottled water
OK

3 pounds coffee- see dinner coffee guidelines in the beverage planning page.

Brownies, at least 1 per person even with the other desserts. Can be made ahead and frozen.

You need SEPARATE roasters for the chicken, beef, and brown beans; one full roaster only holds about 60 servings, which is the minimum you would expect to get eaten over 2 hours, which is in turn the amount you want to put out at one time. See the guidelines (separate cord, separate plugs, etc) for the roasters on the various roaster threads. Also, read the food safety article.

Susan
05/06/08
I am planning on a graduation drop-in for my daughter on Sunday, after the morning service. It will be right at lunch time. What are some suggestions on what to serve without having to serve a full meal?
ellen
05/07/08
Even if you don't plan to serve a full meal, people will eat a meal's worth of food- about 1 1/2 pounds each. The great thing about this timing is you can serve brunch dishes, which are delicious and not too expensive. Please see the thread labeled "Do it yourself brunch" currently dated 4/4/08, on this forum for wonderful ideas and recipes. Cream cheese and date strata (baked French toast), cheesy potatoes, etc.
Dena
05/13/08
How many cake mixes will it take to make a cake to feed 40 people?
Dena
05/13/08
How many people does a typical cake pan serve?
ellen
05/13/08
1 cake mix makes 10 servings or 1 9x13 pan or 1 bundt pan or two layers. You should bake it in layers and stack, such as a large rectanglular 2 layer cake, using icing and filling to put it together. Cake layers do NOT like to try to rise in too big a pan.
karen m. whitney
05/29/08
how many cheese/ crackers to serve 125 people, how many bottles of fruit punch/ginger ale for 124....1/3 ale 2/3 punch? Thanks
ellen
05/30/08
Karen, check the appetizer planning page and the beverage planning page for your answers. The cheese varies a great deal depending on what other items are being serves and how long the party is, but I would go with 16-20 pounds minimum, and that is if there are other items. Part of this can be cheese logs, balls, or spreads. Crackers are 6 pounds per 100 people
linda polacco
06/17/08
retirement party
i am having a party for 300 people.I am planning to have ziti, sausage and peppers,meatballs, chicken marsala, green beens and baked potaoes and a toss salad. Can you help me with the amounts for each item. Thank you Linda
ellen
06/18/08
Since I have posted all my quantity tables, I ask people to do an initial estimate, post it, and let me check it for the,. Your potatoes are covered on the baked potato bar. The green beans and tossed salad on the plan for 100 list.

For self service with the ziti, meatballs, sausage and peppers and chicken, you have a harder task, as it is difficult to estimate the split for more than three entrees. I would do about 180 regular servings of the ziti (because you already have the potatoes); 200 servings of the chicken; 2 meatballs per person unless they are on an appetizer table, in which case do 3; and 2-3 ounces of the sausage per person, plus the peppers.

Pam
06/25/08
Wedding reception
We are doing a wedding reception for around 100 people. We will have 100 chicken quarters, 12 lbs. of BBQ pork, 12 lbs. of BBQ Beef, and 2 gallons of potato salad, slaw, and baked beans. Will this be enough? Reception starts at 4:00 p.m. until midnight. There will also be beer served. Any ideas on the amount of kegs needed. Should we have bread and chips???
Thanks
ellen
06/25/08
For a typical 3-4 hour dinner reception, the meats are enough. The sides are not nearly enough for 100. I suggest 4 gallons potato salad plus 3 gallons each beans and slaw. Of course you need bread and chips (how else to make sandwiches?) See also the sandwich event page for guidance on amounts of sandwich condiments.

In addition, this should only be served for 2-3 hours. If you are really planning an 8 hour party (by the way this is an exceptionally long party for this type event), you need to cover TWO MEALS. All that should be cleared off and a second set of food- desserts, dips, etc- planned for the rest of the party.

The beverages are covered on the beverage planning page. You are legally liable for the drinking level of your guests (ie in most states, you can be sued if they get into an accident DUI after they leave), so you need to close the bar and discontinue serving alcohol and serve coffee and punch the last 1 1/2 hours of the party

ellen
06/25/08
PS 8 hour reception
Your food budget for an 8 hour event should be in the range of $18-25 PER PERSON, not counting beverages or cake.
Lori
06/25/08
Ellen Grad. Party about 85 people--35 ibs of rump roast for Itl. Beef-- 100 pcs. of chicken -- about 30 lbs. smoke sausage do you think I need to increase my chicken amount??
Lori
06/25/08
Ellen I'm also doing my roasts in an electric roaster. What temp. would you suggest I cook them in?
ellen
06/26/08
No, that should be fine with the other meats.

I like to cook my slow roast at 1 hour 300 degrees, for the first pound, then 1 hour at 185 for each additional pound, using the weight of the smallest roast, provided they are all about the same size. Tender, less shrinkage.

Lori
06/26/08
I have one last question if I cook my roasts the day before the party,put in refrig. overnight--slice them the next day and put them in Aujus than back in electric roaster what are my heating instruction? Because I want to bring the meat up to 165 correct? How fast do I need to do that I'm worried about food safety I don't want anyone to get sick!!!!!
ellen
06/26/08
See the storing and reheating instructions for turkey in the holiday cooking section. Turkey is more prone to infection than beef, so if you follow turkey rules the beef will be fine.
Kathy
07/09/08
I am having a graduation party and expecting approx 120-130 people. The menu includes baked ziti, pasta salad, potato salad, baked beans, sausage and peppers, coleslaw salad, tomato pie, chicken wings and fruit salad. I am ordering the ziti and pasta salad and was told by deli I needed 40 lbs of ziti and 30 lbs of pasta salad. Is that too much considering the other items? It will be from 3:30 to 7:30 so at least half the people will be there at their supper hour.
Thank you
ellen
07/10/08
It is about right, especially if it is a high school graduation, they eat like locusts. However, I Might skip the pasta salad on this menu, especially if there is dessert.
Kathy
07/10/08
The pasta salad and ziti was requested by the graduate so I am obligated to have both. lol. but thanks for the response.
sara
08/07/08
how much potato salad should i make for about 75 peple?
ellen
08/07/08
You posted twice. You want 4/5 of 35 pounds of potatoes to make the salad or about 28 pounds of potatoes plus fixings.
JadRab
09/10/08
Reception for 75 motorcyle riders
I'm having a problem finding a cole slaw recipes which break down quantity for already shredded cabbage vs. heads of cabbage. Can you help? I need to feed 75 motorcyle riders! Thanks.
ellen
09/10/08
I would count these as about 100. I use 20 pounds/heads of cabbage for 100; it shrinks after shredding. Vroom-vroom!
Amy
09/14/08
Sos
I was informed last nite that my caterer, a restaurant, was not going to provide the food for a reception, that is this coming saturday. I do cook a lot and do okay but I am in a pinch and have exhausted efforts, without finding a replacement on short notice.
I was considering trying to cook prime rib and mashed potatoes, red potatoes,and salad for 70 people. In looking online I cant find sites to figure this out, any suggestions?
ellen
09/14/08
Write me at the update contact link at the bottom of the page, tell me the type event and the budget and your situation as to the type kitchen/serving situation (plated, buffet, etc), and help.

This site has all the info you need already, but I will give you an extra hand because of the situation. I will write back Monday afternoon.

dotty
09/28/08
40th Birthday Party
I'm having a 40th with about 60 people. the menu is pasta, chicken marsala, salad and then I'm stuck. What else can I serve. I don't want meatballs, sausage-pepper-onions, eggplant. I'm thinking beef but I'm at a loss.
Also, how much beer and soda would I get. All adults and I'm also having wine. Thanks
ellen
09/29/08
For beverages, see the beverage planning page for discussion and help.

I would do wonderful whole green beans, a grilled veggie platter with eggplant, squash, peppers and tomatoes (the ones about the size of a big meatball- hard to find, but great for this), or an antipasto veggie plate, and whole baked fish (or chilled) such as snapper or salmon. Delicious and a little different. Great rolls or ciabatta, of course.

caroline
01/27/09
dinner
i am feeding 40 teenagers sloppy joes, fries and salad for dinner, can you tell me how much of everything i will need? i am doing this tomorrow so i am desperate for a quick answer. thank you
ellen
01/27/09
Use 1/2 the amounts for 100, they eat a lot. You want about 20 pounds of fries- I assume you will do them in the oven?
magee
05/15/09
fund raiser
how much penne pasta do I need to buy to feed 100 people . This is the main dish
how much garlic bread for 100
Thanks
ellen
05/15/09
About 18 pounds dry pasta, about the same weight bread.
Lisa
05/18/09
Graduation Party: 100 guests

I have a shredded beef recipe using an arm roast, but I don't know how to measure for 100 servings. Can I roast the meat a day ahead?
Thanks

ellen
05/18/09
Assuming you are making sandwiches, 1 pound raw boneless chuck/arm cooks up to 4 good shredded beef sandwiches after spending the night shredded in sauce.
Tamara
06/06/09
Hello Ellen,

My daughter is graduating from H.S. She wants to have a pre-commencement party that will include 40 of her friends plus my friends and family bringing a total of over 100.

I do not think my friends ( in this case some of the parents of her friends ) and my family will really enjoy the party with 40 teens. I also do not have the budget to have a dinner party for 100+ guests. I was thinking to have a special party for he teens and serve their kind of menu ( hamburgers, hotdogs and alike) and hold a reception on Monday the day of the commencement for the adults ( family and friends)
If this is a good plan please advice: How many h’ordeuvres I should pass around? When should I have the reception? Is 5-7 good time for reception? If you think I should have one party on Saturday, what can I serve to please the two groups.

ellen
06/06/09
If there are budget constraints, the two party option is a very good one, and you might consider a taco bar (very inexpensive) or an ice dream sundae event/buffet instead of a meal for the pre-commencement teen event (you don't say what time it is). The family reception is a great idea, but 5-7 is the worst possible time for a reception, no-one eats dinner first and they came VERY hungry- more than twice as much food as a mid afternoon or later evening event. What about a Sunday afternoon event?

There is a discussion about appetizer amounts on the appetizer planning page. Take a look and write back.

pam
06/26/09
Graduation Menu help
I am planning my daughter's high school graduation. I am expecting about 150 people.

I am just having a small spread but one that I hope to just keep replenished so we dont run out. Just need a bit of help with the amounts. The 150 is about what I think will show that may or may not eat. I am figuring kids and teens wont eat a lot (some of the teens will and I know who they are).

Menu:
Al Fresco Bar - homemade artisan bread with antipasto items like artichokes, roasted peppers, olives, cheese, roasted veggies, salami, dipping oil, hummus
I am making 20 loaves of bread. will give away left overs.
Was doing about 4 lbs of cheese (sharp), large deep roaster full of veggies roasted but will put out a smaller amount, large huge jar of artichokes, 3 lbs hummus, several large jars peppers, 3 lbs olives, two 12 oz bottles of squeeze oil dipping out with 1 oz souffle cups (will have 2 back ups)

Chicken on a stick - planning on 40 - 50 pounds. Will have spicy and mild.

Roast Beef for sandwiches - slow cooking 25 pounds of roasts with au jus for dipping - serving with hard rolls - planning on 80 rolls

Pastas - two 5 qt round chafing dishes of hot pastas - going to do enough to fill up four (4) times or 2 each (should I do more?)

Baked potato bar with toppings - doing 50 lbs of potatos (last time did 100 lbs for 100 people had too many even with the uneven potatoes - about 25% put aside and not cooked)

hot dogs for kids - have about 75 hot dogs and buns

Pasta salad - have enough to make 14 lbs

Fruits and dessert:
1 specialty cake that feeds 100 - then 3 watermelons, grapes and other assorted fruit.

How does this sound?

I am just hoping to get enough beef and chicken so I dont run out.
I have plenty of pasta on hand I can cook ahead and have. It wont go to waste at our home.

thanks for any help. Love the site - have shared with many friends.

ellen
06/27/09
Al Fresco Bar - homemade artisan bread with antipasto items like artichokes, roasted peppers, olives, cheese, roasted veggies, salami, dipping oil, hummus. large huge jar of artichokes, 3 lbs hummus, several large jars peppers, 3 lbs olives, two 12 oz bottles of squeeze oil dipping out with 1 of souffle cups (will have 2 back ups). I am making 20 loaves of bread. will give away left overs.

GOOD IDEA. Right amounts. I might add a bowl of whipped butter and a big swirled bowl of smooth peanut butter and jam- they are teens after all.

Was doing about 4 lbs of cheese (sharp). For a group this size, I would do 20 pounds of cheese. I would do about 12 , the rest mild and not sharp, plus about 8 pounds of cheese logs, balls or spreads.

large deep roaster full of veggies roasted but will put out a smaller amount, about 20 pounds

Chicken on a stick - planning on 40 - 50 pounds. Will have spicy and mild. plenty

Roast Beef for sandwiches - slow cooking 25 pounds of roasts with au jus for dipping - serving with hard rolls - planning on 80 rolls If this is self serve maybe go to 35, make sure it is sliced very thin when cold. Have about 100 rolls.

Pastas - two 5 qt round chafing dishes of hot pastas - going to do enough to fill up four (4) times or 2 each (should I do more?) OK that is 20 quarts, which is only 80 servings or so; but you have the potatoes, so it is OK, as long as it is not something extremely desirable.

Baked potato bar with toppings - doing 50 lbs of potatos (last time did 100 lbs for 100 people had too many even with the uneven potatoes - about 25% put aside and not cooked). This is plenty, I do about 35 pounds per 100 for most potato dishes.

hot dogs for kids - have about 75 hot dogs and buns

Pasta salad - have enough to make 14 lbs. Probably OK

Fruits and dessert:
1 specialty cake that feeds 100 - then 3 watermelons, grapes and other assorted fruit.

If you are really expecting 150, consider adding enough cake for 150, or adding other baked things for the last 50. See the dessert planning page for some ideas.

Heather Young
07/14/09
Wedding
We are expecting approximately 175 people for our wedding and I would really need some help figuring out how much to make (for salads)!

The menu is as follows:

Cold cut roast and buns
Cheese and fruit trays

Potato Salad
Caesar Salad
Brocolli Salad
Taco Salad
Wheat Salad

Your advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!

ellen
07/14/09
You want a total of about 18 gallons for all the salads. Broccoli, use the slaw amount For the tabouli wheat, use 1/2 the amount for potato, about 2 1/2 gallons per 100.

Cold cut roast and buns, cheese and fruit trays are mall already covered in the site.

Sandy
11/19/09
Wedding
I have been asked if I would make enough coleslaw for 150 people.... 135 have already rsvp'd.... can you tell me how many pound of coleslaw I should make.. I have my own dressing I will be using... So I just need to know how much carrots, green cabbage, purple cabbage, and onion to use... also I am not a friend of this person I'm a cook where she went to eat and liked my homade coleslaw and thats how I was the one asked.. Do I do this for free as a wedding gift or should I charge her... making enough coleslaw to feed that many people will take some time and keep in mind I dont have a slicer or anything I do it all by hand.. Where I work I feed anywhere from 30 to 50 people a day... please help not sure what I should do... Thanks in advance for your input...
ellen
11/19/09
Hi, Sandy,
You need about 35 pounds of shreds to make the slaw for 150 people. It will make about 5 gallons,
Sincw this is not a person you would normaslly give a wedding giftm charging is perfectly appropriate. The usual fee around here is about $4.00 to 4.50 per quart, or abiut $15 pwr gallon, but that is with standaed commercial dressing. A vaterer would fijure out the cost of ther ingredients, inclding the dressing then charge the $15 per gallon or 3 tines the cost, whichever was MORE, Figure out the costs, give a written request, get paid ahead and write onto both your and her copy of the receipt what where and when; "5 gallons Sandy's Sensational Slaw, to be delivered to Betty Bride or her representative at the kitchen at St John's Church, 116 church road, at 1:15 PM on Sunday, Decermber 13, 2009. No refunds."
As far as the health dept is concerned, you make this in your employer's kitchen, In most states it is not legal to make food in a home kitchen for resale.
lorraine
05/21/10
I am having a graduation party for about 38 people. How many full chafing entrees should I order from the caterer. thank u
ellen
05/21/10
The caterer will tell you how many people 1 pan will serve. You want 40 plus for a single dish, but if 2 or more 30/20- you will find people eat more, and some of each, when there are choices.
lucy
08/10/10
wedding reception
My daughter got married this past weekend. The price we paid was for 175 guest. Lots of things on the food bar but the caterer run out of shrimp and chicken fingers. How many lbs of each should she have had to serve this amount of guest?
ellen
08/10/10
It is tough when things don't turn out exectly as hoped. I would have had at least 35 pounds of shrimp and 40-45 pounds of chicken fingers. It partly depends on the rest of the menu and what they charged.
Bunny
01/06/11
80th bithday party for male - 25-30 people
Can you suggest a menu for his party....Should we do a prime rib roast of beef...with mashed potatoes..salad, fruit tray...special birthday cake...punch...tea and coffee....what hors d'ouevres do you suggest prior to the meal..would filet mignon wrapped individuallly in bacon be more appropriate?
ellen
01/06/11
This is a fine menu.
I love prime rib for this occasion and it is much simper than the fillets if you have minimum help, but you do need a carver and at least 20 pounds (3 roasts?)
Do a really nice vegetable such as whole green beans.
Consider roasted potatoes, carrots and small onions, very nice and easier than mashed. If you do mashed, look at my freezable, holdable mashed potatoes that can be done ahead and baked/browned day of.
Do not bore with the salad. Consider hearts of romaine with walnuts and flaked Parmesan, or something similar.
Happy birthday!
ellen
01/06/11
PS, another fine entree would be halves Cornish game hens, stuffed, with rice and a spiced peach and fig instead of a salad.
Linda
06/22/11
I am helping a girlfriend cook for her son's graduation party. I am making cheesy potatoes, and beans with the bacon and burger in it. She is expecting between 75 and 100 people. How much of each should I make?
ellen
06/23/11
For 100 people, you need 3 gallons of beans (4 #10 cans, 8 pounds dry). You need about 4 to 4 1/2 gallons of potato casserole, which is 2 roasters or 9-10 9x13.
candy
07/22/11
hi!! we are hosting our daughter's grad/farewell party and plan on approx. 150-200 people...the menu is: taco bar (soft and crunchy, ground beef and shred. chicken, rice, beans, toppings), salad/veggie tray, choco fountain with dippers, cupcakes and fresh fruit tray...can you please help me calculate how much i need of each item? every website i visit gives me different info and i trust yours, as i have found what i need several times before...thank you =)
ellejn
07/22/11
Candy, each of those items is covered in detail in an article or table on this site, especially the taco bar table and the fruit and veggie tray pages and the chocolate fountain article; see also the beverage planning table and the plan for 100 table for more info. Make an estimate from these, if you want to post it, I will review it for you.
Michelle
06/06/12
Wedding
Hi Ellen, we are getting married on June 23rd and are having a backyard bbq reception (~75 guests). We have a local company grilling the meat (burgers, hot dogs, ribs, and chicken). However, we are making the side dishes and I want to make sure we have enough food.

Appetizers
meatballs (340 are made and in the freezer) cheese (6 lbs)
pepperoni (3 lbs)
salami (3 lbs)
crackers (3 boxes)
fresh fruit - 1 watermelon, 10 lb strawberries, 2 pineapple, and 3 lb grapes
two costco veggie trays

Side dishes
Potato salad (10 lb potatoes)
Pasta salad (2 lb uncooked noodles)
Black bean salad (2 lb)
Tossed salad (8 heads romaine lettuce)
Macaroni & Cheese (2 lb uncooked noodles)
Baked beans (8 qts)
Cornbread muffins (90 muffins)
Chips (3 large bags)

Desserts
Cupcakes (80)
Chocolate chip cookies (40)
Peanut butter cookies (40)
Cheesecake (two 9x13 pans)

We are making family recipes but I need quantities of the main ingredient and we can take it from there. Thank you!

ellen
06/07/12
80 people, counting the wedding party?

Appetizers
meatballs (340 are made and in the freezer) cheese (6 lbs)- maybe 8?
pepperoni (3 lbs)
salami (3 lbs)
crackers (3 boxes)- at least 5 pounds
fresh fruit - 1 watermelon, 10 lb strawberries, 2 pineapple, and 3 lb grapes probably some more grapes
two costco veggie trays- OK

Side dishes
Potato salad (10 lb potatoes)- at least 15
Pasta salad (2 lb uncooked noodles)- at least 3
Black bean salad (2 lb)-
Tossed salad (8 heads romaine lettuce)

Macaroni & Cheese (2 lb uncooked noodles)- this is just 2 9x13- I would do 4-6
Baked beans (8 qts)- OK
Cornbread muffins (90 muffins)- Since this is the only bread, up to double, 2 pounds butter
Chips (3 large bags)- 1 pound per 10

Desserts
Cupcakes (80)- OK
Chocolate chip cookies (40)- 2 per person people love these
Peanut butter cookies (40)-OK
Cheesecake (two 9x13 pans)- OK, will run out

KP
09/06/12
Doctoral Graduation
Hi Ellen. My hubby is hosting a doctoral graduation party for me and we have no clue what apps/drinks/food would be appropriate. I am 33 and we're expecting 75-100 people of all ages. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
ellen
09/06/12
What time of day, what budget, how long will the party last, and what is the budget?

For example, a taco bar fiesta is cheery, not too expensive and lets people come and go...

KP
09/14/12
Saturday afternoon 11-3 open house. no budget. thanks.
ellen
09/14/12
The folks who come early will eat lunch, the later not so much.

A taco bar/ fiesta theme really is a good idea- adding chips (1 pound per 10-12), a gallon of jalapenos, and nacho cheese sauce (2-3 #10 cans) so some can make nachos.

If no, how about a BBQ pork sandwich with slaw and potato salad?

Or appetizer selection with fruit tray, cheese tray, and 4 different appies?

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