As you know, I'm into the details, so I'll share some of my party food tips/secrets/ideas in this post ... and some of the decor/gift ideas next time.
First, I realized the party – a lunch/pool party – was on the same weekend as my daughter's preschool graduation, first dance performances and my wedding anniversary. Not wanting to overextend myself, I decided to commission another friend to make the cake:
gorgeous 2-tier cake that wowed the birthday girl and guests. I think every 10 years, we deserve a really special treat, right?! I'm not one for "regular" store-bought cakes, yet didn't want to be up all night trying to create my own "masterpiece." Tip - when in doubt, have others do! :-) Thank you, Anna!
Just for fun (and in case there was an abundance of kids) I made this purple "3-0" rice crispy dessert:
1 batch of the typical recipe:
6 cups cereal,
3 T butter,
1 bag marshmallows.
I added purple food color to compliment our purple, green and pink color scheme, then covered my hands with greased sandwich bags to shape the "30."
The main course: Hosting a party for up to 30 adults and assorted munchkins usually requires someone to man the grill for extended amounts of time. And someone to watch the kids by the pool. And someone to play hostess... I served a make-ahead entree – pulled BBQ chicken... Something I've never made before! :-)
16 large chicken breasts in the oven for 6 hours on 250 degrees. With what, you ask? Just S & P and a big bottle of Sweet Baby Rays barbecue sauce! I looked up a lot of BBQ recipes before I got started and thought "why spend precious minutes following a recipe that may or may not turn out, when I could use a recipe (in a bottle) that someone else has already spent untold minutes perfecting?" :-) If time is an issue for you, buy a bottled BBQ sauce brand you like and go for it! Don't hate me 'cause I'm not southern! :-)
After 6 hours, I removed the chicken from the sauce and shredded using two forks. Returned to the sauce for another hour in the oven. Then the fridge overnight. Popped the pan back into the oven with more sauce the next day, 2 hours before the party. Result: deeeelish!! (serve with whole wheat buns - large for adults and smaller ones for the kids.)
Punch is always a good beverage choice for parties! It's colorful, festive and tasty:
Raspberry Lime Punch:1 half gallon lime-ade,
1 L ginger ale (optional: raspberry ginger ale,)
raspberry sherbet (that you've softened and squished into a ring mold and frozen; use lime flavor for an all green punch,)
1 sliced lime.
Tip: offer covered cups with straws for the little ones; extra ice in a bucket; and a liter of Coke and water for alternatives.
More party pics next time! :-)