Happy Wednesday everyone! This post isn’t exactly a start to finish day-of-eats WIAW post, but since it is what I ate on Sunday (my birthday) I hope it counts! I am sharing a ton of food pics, tips, tricks, and ideas for party planning!
A few weeks ago, my sister and I were sitting in my parent’s newly renovated backyard and decided that it would be fun to celebrate it by having a party! We decided to throw a combined backyard bash + 29th Birthday celebration for me!
I immediately began menu planning, googling and brainstorming. I wanted a menu that had a selection of healthy, yummy, indulgent, and nutritious treats that would be made with love! The way I like to eat!
I also used Evite.com to send out my invitation. It is a great website with adorable evites and helps you manage and see who is attending your party.
Appetizers: Guac and Chips, Mozz/Cantaloupe/Proscuitto Sticks, Chips and Salsa, Sundried Tomato Dip with Pretzel Flats and Veggies.
Salads: Feta/Watermelon/Cucumber/Mint Salad, Regular Salad with different dressing options, and Red Potato Salad
Dinner: Sliders, Chicken/Veggie Kabobs, Turkey/Spinach/Herbed Goat Cheese Wraps, and Roast Beef/Munster/Homemade Horseradish Sauce Wraps
Dessert: S’more Bites, M&M Cookies, PB Chip/Banana Brownies, and Fruit Salad
I also made a detailed shopping list, planning where to get what, a plan, and recipe links. Having a plan like this helps with staying on budget and not missing anything!
Four days before the party I went to the Dollar Store to buy all the plates, utensils, serving platters, etc. I love the Dollar Store for these kinds of items, cheap, cute and you can buy a lot for a little.
Three Days before the party I bought all the food. I did my food shopping at Trader Joe’s and Shop Rite. My sister was in charge of the drinks, since I don’t drink haha, so she went to Total Wine for all that.
Two days before I did a majority of the prep work. I hung up a list in my kitchen of all that needed to be prepped on what day. I made the sliders, chicken kabobs, made the Red Potato Salad, made caramelized onion for the sliders, did all the baking, made the Sun-dried Tomato Dip, and Horseradish sauce two days before.
One Day before I chopped all the fruit for the fruit salad but kept it all in separate containers, chopped the cucumbers for the Watermelon Salad, Melon Balled the watermelon for the Watermelon Salad, got the veggies prepped for the Veggie Platter, and cut the fruit for the Cantaloupe/Mozz/Proscuitto Sticks. I also made label cards for all the dishes and got all the serving dishes ready and laid out so I could grab and serve the day of the party rather than fumble and search for a serving platter.
Everything laid out for the next day.
The day of I made the wraps, my sister made the Guacamole and Sangria, I made the Watermelon Feta Salad, made the Mozz/Cantaloupe/Proscuitto Sticks and we just got the whole backyard ready to go. My sister was in charge of the drinks and the gorgeous flower arrangements.
Pretty flowers in Mason Jars
Jars for the Sangria (I didn’t get a picture when they were filled).
Chairs Set Up
During the party we started with appetizers and drinks as people came in. Then about an hour into the party my Dad started grilling the sliders and chicken kabobs, I sliced the mini buns as he grilled. I also set out the wraps, slider fixin’s, and salads. We had a TON of food and I just kept encouraging everyone to Mangia! After about an hour and a half or so of eating and digesting I cleaned up a bit and then set out all the desserts and put all the fruit together to make a fruit salad.
Best deal at Trader Joe’s- perfect size buns, 8 for $1.29!
All the appetizers
It was SUCH a blast! We had about 30 people and everyone kept complimenting me on the food! I have a true passion for cooking and baking and enjoyed every minute of the process and planning of this party. Some people joked that they would hire me to cater their next party… that is an interesting idea, hmm :-). The weather was gorgeous and I had so much fun spending the day with all my friends and family! I didn’t get many pics during the party because I was too busy enjoying it all! Let’s just say I enjoyed a few plates of food and many desserts in the company of all my friends and family!
Oh and I have to share how my night ended (after cleaning everything up)…
My family bought me a KitchenAid Mixer!!!! I was so shocked and so excited!! I cannot wait to use it, no worries, there will be a post about it too! 🙂
Oh and just in case you were wondering if we ran out of food? Nope! I sent home MANY wraps with people and my family and I are still enjoying all the left overs too.
What’s a party without leftovers? 🙂
I hope this post was helpful in giving you some ideas for planning a party!
Any big parties you have planned coming up?
How do you keep yourself organized when party planning?
Favorite BBQ Dish?