Meal Planning for a Group
We never throw fancy shindigs like in the picture above, do you? Some people love that sort of thing, but we’re more on the casual side here. This week we’ve been getting ready for our daughter’s First Communion party, so I thought I’d tell you more about my new Real Food Party Planning Guide and how I used it to help de-stress the preparations. I’m a total “list person”, so instead of making a new to-do list and notes all over the place each time we entertain, now I can just pull out the Party Planning Guide and it’s all consolidated in one spot. I went through it to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. There’s a list for what to do 2-3 weeks ahead, a week ahead, a couple days ahead, the day before, day of, morning of, etc. I went through the list of recipes that can be made earlier in the week (one of the keys to de-stressing!) and chose the ones that sounded good for the group we’re having over after Mass. I had everything planned ahead of time so I knew what I was doing each day to prevent last-minute craziness. (To not be too stressed for time this week while I’m also writing posts and wrapping up the preparations for my Real Food Online Rookie Class says a lot!)
Our son also has an afternoon soccer game the same day and some of our family are coming early to watch, so I also planned ahead for snacks after the game since dinner won’t be ‘til almost 7:00 p.m.
Here’s what I’m serving for snacks:
- “Texas Caviar” – I’ll make this tomorrow. (I’ll serve it with some nacho chips that have a not too bad ingredient label, but this is so good that those watching carbs could eat it plain; same goes for the next one…)
- Chicken salad and organic crackers – I’ll make this tomorrow, too. (But I have to make a more basic version because I know my Mom wouldn’t like the grapes and she’s diabetic so I have to be sure there's plenty she likes. I’ll just mix chicken with homemade mayo, celery, sea salt & pepper.)
- Cookies that I made Tuesday and froze. It’s also our turn for the post-soccer game treat (I think post-game treats are totally unnecessary, but that’s another story), so I whipped up a big batch of cookies in my Bosch and made giant-sized ones for the boys. (Not too giant, but enough to make them seem more fun than a regular cookie.) I put them all in individual baggies, then into another bag to throw in the freezer and we only have to remember to grab it on the way out the door.
Here’s what I’m serving for dinner:
- Easy crock pot grass-fed roast beef and organic potatoes – I’ll make this today and have the meat and potatoes all ready in the crock pot so after Mass I’ll only have to do a couple quick things before we can eat. (Same as above, if someone is watching their carbs they could eat just the meat, and I have enough other menu items here for them, too…)
- Crescent dinner rolls to use with the above beef to make sandwiches – I made those Tuesday and only partially baked them, and then stuck them in the freezer. Saturday I’ll thaw, brush on some garlic butter, then bake ‘til golden.
- Pastured Deviled Eggs – I’ll make these Saturday morning, they’re easy to throw together.
- Caprese salad – I’ll make this Saturday morning too (only takes a sec), but I’ll clean the veggies Friday.
My family is filling in with the rest (yay!):
- Mom is bringing her famous Mac & Cheese.
- My sister Gail is bringing fresh fruit.
- My sister Terri is bringing baked beans. (Also read here about why I love my mother-in-law – that’s one you don’t hear every day!)
For dessert…I hate to admit it:
- I ordered a cake from Meijer. (Full of junk I’m sure, it hurts I tell ya! But not as much as trying to pull off making a cake would have hurt! Also, at least the whole menu is homemade and I didn’t run to Sam’s or Gordon Foods for a bunch of processed crap, so I guess a bakery cake isn’t so bad.)
- UPDATE: Now I make my own party cakes, see how in this post! Or check out this big homemade ice cream cake!
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE OLDIES BUT GOODIES?