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dinner for 20

bethievtbethievt Posts: 6,727Registered User Senior Member
edited November 2012 in Parent Cafe
I've agreed to host a fundraising event for maybe 20 people at my house. We can't do a sit down dinner for 20. I'm thinking appetizers and desserts. I'm trying to research local places to get some appetizers so I don't have to do everything. Any ideas for doing this simply and affordably?
Post edited by bethievt on
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Replies to: dinner for 20

  • MD MomMD Mom Posts: 6,728Registered User Senior Member
    Order veggie, fruit, and cheese trays (grocery stores do these). Make meatballs, perhaps some small sandwiches, a cheese ball with crackers, and a salmon dip with crackers. Buy mini cheesecakes and mini eclairs. If it is going to be in the Christmas season, make hot wine. Use a red wine and add cinnamon sticks and orange slices. Have fun.
  • busdriver11busdriver11 Posts: 7,946Registered User Senior Member
    God help you.

    Costco has some great items. I know people love some of the frozen appetizers both Costco and Trader Joe has. Plus the massive bags of chips and quality crackers, huge hunks of cheeses (try Beechers Flagship Cheddar), and they have some peppered smoked salmon that is really great. If you pick some really tasty items, you can go very easy and simple, but still be good. One of my favorite items is a great flatbread with delicious toppings, that you can cut into smaller squares. Everyone likes that, it's easy, and it's better and classier than pizza. When I have many people over, I will generally get many items from Whole Foods (and everything they have there is great), but that can cost an arm and a leg.
  • bethievtbethievt Posts: 6,727Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks! We have a Costco 3 towns away, but no Whole Foods or Trader Joe's anywhere in our state. How is a flatbread different from pizza?
  • 50ishwoman50ishwoman Posts: 74Registered User Junior Member
    Costco and Sam's Club now have their Thanksgiving and Christmas "party" foods out which will help you a lot; bacon wrapped scallops and individual pastry wrapped beef wellingtons. Tons of cheeses and fancy crackers; cheese pates and cheese logs, etc. You can buy 100 little wienies with barbeque sauce, or tiny chicken boneless strips too. Costco also has a two pack of really big quiche pies, which you can bake and then slice into individual slices. Another thing to do is buy one large 15 pound turkey (on sale everywhere now before Thanksgiving) and have that as the centerpiece on the table, and folks can slice that for themselves. It will make the table look fancy with all the smaller eatables around it. (Oh, flatbread is just a fancy type of crust with pizza toppings).
  • busdriver11busdriver11 Posts: 7,946Registered User Senior Member
    Actually, flatbread is a far different animal than pizza. Very thin crust, usually rectangular. Not the usual chewy crust with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese gooped onto it. Often they don't put much cheese on it, nor even tomato sauce, but olive oil and a tastier cheese like parmesan or asiago. Often tomatoes instead of tomato sauce, different types of veggies, not oily.

    I don't care for pizza much, which is heavy, high calorie and can be kind of gross. Flatbread is relatively healthy and tastes a lot better. If you're ever at a decent italian restaurant, give it a try. Even the Cheesecake Factory makes a mean flatbread.
  • abasketabasket Posts: 8,954Registered User Senior Member
    Borrow some crockpots for the meatballs and such.

    The spinach pie at Costco can be a pretty good deal and is good.
  • sseamomsseamom Posts: 2,134Registered User Senior Member
    We had an adult birthday party for about that many and did it all ourselves. What worked was the Costco fruit nad veggie platters, the "sandwhich bar" and the taco bar. We got Costco's delicious pretzel rolls and artisan rolls, cut up a variety of cheeses and meats and laid it all out with assorted condiments for the sandwhiches. For the taco bar, I fixed a big tub of taco meat with homemade salt-free "taco seasoning", and bowls of shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa, plus 6" flour and corn tortillas. I expected this would be the favorite of the kids, and it was, but the adults were the ones who went to town on it.
  • SteveMASteveMA Posts: 6,079Registered User Senior Member
    Several retailers have the 3 station crock-pot things on sale over Thanksgiving weekend if you want something like that. I would also call around to caterers. An appetizer type meal might not be as expensive as you think and they do the set up and clean up :D. I agree with Costco and Sam's club though. Their frozen appetizers are wonderful.
  • jshainjshain Posts: 4,021Registered User Senior Member
    The meatballs is a great idea. Whenever we do them for pot luck gatherings, they are one of the first dishes to get devoured. Another popular popular crock pot party food is the cocktail frank with shrimp cocktail sauce from Trader Joe's.
  • mathmommathmom Posts: 23,406Registered User Senior Member
    I think flatbread is the same thing as foccacia. Focaccia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I second the hot mulled wine idea - it's always extremely popular when when we serve it at parties at this time of year. Hot cider is good too for those who don't want alcohol. If you have access to an Indian restaurant or grocery store, cocktail size samosas are yummy.

    My sister in law for years did a winter party with this food:
    two soups (one vegetarian, one not)
    big salad
    good cheese and baguettes or crackers
    bar cookies for dessert
  • snowballsnowball Posts: 2,274Registered User Senior Member
    Costco also have already cooked and peeled cold shrimp; put in a large platter with cocktail sauce in a small bowl in the center and you are good to go. While shrimp are simple, they are not so affordable :(
  • ellebudellebud Posts: 2,328Registered User Senior Member
    Just a suggestion: Although I LOVE meatballs in sauce the sauce can spill....on rugs and carpets....along with red wine..they are verboten at many parties. The stain never comes out. If you have wood/tile floors and non stainable furniture (like dark leather) go for it.

    Just a heads up...
  • bethievtbethievt Posts: 6,727Registered User Senior Member
    I'm thinking of getting a Costco membership. I really appreciate all of these suggestions! I am looking at caterers online and they don't look that affordable to me. Maybe I'm stingy.
  • SteveMASteveMA Posts: 6,079Registered User Senior Member
    At a party we were at last year we had prosciutto wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese that was sweetened some how. They were to die for!!! We have been asking the chef that made them for the recipe but no luck so far. I am HOPING he makes them for the party this year. :D. Maybe someone has a recipe here!!
  • busdriver11busdriver11 Posts: 7,946Registered User Senior Member
    "I think flatbread is the same thing as foccacia."

    Definitely not, at least as far as the crust goes. Foccacia is mostly a thick (but light) crust. Flatbread is extremely thin. If you want to compare it to something, say an ultra thin pizza crust.

    I second the hot, spiced cider.
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