Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Make ahead party menu

I just threw a birthday bash for my honey, Jeff, who turned 40 last week. I was so excited about the menu...not only did I not have to buy anything full price (I used coupons and watched sales for everything!), but the whole menu was prepared a day in advance, so I didn't have to worry about a thing come the day of the party. I must say it went rather smoothly, and the guests had a great time! Below is the menu, and how I did it.

Bbq pork sandwiches - I bought 3 roasts ahead of time and froze them. On prep day I threw them all in crockpots and turned them on low to cook ALL day. I purposely start them out frozen because they seem to get a lot more moisture that way and never dry out. I've cooked them at refrigerated temp before and was never happy about the outcome. After they are done cooking and shredded, I added barbecue sauce and some of the juice I had taken out of it and chilled it for the night. The day of the party I put the crock back in the pot and turn it on low about 4 hours before the party.

German Potato Salad - I've always found that if German potato salad is made a day in advance and chilled, the vinegar and sugar do their job. Makes for better flavor when serving. This also needs to go in a crockpot and on low about 4 hours before.

Chicken salad - this was soooo easy to make up ahead of time. I just put an extra amount of mayo in because it always seems to dry out by the next day. It was perfect by party time.

Jello - All I had to do was spread some cool whip on top, and it was ready to go.

Rice krispie bars
O Henry Bars
Veggie tray
soda pop/bottled water
birthday cake/ice cream

All I had to do was plate the bars and put the chips in baskets before the party! It was so simple. Later on in the evening (since the party had started at 2 p.m.), we started a campfire in the backyard and I brought out hot dogs and buns and makings for s'mores. The hot dogs were a huge hit!

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