Omg! Help!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by JKF, May 3, 2013.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    We are having a "Cinco de Mayo" party tomorrow night. Originally it was going to be a small gathering. Just a few close friends (about 12 people tops) however, over the last week or so it's evolved into a huge bash. Last count there were 33 people coming! OMG! OMG! OMG! WTH? How did that happen? When I actually plan big parties I have a hard time getting that many people to come. This one was just a spur of the moment plan and somehow a ton of people are coming. Ugggh!

    I hope I have enough food. I'm planning on doing a taco bar with all sorts of toppings, rice and beans, jalapeno poppers, empanadas, quesadillas, tequila chicken, etc. Any ideas on any other (easy!) Mexican food I can make? Some people are bringing appetizers and desserts so that helps but I'm panicking right now. Why the h*ll do I do this to myself??
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Acquire lots of appetizer stuff... with that big of a crowd, they will want to start nibbling earlier... AND it takes the edge off the appetite for main course. So... nachos, for one. And probably raw veggies and dip. Home made buns? (that was my Mom's trick... fill 'em up on bread before serving the meal... it only works if they are so fresh you can SMELL them... )
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You know what? You'll be fine. The bar sounds delish!!! Wish I could come and be numero 34 :p

    Seriously, don't panic. The food couldn't sound more inviting.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    IC has some good inexpensive easy suggestions. I ditto the good rolls. We have to keep rolls out of reach of little ones during family dinners or they can't eat the meal......fills them up too quickly. lol

    Sounds like a wonderful time. :) Some of the best gatherings are the spur of the moment types. Try to relax and enjoy. No one plans to go to such things to stuff themselves silly anyway. :)

    Cinco de Mayo is a very special day for me. It's my grandmother's birthday. She's been gone since I was 16, but every single year I find a way to do something special that day. I've never made a huge deal of it to the kids........but Nichole was asking me why she seemed to think the 5th of May was important.......she laughed when I reminded her it was her great grandmother's birthday.......because that is why. Although they never paid a lot of attention, they were aware I found something special to do that day each and every year. :)
  5. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    You could get a bunch of tortilla chips and have some easy-to-make dips, like salsa, guac, or queso (just some Velveeta and salsa in a crockpot, voila!).
  6. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Would it be possible to put up a big pot of chili and just have that going on a very low flame so people can help themselves? To keep the cost down, you could make it mostly beans and a little bit of meat, with the toppings on the side. Lots of handy disposable bowls, and you're good. Chop up some avocados, tomatoes, red onion, a bunch of shredded cheese, cut up limes and sour cream and they've got a meal. Some good beer and you're golden.
    A huge pot of red or black beans and rice is a good filler upper for a crowd, too.
  7. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I honestly think the taco bar is plenty if you have people bringing sides as well. Just make it clear that you're only providing that, and ask some guests bring a side to share with everyone. I'm a huge fan of pot luck parties, my friends always bring fantastic sides and desserts to share -- I usually end up with too much food!

    Just enjoy yourself!
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You'll likely be just fine. I do stronly advice calling to find out exactly what other people are bringing. I've done this type of thing many times but have to admit that one year it was embarrassing. Ease your stress and find out exactly who is bring what?? It may be uncomfortable asking but hosting a disaster is......humm...a disaster. I'm 72 and the messed up party happened when I was 34! I'm still trying to erase the memory. DDD
  9. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    You are all so awesome! I love all of your ideas and I'm a lot more calm now. I just freaked out earlier when I actually counted the number and saw 33! Whew! Big crowd! But I've hosted a ton of parties (usually with much more planning time) and they all have turned out to be lots of fun. We have a great group of friends and we do potluck with them very often so everyone knows the deal. Bring a dish and BYOB (although we will have some sangria and beer). I've prepped all the food I can tonight and will do the rest in the morning. I found out what everyone's bringing and, as always, there will be more than enough food. Also my house is now spotless - nothing like people coming over to motivate me to clean! Lol

    I'm going to relax and enjoy instead of stressing out. It's not worth it. I'd rather enjoy myself and make good memories instead of worrying about every little detail. Thank you all so much for your replies and ideas and advice!!! I wish you all lived close so you could join us! What's a few more people at this point? ;)
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Have a wonderful party!!
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Mexican is one of the easiest and cheapest types of party foods to make, and to make stretch for more people. You can make super easy refried beans, tortilla roll ups, guacamole is the easiest thing on earth to make and they are on sale right now (at least here).

    I find the price of refried beans is nuts. All you have to do is drain and then rinse canned pinto beans or cooked ones(you can use kidney beans, black beans, ANY bean you want, but traditionally it is pinto beans in mexican food. Navy beans have a bit too pale a color if you use them though. Taste is about the same though) if you cook them yourself. Then take and mash them like you would potatoes with some spices. I don't usually add any oils to mine, just either taco seasoning or garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and onion powder. You can use fresh garlic and onions in them if you want. Whatever is easy. Guacamole is mashed avocados mixed with the same seasonings and some lemon or lime juice. You NEED the citrus juice or it will oxidize and turn brown.

    For tortilla rollups, take some flour tortillas and spread your favorite dip on them. ANY kind iwll do. Or any flavored cream cheese. I like dill dip or spinach dip and some sliced cheese, husband likes pepper jack and refried beans and sour cream mixed with garlic (or onion dip instead of the sour cream). Then roll the tortilla up like a cinnamon roll and slice into sections about an inch thick. Chill until the party is ready.

    Seven layer bean dip recipes abound. Spread bean dip aka refried beans, guacamole, sour cream (or onion dip which is more popular here),lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cheese (cheddar is usual, cheddar-jack is nice, some like pepper jack, it varies), and black olives in that order in thin layers on a platter. Serve with chips and veggies for dipping.

    For an easy, fast appetizer that is rather healthy and easy, get some poblano peppers or other mild large peppers and some green/yellow/red bell peppers. Wash them and cut into strips about 1/2-1 inch wide. You can cut them into 1-1 and 1/2 inch squares if you want. Put a dab of cream cheese on each piece spread out a bit and then part of a slice of american cheese. Cook in the microwave until melted, doesn't take long. These RUN off the plate at parties here. I took ten peppers to a church potluck as a backup because we had run low on the last 2-3 potluck dinners. I did one batch in the microwave there and the guys would not let me out of the kitchen until they were all gone and not even one piece ever got cold.

    Another fast easy dish is to take biscuit dough, homemade is fine, so is the kind you buy, and spread the dough out thin. Put a big of cheese, bacon bits (real only), and any sauce or other thing you like and then roll them up like cinnamon rolls. Slice and bake.

    For a fast easy dessert, get a fruit tray or a bunch of fruit to cut up. Get some plain or vanilla yogurt. Add honey or sugar and cinnamon to taste, and serve iwth fruit. Is good with greek yogurt and with regular. I have had this get eaten faster than the cakes and little desserts at many events. It was always esp popular at the kids schools.

    If you want to make an easy, great cake to serve that needs no frosting and is light but yummy (well, light in texture and lighter than most recipes for this type of cake) I have a super easy carrot cake recipe. it goes well with mexican food and is light enough that people eat it after the other dishes and don't feel overloaded. It is another htat is a kid favorite - every class my kids have ever taken it to have asked for it for every event after that. I had parents offering to pay me to make birthday cakes for them rather than buying one at the store and it is shockingly easy and cheap. HEck, you can even buy the carrots preshredded if you want.

    To stretch your budget on the fillings for tacos, pick up some TVP (texturized vegetable protein that is dehydrated). natural food stores usually carry it. A pound of it is a LOT, and it isn't terrbly expensive. I add 1 cup of TVP per pound of meat and it about doubles the output for a LOT less. I add about 1 1/2 cups of water per cup of TVP after the meat is browned and drained (and rinsed if you do that - rinsing browned ground meat in hot water then letting it sit on paper towels for a minute will get a LOT of the grease out of the meat) and then add the seasonings and I have yet to have anyone notice. My dad is a loudmouth when he thinks he is eating tofu or health food (he hates anything that he thinks fits that label, lol) and he would say something if he only knew. He raves over my tacos when I make them with TVP and it makes me laugh and laugh. Keeps telling me to give mom my 'secret recipe', lol.

    The whole taco seasoning thing may be overdone on the post, but it can be added to sour cream and cream cheese to make a dip.

    As others have said, velveeta and rotel or salsa makes great queso. If you want it extra creamy, add cream cheese. People will think you went out of your way to make it special and you don't do any extra effort, lol.

    You might consider also offering baked potatos unless people are doing mroe of the finger food thing. Around here many people have taco meat/toppings on baked potatos. It is Oklahoma, after all, lol.

    They sell fajita seasoning mixes and if you are offering things other than standard taco meat, try letting some chicken marinade in fajita seasoning, then cooking it in the oven during the day tomorrow and offering it for on the tacos.

    Consider getting a new garbage can and filling it with ice for drinks. You can also fill the washing machine with ice and cans of soda/beer if the laundry area is convenient to serve drinks from.

    Whatever you do, set up the drinks AWAY from the food. Otherwise you get a bottleneck. Consider asking to borrow a few crockpots from friends, family, neighbors. Also borrow ice buckets. Use them to keep foods hot or cold while serving. They work wonderfully.

    If you can send someone to Sam's, they have boxes of chips for about $7 that are 6 pounds. Best tortilla chip deal around. Good chips too. They also have boxes of pretzels for the same amount and price. Our stores have them next to each other. Even if you don't have a Sam's or costco, most stores iwll have huge jugs of salsa in the institutional food area. It is a ton easier than opening a lot of small jars.

    You could add a pasta salad if you want a non-mexican food option. I cook pasta, add cooked chicken and frozen veggies (or fresh, whatever is on hand or needs to be used up) and then once the pasta is COLD I add a ton of ranch or italian dressing (or any dressing you like). I get the dressing in gallon jars at Sams in the summer and this is easy to make for a crown that way. It is MUCH cheaper to buy dressing that way. And you don't run out often.

    Most of ALL, HAVE FUN.
  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I bet lots of people bring sides and apps. No worries! Have fun!!!