I'm planning a mid-week, evening b'day celebration for about 30 people and need help with food ideas. The plan is for heavy hors d'oeurves, sangria/wine, and b'day cake towards the end of the evening.
I'm not as concerned about a cohesive menu as I am about tasty food that can be made ahead of time and doesn't need a lot of fussing with during the party (e.g. can sit at room temp).
So far, this is what I'm thinking:
-BBQ Pulled Pork (served with mini Hawaiian rolls for sliders). Pork would stay warm in crockpot #1
-Meatballs - some sort of meatball served with some sort of sauce. I was going to do a bbq based sauce, but reailzed with the pork, it may be bbq overload. Served in chafing dish. Could also be sliders or just have toothpicks :)
-Mac & Cheese (Martha Stewart's) - was thinking of having this in a cast iron pot to serve.... problem is, with time as it cools, it congeals. Any ideas how to keep this warm/fresh?
-'standard' cheese/salami platter with cracker assortment
What am I missing?!
I could do a stuffed mushroom and stuffed dates - make those ahead and pop them in the oven before party time... but the idea of watching the oven while welcoming guests is not appealing.
I'm also thinking some sort of chili or soup (although, I find at parties, those are eaten last, since it usually requires another type of bowl/dish and most use their primary plate to graze).
Chicken Satay and peanut sauce also come to mind... if I go that route, how could I keep the chicken warm (another chafing dish??)
I'm considering hiring help for the party, so I can stay out of the kitchen. If that's the case, then warming up foods aren't as big of an issue... but, ideally, I'd like to have foods either ready to go or on platters that I can just refill or swap out with minimal distraction or work.
Thoughts on what I have planned so far.... and/or ideas for other dishes?
Edit to add:
I found this old thread with tons of great ideas - reposting for future reference:
I'm definitely going to make the black bean dip and am thinking about adding kchurchill5's Chicken White/Black Chili that's in the above post