Never miss Doughnut Day, Pretzel Day or Caramel Day again.
Say good riddance to Old Man Winter with these seasonal picks.
As a member, you can save and sort your favorite recipes -- for FREE!Join Food.com
Our most popular mains, sides and salads — here's what you want to eat for dinner right now.
Our home cooks have perfected top-notch remakes of your favorite restaurant dishes.
As a member, you can save and organize your favorite recipes and more.Join Food.com
Honey-baked ham, springy sides and special desserts — we have every recipe you need.
Did you know that there's a new food holiday 365 days a year? See what today is!
ALSO NEW: Get Our New Food Holidays App!
As a member, you can save your favorite recipes, plan menus and more.Join Food.com
JoyfulCook shares more about her travels, living abroad and her favorite international cuisine.
Learn the best way to cook bacon, shred chicken and reheat pizza.
We've rounded up some of our home cooks' most entertaining kitchen mishaps.
Select () or exclude () categories to narrow your recipe search.
As you select categories, the number of matching recipes will update.
Find exactly what you're looking for with the web's most powerful recipe filtering tool.
Birthday party picnic at a state park.
Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:57 pmExperienced "Head Chef" Poster
Hubby's and my birthdays are at the end of September. Since this is our first year being married, we decided to throw a picnic at the nearby state park where he proposed in October. This isn't for awhile, but I'm a planner and want to have things ready so I can begin buying whatever I can ahead of time. We considered making it potluck, but I don't know. I figure most people will volunteer to bring something and we'll say "sure, bring a side dish."
I'm new to this whole planning a party for 20 people (adults and kids) and have no idea what I'm doing. I know I'm doing German chocolate cupcakes with pecan-cocunut frosting for dessert, but other than that I have no idea. We originally thought barbecue pulled pork and chicken wings, but I don't know how to keep this warm without electricity.
My question is this...What would you prepare that would be good for something like this? How would you keep things warm? Cold?
Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:36 amSemi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
Chafing dishes! They're easy to set up and last a long time (unless it's disposable). If you want to spend some money, you could get one from a restaurant supply. Or.. if you think you'll never use it again, WalMart. I have a few that I pull out whenever we have an outdoor party; it's easier than running extension cords out there!
Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:41 pmForum Host
Wow! How completely fun!!! Only large outdoor party I threw at a park, I had access to electricity, so had crock pots going. I love the chafing dish idea!!
Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:24 amFood.com Groupie
I do these all the time, maybe not a picnic, but a BBQ at the beach or just parties for 20-40 often.
A couple of notes. If you are hosting, either say pot luck or NOT. And ask people to tell you WHAT they are bringing. Otherwise you will end up with 3 pastas and 2 spud salads and nothing else.
DO NOT leave it wide open. And people will not be offended.
The best thing is for you to set a menu, then say "bring a dish" And tell them what you need a dip, a salad, pasta, dessert, etc. But ask them to let you know and say the reason is so you don't end up with 5 pasta salads which does happen.
Crock pots, If made will keep pulled pork and even chicken wings, very warm. They are both good BBQ foods. Baked spiral ham. Also, easy, because it can be served warm or room temp. It is great sliced on a soft roll with a spicy mustard or a chutney. It is easy and simple to prepare and travels well.
Pasta salads with out may is great and is more tolerable to HIGH heat. Fruit salads are great, pasta, but again, so many options other than mayo based. Carrot or peas salads are nice and so it roasted vegetables.
I tend to stick with cold dips, antipasto skewers are easy and made ahead and travel well. Desserts, I stick with small portions, easier to transport and eat especially outside.
Chili is also another travel good food. In a crock it will stay warm, travels good and made ahead. And don't think just beef chili. A white bean, chicken chili is great or a black bean chili is fun
And rather than full large size sandwiches ... try little small rolls, so people can try a little of each item vs just one thing.
And rather than a salad. Try a salad in a lettuce cup. You can mix tomato, cucumber, olives, onions and toss with a vinaigrette or ranch, or your favorite, add some shredded romaine and spoon into small lettuce cups. Easy to transport again and easy to eat vs on a plate and usually no waste because you just make how many people will be eating and then what is not eaten can be chopped up and mixed with more salad for the next night.
Ham, small variety of rolls, a couple of different condiments
Chili, cornbread mini muffins
Pulled pork, small rolls, coleslaw
A muffaletta sandwich is also a nice change too
Wings, baked or grilled and then kept warm in the crock, add a couple of dips
Spud salad, pasta salad, pea salad
Fruit skewers with a yogurt vanilla dipping sauce
Marinated olives (made ahead and served chilled)
roasted vegetable salad
These are my favorites, I have recipes for all, but I thought I would throw out the ideas first.
Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:25 amFood.com Groupie
All good hints and tips from TWINIE!!!
Especially about the bring a side dish as will end up with 10 pasta dishes and 10 cole slaws lol lol
ok...Does the Area have BBQ access? Can you bring portable BBQ's?
I do ALOT (lol) of entertaining too!
And well, ok....I also like to do things in advance so there is no mucking around getting closer to the date and also helps re the budget too!
I fond people like to graze!! lol
Will there be any protected area in case of the weather? THAT is the ONLY thing I stress about lol
I fond platters are simple, easy and make for good presentations
Fruit and cheese platter with minimal decorations always go over well and are economical
also platters are easily transpotable
Chicken wing platters
Maybe create a theme around the foods served
Cold veggie lasagna rolls ups
Cold chicken stick with satay sauce
If it was me, would take out the other stress factor of keeping foods warm and find a wonderful colourful variety of foods and create a buffet table
One less thing to worry about on the day
Soba noodles in some really cute birthday themed Chinese takeaway containers...can get them at any 2.00 store
three bean salad
other salad ideas
Even a subway type food long sandwich works too
Look forward to hearing your feedback too!
Strawberry scone Shortcakes
Add this to My Favorite Topics
Alert us of inappropriate posts
Free Weekly Newsletter