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Cooking for Parties/Help! First time mom planning 1 year old party!!

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Hi there! I need help. I've held parties before but it has always been indoors with 30, 40 people max so the menu choices have come easy (Enchiladas or shredded pork/beef, etc.)to go a long way with big crowds. But now, I don't know why but I feel like the pressure is on for my son's 1st birthday party. It's going to be held at a park at the end of April(yes I know I'm planning WAY ahead lol)and the way the weather is shaping up here in the Central Valley in California, it's going to be hot as crap that day (God only knows why I chose to have it outdoors at the park)and there's at least going to be 70 for sure people that will attend and about 20 maybes. I've had advice from so many people on the menu so I was hoping to get some insight from an expert. I should mention that even though my son will be turning 1, he has a bunch of young kids as cousins so the menu has to be kid-friendly too. The party will start at 2:30pm and the theme is characters from the Baby First Channel so there aren't any restrictions there as far as type of food. Any thoughts?

Answer
I apologize for the delay as I had major surgery on Friday that I had to travel to Illinois from Louisiana to get and I just came home from the hospital Sunday.

First, the kids won't care about anything but the cake and ice cream so plan your menu around the adults. If you want the easiest way, call your local Domino's pizza as you can get large orders of pizza for very little money. Domino's will sell you large 1-topping pies for about $6-7 each and 12 pizzas, ice cream and cake would be fine for a kid's party.

If you like, you could also grill some burgers/dogs for the adults.  Watermelon is always good at an outdoor party. It really comes down to what you want to spend and how much of the work you want to do. Not knowing your budget or your skill set when it comes to catering makes it hard to help you as much as I could with this knowledge. BBQ Chicken and ribs are also nice outdoors.  

If you are going to DIY, finger sandwiches made from non-perishable ingredients would be easy to do and since it's a kids party, PBJ's will rule the day.  You can cut them in triangles and a big platter of PBJ with grape or strawberry jelly will be popular.  Watermelons can be cut on-site and again--very refreshing.  For the adults, make icepicks with Earl Grey tea and vodka for a great adult beverage you can make in advance in large volume if you serve alcohol at your parties.  

I don't know anything about Baby First channel LOL so I'm pretty clueless as to the characters. Your 1 year old will not remember the party so you don't really have to worry about it all that much as he will eat icing off the cake.

Speaking of cakes, you can get a full sheet cake from Walmart bakery for way less than anywhere else and they are always fresh. Boston Market is the best and cheapest caterer in the USA if you don't want pizza and they bring everything you need.
Feel free to get back with me if I can help more.  

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Teri Davis Newman

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I am a wedding and party planner in St. Louis, Missouri and I do weddings and parties all over the country! My brides are my number one priority as I understand how important their wedding day is to them! Any questions about catering and cooking for large groups. This would include recipes, cooking techniques, what to serve, how to prevent food poisoning, food storage and food integrity. I have thousands of recipes that are scaled for large groups and gatherings and will be happy to share them! If you are in need of professional assistance for helping you to plan your wedding, party or corporate event, please feel free to contact me! I do a limited amount of weddings and parties every year in order to make sure that I have the best service for my clientele. Feel free to visit my business website at this address: WWW.EXQUISITEEVENTSUSA.COM for detailed information on what services I offer. I have price point weddings for every budget--no matter what size and I am very specific about what you get for your hard-earned money.

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Catering and parties are a large part of the restaurant business. I do a lot of catering for local parties and weddings.
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Graduate, Le Cordon Bleu, Tokyo, Japan

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Graduate, Le Cordon Bleu, Tokyo, Japan

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