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I need some inspiration!

Please post your menus for this year or even just what goes over well at your parties!

I definitely find it works best for me to have half store/restaurant bought and half homemade so I don't go insane.

What have been some good things you've ordered from a restaurant/store? (not pizza)
 

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I always have a crock pot with Chili. I can throw it all together the morning of the party and let it cook on low all day. Then I just put out fritos, cheese, onions and sour cream. I do it every year so my guest always expect it now. Wings are a great pick up item. Also a cold cuts tray from your grocery store deli with a side of small buns. I hope this helps.
 

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We always try to have a meat/protein (ex. meat and cheese tray) and healthy option (ex. dippable veggies) with everything since some people have sensitive stomachs/diets. After that, it's nice to have a carb filler like bread, potatoes, or pasta. And then dessert!
Since we have a smaller crowd, too many options are overwhelming and have gone uneaten in the past.
We also ask people to contribute something small/cheap such as providing the chips or 2 liters of pop.
Also, salty things tend to go over better than sweeter treats at our parties (different for everyone).

Our menu this year (subject to change):
Crockpot meatballs (BBQ sauce + grape jelly)
Crockpot cream cheese taco chip dip
Tortilla chips
Veggies
Crackers and cheese
Gummy worms
TBD dessert

Be sure to search through previous years' menus to get an idea as well. Have fun planning!
 

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I am not much inspiration. We always have about 50 people over. We go to our town’s Halloween parade at 1 pm and then I try to have the food ready as they arrive at our house. We always do subs and a soup (chicken wild rice, potato, ect). The subs are always a huge hit.
 

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I love to cook (used to be a personal chef, now I just try to feed anyone within a twenty foot radius who'll hold still long enough), so every year I have to balance my blind idiot ambitions with, you know, human reason and good sense. My success rate is...uh. Well.

This year's menu is going to be:
  • Pumpkin ravioli in a cream sauce (delusional excuse: I'll use wonton wrappers instead making my own pasta, so it's totally reasonable! T...Totally)
  • Chicken tenders with a sweet chili dipping sauce (delusional excuse: I'll use frozen chicken tenders and my airfryer, so no oven Tetris necessary! Chili sauce is super easy and I can make it ahead of time! I'll be fine! Fine, I tell you!)
  • Macaroni and cheese (delusional excuse: I can make this in my sleep, yo. I maybe have before)
  • Crostini with habanero-cranberry chutney and goat cheese (delusional excuse: It's basically toast and jam! Tiny toast and fancy jam. And goat cheese. It's...fine)
  • Roasted garlic-pumpkin hummus with flatbread and sliced veggies (delusional excuse: I make this every year! I'll make it ahead of time, too! I'll make everything! It's Fine!)
  • Marbled Aztec chocolate and pumpkin bars with browned butter icing (delusional excuse: Bar desserts are easy! Marbling's easy! I'll make them ahead of time! My refrigerator space is infinite! I'm going to live forever!)
Obviously I'm in complete control here, and all will go according to plan. Y-Yeah.

As for general menu suggestions, lasagna and nachos always make great options for Feeding In Bulk, and are both super-friendly when it comes to storebought options. There's a really useful Nacho Bar Party Calculator to help you plan how much of what supplies you'll need (they also have chili bar and baked potato bar calculators, as well as just a general crowd-cooking calculator -- it's neat).
 

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I love to cook (used to be a personal chef, now I just try to feed anyone within a twenty foot radius who'll hold still long enough), so every year I have to balance my blind idiot ambitions with, you know, human reason and good sense. My success rate is...uh. Well.

This year's menu is going to be:
  • Pumpkin ravioli in a cream sauce (delusional excuse: I'll use wonton wrappers instead making my own pasta, so it's totally reasonable! T...Totally)
  • Chicken tenders with a sweet chili dipping sauce (delusional excuse: I'll use frozen chicken tenders and my airfryer, so no oven Tetris necessary! Chili sauce is super easy and I can make it ahead of time! I'll be fine! Fine, I tell you!)
  • Macaroni and cheese (delusional excuse: I can make this in my sleep, yo. I maybe have before)
  • Crostini with habanero-cranberry chutney and goat cheese (delusional excuse: It's basically toast and jam! Tiny toast and fancy jam. And goat cheese. It's...fine)
  • Roasted garlic-pumpkin hummus with flatbread and sliced veggies (delusional excuse: I make this every year! I'll make it ahead of time, too! I'll make everything! It's Fine!)
  • Marbled Aztec chocolate and pumpkin bars with browned butter icing (delusional excuse: Bar desserts are easy! Marbling's easy! I'll make them ahead of time! My refrigerator space is infinite! I'm going to live forever!)
Obviously I'm in complete control here, and all will go according to plan. Y-Yeah.

As for general menu suggestions, lasagna and nachos always make great options for Feeding In Bulk, and are both super-friendly when it comes to storebought options. There's a really useful Nacho Bar Party Calculator to help you plan how much of what supplies you'll need (they also have chili bar and baked potato bar calculators, as well as just a general crowd-cooking calculator -- it's neat).
Sharkygal Your menu sounds amazing!
 

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We serve BBQ (ribs, brisket and sausage) every year in the 'Meat Man' that I'm sure you've seen. That's served in the kitchen with potato salad and rolls. This year, in my dining room, I'm super excited because I'm only serving....ORANGE food. It is so fun coming up with everything and there's more than you'd think - cheddar cheese, Rotel Dip, carrots, circus peanuts, orange slices, mango, small sandwiches on Hawaiian rolls, cantaloupe, pimento cheese, smoked salmon, shrimp, Doritos, BBQ potato chips,....I can't wait. Silly, but like trick or treat and it's a trick for my guests!
 
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