Planning a meal for a group of 20-30 people can be challenging and expensive. For most of my parties, I do some European shopping and go to local shops with quality, reasonably priced ingredients. For the boys’ pirate birthday party the theme was Pirate BBQ. I purchased pork butt from a local butcher, breads and veggies from Trader Joes, and Applegate Hotdogs for the kids. I also purchased some odds and ends at a local supermarket. In a future post I'll explain how this birthday party was a low cost birthday party and how to entertain on a budget.
Pirates’ Pulled Pork
Corn & Quinoa Treasure
Skully’s Apple/ Broccoli Slaw
Jake’s Baked Beans
Hook’s Hot Dogs
Cannons (cut red grapes)
Booty and Gold Fish Crackers
When family offers to bring something, I always say “yes”. 2Gether we eat is the way to go. My mom always makes her hummus and my sister brought a scrumptious seven-layer dip. I recommend always having extra chips and veggies because most guests don’t know how many other people are coming.
My favorite pulled pork recipe is Food Network chef Tyler Florence’s recipe, modified. You can view the full recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/pulled-pork-barbecue-recipe/index.html
I replace the dry mustard with Dijon mustard for the rub and only use ½ the amount of vinegar but twice the amount of ketchup for the BBQ sauce. After I let the rub sit for 1 day, I cook it on low in the crockpot for 8-10 hours skimming the fat along the way.
Due to the madness around the house, I really try to cook and freeze as much as possible beforehand. Most of my party menus require little to no cooking the day of. For this menu, I cooked and froze the pulled pork the week before and prepared the slaw and corn salad the day before.
I had Jackson help me prepare the Corn & Quinoa Treasure. He only made it half way through because something Nolan was doing in the other room was more exciting. But he did help me get all the ingredients out onto the counter and measure the water and quinoa in a microwave safe dish. That was the extent of it but at least he wanted to help a little.
Corn & Quinoa Treasure:
2 cups water
½ bag of frozen corn or 3 ears of fresh corn
3 baby English cukes, finely chopped
1 med orange pepper, chopped
1 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes
2 TBS Parsley
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 large garlic glove crushed
Salt, Pepper and Sriracha to taste
Put the quinoa and water in a microwave safe dish and cook for 7-9 minutes. Once cooled, add the corn, cukes, pepper and parsley. Save the tomatoes until the day you serve the dish. Chilled tomatoes taste like plastic. Mix the dressing and set aside. A few hours before serving mix in the tomatoes, dressing and garnish with parsley. My kiddos love to help shake the dressing and stir the salads. Before the party they were a bit busy however on a normal day I prepare myself for a little spill but relish in the excitement they have to help in the smallest way.
The recipes for Skully’s Apple and Broccoli Slaw and the homemade Jake’s Baked Beans will be posted soon.