Tag Archive for Party planning

How to plan a football party

The most wonderful time of the year is finally here…. FOOTBALL SEASON!! You know what that means….Time to start planning a football party!!!

Here are some basic key factors to consider when planning a football party:

TIME:

This might not seem like a big issue, but it is. Are you focused on having a party on a certain day and time or for a particular game? Most times are not published until the week of the scheduled game, especially if it’s for a big matchup. You might have to be flexible, or be prepared to have a party that lasts for several hours.

GUESTS:

Kids or no kids? Guests from rivalry teams or no? Whatever you choose, just make sure everyone invited can play nicely together in the same sandbox. Healthy rivalries are a great part of the football tradition. When it gets out of hand, however, no one has fun!

BEVERAGES:

Beer is a staple for many football fans. So is Jack and Coke. If you’re on the West Coast or have an early game, Bloody Marys and Mimosas are quite popular! No matter what you provide (or have guests bring), PLEASE make sure you have enough water on hand so everyone stays well hydrated.

FOOD:

When you are throwing a football party, it is not the time to break out the filet mignon and scalloped potatoes. You also don’t have to limit yourself to chips and salsa.

Some of the most popular dishes I serve for football parties are Buffalo Chicken Dip, Meatballs, and Taco Dip. I’m actually going to attempt to make my Bacon Cheese Ball into the shape of a football for a party this weekend. Stay tuned to see how it turns out!!

If you would like more detailed information about how to throw the Ultimate Football Party, along with all of our best football friendly recipes, you can purchase and download our guide and cookbook for just $10.

football party

 

Dinner for 37 with no plan – Savannah themed meal

Ok, so McNack’s is always ‘preaching’ about how to prepare in advance for a big party and that without adequate preparation, who knows what will happen.

Well, I’ve been just a wee bit busy and realized that I committed to dinner for what was going to be 37 people at my house in less than 48 hours and I had no real plan. I definitely voluntarily invited my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop and their families to dinner and I wanted to do this. But, well, then life happened.

I also committed to making the theme of the meal “Savannah” as this is the year we take the girls to see the home of Juliet Gordon Lowe in Savannah (she’s the founder of the Girl Scouts). Hmm!? Now what?

First things first – I needed a menu. It was both kids and adults so I needed to be very kid friendly. So here is what I decided:

Savannah Themed Meal

Kids Menu:

Fried Chicken (plan was order from Chick-fil-a, see below for reality)

Macaroni and Cheese

Fruit (strawberries and grapes)

Chips

and whatever they want off the ‘adult’ menu

Adult Menu:

Homemade Pimento Cheese

Grilled Spicy Shrimp

Fried Green Tomatoes

Deviled Eggs

Cilantro Slaw

Sautéed Greens with Sausage

Desserts (I reached out to the parents who offered to help… when you need it, use it! Nothing wrong with that!) We had peach cobbler, a dessert bar one of the mom’s used to make when she lived in Savannah, brownies and cookies. Thanks ladies!!

An assortment of kid friendly and adult friendly beverages. Thanks again for those who helped in this arena too!!

The Last Minute Plan:

The good thing is nothing I was making was that difficult, it was just a lot. I went to the stores (all of them) the day before and reached out for help on the desserts. I went to order the nuggets from Chick-fil-a when it dawned on me the party was on Sunday! OMG! Now what? I love that Chick-fil-a is not open on Sunday but I was in a bind. While I was freaking out on my way to my car at my local grocer (Publix), the boy helping me out suggested I check with their deli. Duh!! Thanks! That worked out great.

I went ahead and made the pimento cheese and slaw, cut the fruit, sautéed the sausage, made the remoulade sauce, finished the deviled eggs and grated the cheese. I then got my tables and paper goods ready to go.

The day of I finished getting the house ready, got the serving, drinking and eating areas all setup and finalized the rest of the food. That included: marinating, grilling, and peeling the shrimp; making the mac n’ cheese; sautéing the greens; preparing the fried green tomatoes; and picking up the chicken tenders from the store (thanks Mark xoxo). Easy Peasy!!

Most everything was ready when guests arrived other than frying the tomatoes, getting the buffet area finalized, getting drinks for folks and other last minute things.

As typical for me, I made a whole lot more than I should have. Note to self: think about your guests. 60lb girls don’t eat as much as 200lb men. Oops. Leftovers!

All joking aside, it was fun. The girls had a nice ceremony and played well together. The parents had a nice time getting to know each other better. Looking forward to a great year!

dinner party without a plan

How to plan a party – Part 2 : “Getting ready and organized”

Melissa and I will both tell you that the main reason why we can pull off a stress-free party (or parties) is because we are both huge list makers and we hate wasting time.  We make lists for our menus, our chores, our grocery lists separated out by store, you name it and we make a list for it! Our lists help us maximize our time without forgetting items or details. We are old fashioned and prefer the paper and pen way of making a list. We like to see our accomplishments when we cross something off the list and then redo our lists when they get too messy. Some may say that is very “Type A”. We just think that makes sense!! However, if you prefer making a list on an iPad, computer, post-it notes, etc., go for it! There’s not one way to get organized. You need to use whatever method works for you, but you do need lists!

What kind of lists do you need?

1) Menu list. You need to write done what you are serving before you can do anything else. This will dictate all of your other lists. Since I am having 5 different parties, I have 5 different menu lists, one for each day. I like to tape my menus on an inside cabinet in my kitchen so I can check off when a dish is complete. Yes, I literally put a check mark by the dish.

2) Non-Perishable list**. I make a separate store run for my non-perishables that I cannot find at Costco (warehouse store). Why? To save money without sacrificing quality. A specific brand of a non-perishable good is the same regardless of what store you buy it.

3) Specialty meat/fish store**. I am fortunate that I live near a great meat store or “Sausage Chalet”. I get most of my meats at a local store to me, Patak, because they are very high in quality and less expensive than Costco. If you don’t live near a place like this, then put your meats on your Costco/grocery store list.

4) Costco list**. I buy as much as I can at Costco because they sell just about everything I need and the prices are very reasonable. This is where I also buy beer and some wine.

5) Grocery list**. This is where I buy all of my last minute produce.

**Of course, you could combine your non-perishables, specialty meats and warehouse store lists with your grocery list and buy everything at your favorite grocery store instead. However, you’ll still need to make at least 2 trips if you are doing anything in advance: One for all the stuff you can buy and make ahead of time and the second when you buy all your last minute produce.

6) Liquor store list. If you need to stock up on some wine that is not sold at Costco or special alcohol, don’t forget your local liquor store!

7) Chore list. What do you need to do before your guests arrive? Do you just need to do a quick dusting or cleaning of a bathroom? Do you need to polish silver or buy a certain serving piece? Think about how you want your house to look and make a list of what you need to do to get it all done.

8) Schedule. About a week out, I make a schedule of what I am going to do on what day so I am not scrambling at the last minute. The schedule is inclusive of the day of the party and in the order of when I am going to accomplish each task. The day of schedule should include a last minute look around the house to see if you missed anything, as well as a final taking out of the trash before your guest arrive!!

T-Minus 48 hours until the first party

The first of 5 parties is in 48 hours. What’s the status? I have already done my “non-prerishable” store run. If you follow us on Facebook, you will see that the “Coca-Cola” refrigerator is fully stocked with water and soda for the week. On today’s errand list is Costco and Smyrna World of Beverage. To get the house ready, we are going to do a final cleaning of the basement to get it ready for my sister and niece. In the prepping of food department, the kids are going to make Lemonade Stand Pie, the only request made by my aunt for her birthday. It has ice cream in it, so can easily stay in the freezer for 6 days. Oh, the “adult beverage” refrigerator will be stocked, as well as the wine racks!

Want to see more of this series? Here are the other parts:
Part 1 Original

Part 3 Baconfest
Part 4 Dinner for 13
Part 5 July 4th Dinner
Part 6 Birthday party for 16