Feed a Crowd (and Still Enjoy Your Party!)
Party season is upon us...it's time for First Communions, graduation parties, wedding showers, school end of year potlucks, and more fun events. Hosting these things can be stressful....what to feed all those people that doesn't involve being stuck in the kitchen while everyone has fun without you, or spending an insane amount of money on having food catered?
1) Make ahead as much as possible. The fewer things you have to do at the last minute, the more time you'll have to relax and enjoy your guests (and you won't be standing over the stove whispering "just COOK already!" at your dish while your guests start getting restless). Egg casseroles are great for this. They need to cook for about an hour, but you actually have to throw them together the night before so that hour is all walk-away time you can use to do other things.
2) Your slow cooker is your friend. My go-to large party dish is low cooker pulled pork. Here's how you make it: The night before you are ready to serve (or, a day or two ahead if you need to), take a large piece of pork shoulder or butt (5-7 lbs will feed about 10 people), slice up some onions in the bottom of the slow cooker, plop the giant hunk of pork on top of them, pour over a two-liter bottle of ginger ale, and cook on low overnight. In the morning, when the pork is cool enough to handle, shred it and mix it with your barbecue sauce of choice. Chop up the onions and mix them in too. Then throw the whole thing back in the cooker and cook for about six more hours on low, until it's heated through and everything melds together. Serve on hamburger buns with coleslaw and cornbread. SO GOOD.
3) Have one awesome dish and relax about the rest. Do you make the best potato salad in the world? Are you a fabulous cake decorator, or cookie maker? Do you have a signature dish from your family heritage that you love to introduce to people? Spend your time there, and don't stress about making everything else perfect. People will remember your specialty and look forward to coming back.
What is your go-to party dish?