Solstice party menu help

I'm planning an outdoor Solstice party for family + friends. It could turn into about 50 adults and over 10 kids. This will be a casual event with a few seating/standing areas and I expect that people will come and go throughout the afternoon/evening.

What are some ideas of homemade and/or catered food that will sit well in summer heat outside for several hours, feed a crowd, and not break the bank?

My only ideas so far are dessert-
smores station
fresh fruit
tres leches

Stacy Isabel


BerryBaby April 24, 2018
Other than chips, most food will need to be kept cool. Large aluminum pans work great. Fill with ice about half way up and place bowls on top. If using trays, I place a piece of plastic wrap over the ice to prevent water from getting on trays.
Bean salads with a vinegar dressing, Pasta salad with a lemon olive oil dressing, melon skewers,
Taco chips and salsa, cold baked beans, cold chicken skewers.
Skewers work great as they are easy to eat without getting messy.
Maybe some of these will trigger more ideas. Sounds like fun! BB
ktr April 24, 2018
How about a big roaster full of shredded beef or pork for a main dish. If you have a place to plug a roaster in, you can keep all sorts of things warm in it. We've cooked hotdogs up and kept them warm in one for kids at a party.
Isabel April 23, 2018
I catered my own July beach picnic wedding for 130 people last summer; it had to be able to sit out safely much of the afternoon so Mediterranean finger foods fit the bill with no mayo or egg-based dressings. It was also unintentionally vegetarian except for the grilled lamb.

Here are the things that worked best: Spanish omelet (made with precut potatoes & onions), assorted cheeses that are best at room temp (with nuts & dried fruit), veggies & hummus, stuffed grape leaves, marinated mushrooms, grilled potato salad with vinaigrette, bean salad, lentil and feta salad. Happy to provide recipes, most of these are on the internet and only require a few inexpensive ingredients. A lot of this can also be made in advance and frozen until the day before.

Our "wedding cake" was rum spice cake; it starts with a box mix. The cookies were slice and bakes that we sprinkled cinnamon sugar and arranged sliced almonds to look like sand dollars.

Plates, napkins, cups, and silverware were compostable; bought online for reasonable pricing but stilled looked fancy.
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