Teens Homecoming Dinner--Help!

kel3September 29, 2013

We (my husband and I) offered for my youngest son (a senior in high school) to have a dinner here at our home for he and his friends before their homecoming dance. The group that wants to come has now grown to 28 kids--yikes! We have a large basement so space will not be a problem.

What to serve and how to serve has now become my problem! I originally had thought of buying all pre made food from a local restaurant supply store. My son really wants us to serve fettucine alfredo (with chicken?). I thought that sounded "doable" (although this isn't something I have made before) as I thought that, caesar salad and french bread would complete the dinner menu (and probably another vegetable?). Anyway, I went to our restaurant supply store and this is not something they have. Somethings I saw there were lasagna, ravioli, meatballs and shredded beef. I do cook quite a bit so I'm definitely willing to make the food if I have easy recipes and things that can be made somewhat in advance.

Can any of you help me out with ideas of what to serve (simply) to this many teens? Not sure if we will have any help so assuming we will set up buffet style. I should also say we do have a costco nearby if there are any ideas of foods from there.


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Hi. Saw your post on the Cooking forum too.

Whether you prefer to make things yourself, or order through a restaurant, around here the standard buffet setup for something like this would probably include several of the following choices:
- baked ziti (cooked ziti mixed w/ sauce, topped w/ cheese, and baked)
- hot sausage w/ peppers and onions
- broccoli & pasta (cooked chopped broccoli sauteed in olive oil w/ lots of garlic then added to cooked pasta)
- chicken riggies (definitely a regional thing but served everywhere here!)
- big pan of baked chicken pieces
- garden salad w/ several dressing choices
- garlic bread, rolls & butter, etc.

Lasagna is actually a great idea because it's definitely easy to make ahead! What about doing a few different lasagnas??? you could make traditional lasagna w/ red sauce, and also do one or more that are white-sauce based... maybe even vegetarian. My sister has made variations of this Lasagna w/ caramelized onion and it was very good:

Here is a link that might be useful: Eating Well - Caramelized Onion Lasagna

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 12:28PM
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Honestly, for this, I would order pizzas. Kids love pizza, and they can eat it standing up without utensils. Something like pasta that you need a knife and fork for would require seating for all these people and someone to clear away used plates so that the spaces can be used again.

For the same reason, instead of salad, I would put out cut vegetables. Add some chips, grapes cut into small bunches, and something like cookies or brownies for dessert. Buy some big bottles of soda. Put out stacks of disposable plates (which they won't use anyway), cups, and napkins, and that's all you need.

I like to cook, and big crowds don't faze me. But teens on homecoming night aren't going to appreciate any culinary efforts anyway. (Same principle as buying a supermarket cake for a small child's birthday party -- they don't eat it anyway, much less appreciate the difference -- and saving the homemade masterpiece for the family celebration.) If it were 8 or 10 kids wanting a special dinner in their fancy clothes, that would be different. But this is a big crowd, and they won't be expecting a fancy meal.

My kids are grown now, but we poured more pizza, grapes, and soda down teenage throats than I care to remember, and it was always a success.

This post was edited by gellchom on Wed, Oct 9, 13 at 21:20

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 1:58PM
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for some reason it posted a duplicate again. I wish I could eliminate the whole post, but I don't know how. Sorry.

This post was edited by gellchom on Thu, Oct 3, 13 at 23:14

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 2:00PM
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Thank you both so much for your replies! Unfortunately I got really sick and had to cancel at the beginning of the week while they still had time to make other plans. I've printed this off though in anticipation of future dances/dinners. And gellchom, I totally agree on the pizza idea!

Thank you both again for taking the time to reply! :)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 11:49PM
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So sorry you were sick. I hope you're all better now. And I hope your son and his friends had a great time.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 9:22PM
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