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Spring Gathering for a Crowd

Spring Gathering for a Crowd

A shower event, a prom party, a graduation, a farewell or just a friendly get-together demands lots of good food. Follow this make-ahead menu planned for 20 people, and you'll be able to enjoy the party, too!

Tips from the Experts

Betty Crocker Cook - Andi Bidwell

"Fresh flowers and fruits make lovely backdrops for spring occasion. Accent a table with a large glass bowl filled with lemons or limes."

Senior Food Editor, Betty Crocker Kitchens

That Special Someone

  • For a special loved one who is moving or for a celebrated individual, place a photo in a 6-inch or wider mat. Have party attendees autograph the mat and send well wishes. After the party, frame the matted photo for a lifetime keepsake.
  • Place disposable cameras about the party scene. Guests can capture the moments for you to later compile in a memory book for the star of the party.
  • Request guests bring a written memory of the honored individual to be shared with everyone at a planned time. This can replace gifts.


Serve with Style

  • Buffet service frees the host. Consider using several small tables for a cozier feel. Group desserts on one table, beverages on another.
  • Hire high school or college students to serve appetizers for a special touch, or just have them replenish the tables and
    free yourself to mingle.

Decorations

  • Choose a color scheme that fits your party. Check out party stores for paper supplies or linen outlets for less-expensive table linens. Buy inexpensive rubber stamps, and stamp linens or paper if you can't find ready-made themed ware.
  • Scatter candles throughout the party area, or string fun lights to match the decor.
  • Make a flag to hang outside your home to represent the event. Use colored felts and a wooden dowel found at craft stores.

Up to 2 Weeks Before

  • Plan serving dishes; label with intended use and store.
  • Bake and cool Parmesan Puffs; wrap tightly and freeze.
  • Bake and cool Pistachio Fudge Cups; freeze unfrosted.

 
Up to 2 Days Before

  • Wash and slice fruit for Festive Fruit Platter; cover and refrigerate until serving time. Mix sour cream-brown sugar dip; cover and refrigerate.

The Day Before

  • Pick up veggies and dip from the supermarket.
  • Prepare Stuffed Baby Portabella Mushrooms up to the baking step.
  • Cook potatoes for Party Potatoes.
  • Make Havarti and Sun-Dried Tomato Cheesecake; cover and refrigerate.
  • Make Pesto Eggs with Shrimp up to the step of topping with pesto. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Mix ingredients except for sparkling water for Sparkling Citrus Punch; refrigerate.
  • Make Apricot Cheesecake Bars.
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