The menu wasn't finalized until probably 3 days before the party, even though I made a valiant effort to have it done much earlier.
The gathering was from 2-4, so we didn't need to serve a full meal, but being that a lot of cadets were coming, I wanted to have enough substantial food that they would leave feeling full. So, at the last minute we decided to add some meat to the menu.
Here was the final menu...
1. Artichoke Breads
2. Grandma's French Onion dip and chips
3. Ina's Hummus with tomatoes, feta and black olives sprinkled on top with pita chips
4. Cheese, Crackers, Apples and Grapes
5. Caprese with fresh basil
6. Sausage Cheese Balls (I always just google these before I make them, so I never have a consistently good recipe - does anyone have one that they always use/like??)
7. Chinese Chicken Skewers with dipping sauces (ginger, sesame and mustard vinaigrette)
1. Red Velvet Cake Pops
Once these were made, I covered them with glassine bags and tied them with orange polka dot gingham ribbon)
2. Brenda's famous carrot cake cupcakes (I made small and regular sized cupcakes for guests at the party and I made Paddy a ginormous cupcake with a silicone mold that I found on eBay. His cake turned out completely lopsided and weighed about 20 lbs. Too funny.)
from a distance it doesn't look quite as bad as it really is...
here is the leaning tower of carrot cake...at least Paddy enjoyed it...
3. Chocolate covered marshmallows (it took me a while, but I finally found the really giant ones at WalMart. I used baking chocolate in the disposable plastic containers to make it easy on clean up and then sprinkled with orange/blue sprinkles. Once they were set, I stuck lollipop sticks in the bottom of them. I had a large hurricane that I filled with sugar that we stuck the marshmallows in for display.)
4. Chocolate covered graham crackers (just because I had lots of melting chocolate left)
5. Texas Sheet Cake (recipe from my mom)
Orange Sherbert Punch (equal parts orange soda and ginger ale and then add orange sherbert ice cream)
If I had to do it over again...
1. I would not make hummus...I feel like this is a food that people either like or hate....not too much of it was eaten.
2. I am SO glad that we decided to make the chicken...almost every skewer was eaten! We made ~5 lbs of it.
3. I would try to make the foods as accessible on the table as possible...those that were less accessible were less eaten.