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Party Recipes, Menu, and Shopping List

Updated on November 10, 2015
Silva Hayes profile image

Silva has a background as a technical writer and in addition to how-to articles she writes about cooking, travel, and personal experiences.

It's the time of year for fun and colorful holiday parties; here is everything you need to plan the food and drink for your winter festivities: menu, shopping list, and recipes

Party menu
Party menu

Here are good party recipes and a delicious and simple menu along with a shopping list. This menu is geared toward a party where alcoholic drinks are served since those parties needs solid food to go along with the drinks. It works beautifully without the alcoholic beverages; just leave the vodka out of the punch! I've served this at church socials and other festivities.

We have served this food many times in summer or in winter and it always gets compliments. Everything can be prepared a day ahead of time except the punch. The food is basic, filling, easy to prepare, easy to serve, and homemade.

Here is the menu, a list of equipment and serving pieces, a shopping list, and recipes.

Cocktail meatballs
Potato salad
Ranch dip
Vegetable tray
Green and black olives
Cheese and crackers
Punch (vodka or non-alcoholic)
Soft drinks

Equipment and serving pieces
Chafing dish for meatballs
Blenders (if serving mixed drinks such as Margaritas and Pina Coladas)
Punch bowl with dipper (rental companies usually carry large punch bowls)
Glasses or cups for punch
Glasses for other mixed drinks
Large bowl for potato salad
Platters for cheese and crackers
Dish for olives
Bowls for dip and chips
Plastic forks
Paper plates
Bundt cake pan (for making the ice ring for the punch)

Shopping list (for 20 guests)
Ground round steak (3 pounds)
Scallions (1 bunch)
Little green onions (1 bunch)
Kraft barbecue sauce (1 jar)
Nabisco Waverly Wafers (crackers) (1 box)
Keebler’s Town House oval crackers (1 box)
Eggs (1 doz)
Potatoes (12 large)
Dill pickles (1 jar)
Aluminum foil (1 package)
Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix original buttermilk (3 pkgs)
Sour cream (24 oz – 3 cups)
Mayonnaise, Hellman’s (1 quart jar)
Worcestershire sauce (1 small bottle)
Mustard, French’s (1 small jar)
Doritos (2 large bags)
Potato chips (1 large bag)
Broccoli (1 bunch)
Cauliflower (1 head)
Zucchini (8)
Red bell peppers (4)
Carrots (8)
Green olives, pitted, stuffed with pimento (1 jar whole)
Black olives, pitted (1 can, whole)
Cheese, cheddar and Monterrey Jack (1 lb. each)
Paper plates and napkins
Paper towels
Cranberry-apple juice drink (1 quart)
Vodka, one fifth
7-Up, two 1-liter bottles
Ginger ale, Canada Dry, one 1-liter bottle
Grenadine, one small bottle
Fresh orange, one
Fresh kiwi, one
Soft drinks

To select the ground round steak, check freshness date on the label and look for a low fat content.

Always select fresh vegetables without discolored cut ends. Pick the whitest head of cauliflower without any dark spots. Choose carrots that are small and firm. Broccoli should be compact with firm dark green clusters. Zucchini should be small, dark green and firm.

Cocktail meatballs recipe
3 pounds ground round
3 eggs
3 cups crushed Waverly wafers
3 teaspoons mustard
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 pods of scallions, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Kraft barbecue sauce

Thoroughly mix the ingredients except for the Kraft barbecue sauce and shape into small meatballs by picking up one spoonful and rolling in your palms. After all are shaped, melt a tablespoon of shortening in a skillet on low/medium heat and brown the meatballs, carefully rolling them around until browned all over. Add enough barbecue sauce to almost cover the meatballs and simmer in a covered skillet about 20 minutes on low heat. Refrigerate. These should be served warm in a chafing dish.

Potato Salad
12 potatoes
9 eggs, boiled
2 pods of scallions, chopped, or one large onion, chopped
6 large dill pickles, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scrub potatoes under running water with a vegetable brush. Dry on paper towels. Wrap in foil and bake about one hour and 15 minutes. To test for doneness, squeeze gently with a potholder. Potatoes will yield when done. Remove from oven, unwrap foil and allow to cool. Place the eggs in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, turn off the burner, and allow the eggs to sit in the water with the lid on for 20 minutes. Pour off warm water and cover with cold water. Peel and chop. Peel and cube the cooled potatoes. Chop scallions or onion and pickles, mix all ingredients with mustard and enough mayonnaise to mix together nicely. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate.

Ranch Dip
3 cups sour cream
3 cups mayonnaise
3 pkgs Hidden Valley Ranch original buttermilk salad dressing mix

You may also add 3 cups of small-curd cottage cheese to this dip. Cover and refrigerate.

Wash vegetables. Pare carrots, cut both ends off and cut into quarters. Remove the stem end from cauliflower, break into individual flowerets. Cut both ends off the zucchini, thinly pare and slice. Cut the top off the red peppers and cut into quarters. Remove membranes and seeds. Cut into strips. Drain the vegetables on paper towels, then store in refrigerator in separate plastic bags, layered in paper towels. When preparing the vegetable tray, alternate colors and arrange in a pleasing fashion.

Party Punch
One fifth vodka
Two 1-liter bottles 7-Up
One 1-liter bottle Canada Dry ginger ale
¼ cup grenadine
3 cups cranberry-apple juice (for ice)
Orange and kiwi slices

On the day before the party, freeze the cranberry-apple juice drink into a ring of ice using a bundt cake pan. Mix up the punch right before the party. Release the ice by dipping the pan in hot water, add the ice to the punch and float thin orange and kiwi slices on top. The punch bowl makes a colorful centerpiece.

If you use candles as part of the decorations, put them in the refrigerator for several hours before the party. They will burn slower and more evenly with less dripping.

Don’t forget to have lots of ice on hand, especially if you are making frozen mixed drinks in blenders.

You can expand the menu and add a variety of meats, cheeses, breads, vegetables, tapenade, hummus, naan, fruits, brownies or cookies. The menu featured here will give you a really good basic hearty home-cooked delicious party meal.

For a fabulously delicious homemade pumpkin cheesecake recipe, go to my hub

Happy holidays! I hope you found these party recipes, menu, and shopping list useful!


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    • Silva Hayes profile imageAUTHOR

      Silva Hayes 

      4 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      The dip will last until the expiration date of the sour cream you used.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      if i make the dip and put it in a jar how long will it last giving some away

    • Silva Hayes profile imageAUTHOR

      Silva Hayes 

      5 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Thanks for your visit and comment! Yes, this really does work; we have tested it many times over the years and it is always a success!

    • vespawoolf profile image


      5 years ago from Peru, South America

      I love the way you've set this up with the menu, equipment, shopping list and finally recipes. Voted up! This would make a great cocktail party.


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