Birthday Buffet Ideas

Does anyone know of a cost friendly and unique meal to serve (buffet style) at a birthday party?

By Liz from TX

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How about BBQ or a big pot of chili and you could have hot dogs available to in case people wanted to make chili dogs. Pasta is also economical. You could do an assortment of pasta dishes, hot and cold, like ziti and then a big side of pasta and grilled vegetables?

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Try a Baked Potato Bar! Chili, cheese, broccoli, onions, bacon bits, butter, sour cream, chives, etc, etc, etc. Who doesn't like baked taters? Besides, they are easy and economical.

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Everyone loves these mushroom meatballs. It makes its own gravy for mashed potatoes, or can be served over rice or noodles. Throw in a couple of side dishes and you have a meal.

If you double or triple the recipe and have more than a single layer of meatballs, you can add to the baking time or bake at 375 instead of 350.

MUSHROOM MEATBALLS

Serves 6

1 lb. hamburger

1 egg

1/4 lb. saltine crackers, crushed

1 finely chopped onion

2 tsp. salt,

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 can cream mushroom soup

1/2 soup can water

1/2 soup can milk

Mix all but soup, milk and water. Make meatballs, place in sprayed 9 X 13" pan.

Stir soup, milk and water together until smooth. Pour over meatballs, cover and bake 350 degress for 1 hour.

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Pasta, Salad and good bread can't be beat! Economical and the pasta can be served hot or in a chilled salad. Use fresh herbs for lots of flavor. Pour on the fresh vegetables! Can't be beat, it is really cost effective and everyone can go home stuffed!

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Our birthday parties are usually cook-outs,we ask most of our guest (which is family anyway) to bring a dish and we provide the hot dogs,hamburgers,chicken,which I start buying 2-3 weeks before. Or we just have chips, dips,tuna-salad finger sandwiches and stuff like that. I start buying soda,juice and stuff 3 weeks before, then it doesn't seem like so much money.

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Liz, you're in Texas! Have a taco bar! Or make Green Enchiladas. We make this casserole at many family gatherings. Serve with chips, Pico de Gallo, and maybe a green salad or mexican rice.

Green Enchiladas

1 Small package thin corn tortillas

1 Pound ground beef

1 Package taco seasoning

Chopped onion, to taste

Grated cheddar cheese, to taste

1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup

1 Can chopped green chilies (7 ounce)

¾ Cup milk

Brown ground been with taco seasoning and onions. Spray the bottom of 9x13 pan with Pam. Layer tortillas, meat, cheese and sauce. Make sure sauce ends up on top and no tortillas are uncovered because they will be dry.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let set for a few minutes before you cut it.

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