Last week, my co-worker Kelly asked me to help her with the catering for a dinner party for her aunt. Sounds fun, right? Well, the dinner party was for 40 people!! Fortunately, Kelly used to work in the catering business, so she knew just where to start in terms of menu planning & grocery shopping. Since this was such a big party, she needed some extra hands to help with cooking & I was more than happy to get involved!

My apologies for the lackluster photos in this post. I only had time to snap a few pictures with my phone before hungry party guests gobbled everything up!

Appetizers

We started the party off with 5 appetizers. First up was Spring Rolls. We filled rice paper wraps with julienned cucumbers, red peppers, carrots, mangoes, vermicelli noodles, and cilantro. We served them with a sweet chili & hoisin sauce.

Spring Rolls | Catering

Next we made Polenta Tomato Stacks. These were one of the most popular apps. Polenta rounds were baked, then topped with a sunflower seed pate, a tomato slice, lemon basil crumb, and drizzled with a balsamic glaze.

Polenta Stacks | Catering

Afterwards were these Sweet Potato Cakes with Avocado Tartare. The cakes were filled with sweet potatoes, red lentils, pepitas, and delicious spices (including cilantro for a fresh taste). The Avocado Tartare was creamy & zippy, and the two components paired so well together. (The recipe for the cakes was from Blissful Basil, and the Tartare was from Love and Lemons).

Sweet Potato Cakes with Avocado Tartare | Catering

The last two apps I didn’t get a picture of, but we made bacon wrapped pineapple, and a mushroom flatbread. The flatbread was topped with crème fraiche, caramelized onions & mushrooms, and some grated gruyere cheese. They were then baked, and finished with some arugula and truffled honey.

Entree & Salads

We made two salads to accompany the entree. The first was a tossed mixed greens salad filled with tomatoes, cucumbers, grated apples, and a balsamic vinaigrette.

Mixed Greens Salad | Catering

The second was a Spring Orzo Salad that we made with asparagus, peas, radishes, and a lemon garlic dressing.

Spring Orzo Salad | Catering

Our main dish was a Tex Mex Casserole from the first Oh She Glows Cookbook. It was a huge success!

Desserts

I’m still sad I didn’t get a picture of Kelly’s beautiful vanilla cupcakes. She made the buttercream from scratch and expertly piped it on the cupcakes before topping with caramel or an Oreo.

We also made Chocolate Covered Strawberries which barely had time for the chocolate to harden as they were devoured so quickly!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries | Catering

Everybody was so pleased and happy, and I had so much fun catering with Kelly to make this dinner party come to life. It was a lot of work (and a lot of sore feet following the party), but it was so worth it to see it be such a success. No one seemed to mind that everything (except for the bacon wrapped pineapple) was vegetarian. In fact, we even had several people ask us to confirm that it was veggie-based! The food all tasted incredible, and there was hardly anything leftover! My first foray into catering was such a hit that I’m now itching to do it again!