Hosting a graduation open house and don’t know where to start? Use this party planning guide to throw the perfect backyard bash for your graduate! Here are recipes plus shopping lists for groceries, supplies, decorations and equipment. Being the perennial penny pincher, I’ve listed cheaper and DIY alternatives–to save you money and hassle!
Menu: Buy enough for one serving of each per guest. Shop dollar stores, Aldi, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Gordon Food Service and Target. Don’t fuss with outdoor electrical outlets. Make ahead, chill or warm, and serve. Here’s my list of 20 more graduation open house recipes.
* Diploma roll-ups –flour tortilla shells –cream cheese –sliced ham –spray cheese. Spread cream cheese on tortillas, Place ham on top. Roll thin. Slice in half. Draw “tie” with spray cheese (or use licorice ropes). Arrange on serving tray. Chill.
* Watermelon basket: Cut watermelon in basket shape. Make two cuts two inches apart in center. Cut one-third of the way down on each side. Cut a horizontal line around each side (connecting with the vertical. Remove cutaway portions, leaving handle. Clean out fruit with melon baller (save melon balls). Cut a scalloped or zigzag edge if desired. Carve “Congratulations Class of ____” on side. Mix melon balls with partially thawed 4# bag Walmart frozen tropical fruit (reserve two cups). Fill basket.
* Hawaiian meatballs. Blend and heat in large disposable foil pan:
–16 ounces ketchup
— 5# frozen meatballs
–16 ounces grape jelly
–reserved tropical fruit
* Veggie tray:
* Mac and cheese: Mix in large disposable aluminum pan and bake:
–3# cooked mini seashell pasta
–2 large cans mushroom soup
–2# Velveeta cheese (cubed)
–French friend onions (top with)
* Mortarboard graduation hat cookies (in lieu of cake).These went over crazy-well at our youngest son’s open house. Here’s my tutorial and recipe for graduation cap cookies . You’ll need:
–peanut butter cups (Reese’s, Palmer, generic)
–chocolate covered graham cookies
–M&Ms (school colors) Set extras out for party favors.
–spray frosting (in one school color)
Additional groceries and supplies: For dual purpose decorations/ utensils, buy serving supplies and paper products in school colors.
–assorted 2-litre bottles of soda (clear, cola, fruit-flavored, diet, caffeine-free)
–2 disposable rectangle aluminum pan (turkey size) for meatballs and mac and cheese
–2 large plastic serving trays (for veggies and Diploma roll-ups)
–large plastic bowls (for chips or pretzels)
–2 plastic tablecloths (for buffet and gift table-guests don’t need to sit at tables)
–plastic spoons and forks
–streamers (hang in trees)
–balloon bouquet (cheap at Dollar Tree)
On-hand or borrowed supplies
–2 picnic or outdoor buffet tables
–folding chairs (campfire chairs work great)
–portable awning or large umbrella (for food)
–30-cup coffee pot or large carafe (for hot water)
–2-gallon insulated beverage cooler
–2 coolers (for ice, pop)
Make a memory table of your graduate. Arrange memorabilia, artwork, photos, projects, mementos, awards, instruments, sports equipment, ribbons, trophies, scrapbooks, baby pictures. Place box discreetly for cards.
Check out my article on simple easy graduation open house tips to de-stress party planning. And now, you wonderful parents you, relaxand enjoy. You’ve earned it!