Tuesday, April 21, 2009

DIY Dinner: The Planning

After Mr. B and I decided to have our wedding at my parent's house we started looking into options for food. We are not particularly "foodies" but we like to eat. The problem was that we couldn't decide what we wanted to eat.

Option #1 - Food Stations
I thought the solution to that would be to have "food stations" and we could pick a few of our favorites to serve: Mini Cheeseburgers, BBQ wings and ribs, Tacos, Pasta ... just a fun mish mash of food. Once I started pricing things and trying to figure out how to get all the food to my parent's house and keep it warm I realized that it just wasn't going to work for our location.

Option #2 - Caterer
Then I began to research the few caterer's in our small city in Arizona. There was not many in the yellow pages, the best 2 options would have been:
The Crossing
Julieanna's Patio Cafe

Unfortunately, neither of them really offered a menu of items that Mr. B and I love. Sure we have gone to eat dinner at the restaurants, but it was just not the food that we envisioned featured on our wedding day. In addition we really didn't want a sit down meal and that was really the focus of both the above caterers.

Option #3 - DIY
This thought kind of scared me at first, I will be honest. Then I started talking with my parent's. They have done food for large functions many times. We started throwing around some ideas of what kind of food Mr. B and I really like and we finally landed on Mexican. You see, our small city is right on the border of Mexico. We have great authentic Mexican restaurants all over town. When my family moved here in 1994 we really got hooked on Mexican food and my Dad has been perfecting his recipes since then. One of the best recipes is for his Chicken Fajitas


He makes these whenever relatives come to visit. He makes them when we are camping in Phoenix for the Nascar races. He even made them for my brother's rehearsal dinner in 2006. Since he has the recipe perfected he knows exactly how much chicken to use per person and has figured out how to make it in large quanities. The best feature of this recipe is that it actually tastes better the longer it rests. The marinade really soaks into the chicken and peppers when it is just being kept warm. It can even be refrigerated and then warmed for even BETTER flavor.

We will begin buying the chicken breasts about a month before the wedding. Our local Albertson's has a butcher block that sells boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.50 a pound (as a sale price very regularly) We will need about 1/2 a pound per person. We hope to make our purchases when it is on sale, since the regular price is usually $3.99 a pound.

We plan to trim it and cut it down then use the FoodSaver to vaccum seal the cooking portions and freeze them to keep them fresh before our Thursday and Friday cookingfest before the wedding. The more prep work we can do prior to those last 2 days the better. Final cooking will be done on Friday, then it will be able to be reheated and put into the caffing dishes Saturday evening.

In addition to Dad's chicken we have contacted our favorite local restaurant, Tacos Mi Rancho to provide the Refried Beans and Mexican Rice as well as Al Pastor


Al Pastor is a marinated chopped pork. They are Mr. B's favorite kind of taco, hands down. The beans & rice are only $1.25 per person and the Al Pastor is $12 per cooked pound. Each pound should serve 5-6 people a few tacos.

To help better estimate our ratios of Chicken to Pork we will have that listed on the response cards in the invitation. We will also over estimate a little because we expect people to have a little of each. My estimated budget for 100 people is:
  • 30 lbs of chicken (feeds 60 people)= $45.00
  • 10 lbs of Al Pastor (feeds 60 people)= $120.00
  • 100 servings of Beans & Rice= $150.00
Total so far: $315.00 or $3.15 per head

Definitely within budget so far, but there is still more to add such as tortillas, peppers, onions, cabbage, cheese, limes, ect. All the basic condiments you would find at a taco bar of course!

Next up we will be pricing the taco and faijta condiments at Sam's Club.

Did you consider a DIY Dinner?

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails