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  Aloha Dreams

   Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd & Dream Home Design      


It just takes a few simple organizational tricks. Do these and you’ll be well under way to a smooth, impressive event.

Rule 1 – Cook nothing at the last minute. EVERYTHING should be prepped and cooked in advance. The only thing you should be doing in the hour prior to serving is re-heating or keeping warm/cold. It’s far too easy to ‘get into the weeds’ if you leave cooking until the last minute. That’s a term used by cooks to

Rule 2 – Pick recipes that hold well and are still delicious for several hours.

Rule 3 – If serving more than x people, have buffet line monitors. Serving containers, slow cookers in particular, hold a finite amount of food. You need at least 2 people to monitor the quantities available. One of these people serves as a runner to fetch replenishments.

Assess the Facilities
• Distance to the Facilities (transportation, loading/unloading & cooling)
• Storage
• Refrigeration – how much is enough. What to do if you have no refrigeration.
• Freezer – how much is enough. What to do if you have no refrigeration.
• Oven Space – How much and how do you generate throughput with limited oven space.
• Prep Space –
• Stovetop –
• Electricity (and circuit capacity)

Options to Heat and Keep Food Warm
• Oven
• Roaster Oven
• Slow Cooker
• Cooler

Options to Keep Food Cold
• Refrigerator
• Cooler

Strategic Meal Planning

You can be that cook which everyone raves about, the one who turns out delicious food that’s as good 30 minutes later as it was when you sat it on the table. The first step is strategic meal planning. You’ll want to pick a large percentage of recipes which are not fussy, hold really well. The last thing you want is to be running around frantic with hungry people standing around wonder when they’re going to get to eat. You especially don’t want this if your meal is part of a schedule. Not only are the people eating your food counting on you, everyone who comes after you on the schedule is counting on you to stay on track and not make everything downstream of your meal 10 or 15 or 20 minutes late.

It’s not that had to do. You simply have to have the right foundation by picking the right menus. And you don’t have to settle for Walking Tacos or PB&J or Hogie sandwiches and chips. Let me show you an example of what I mean.

Kitchen Help & Cooks
Meal Captain
Line Monitors
• Serve items which require portion control
• Replenish when needed

Easy Organization

• Master menu with meal times
• List of all ingredients you purchased sorted day and by dish
• Simple 1 page sheet of what needs to be done when for each day
• Recipe for each dish sized to the quantities you purchased

That’s it. That’s all the paperwork you need. You do not need this:

What you want is this:

Let’s look at each of your 4 lists

Work ahead

The last step in ensuring that you can cook for a large group without any frantic last minute chaos is to work well ahead of the sdfsdf.

How to Keep your Cool Cooking for a Crowd

Pick Your Battles

If you’re serving over 50 or if it’s too labor intensive or fussy:

Buy It! – Some examples are:  Minced garlic, minced ginger (MINCED anything)

Enlist volunteers to help you make it

Don’t Forget the (not so mundane) Details

Storage Space for:

Pre-prepped items holding for serving (need place near serving line to keep these items so they are convenient for replenishing)

Dry Goods

Refrigerated Items (see tqhat blog idea on rental cooler)

Frozen Items (including 85 pounds of ice per xxx)



If you’re buying for more than xx meals for xx people:

Pre-order the basics from Sam’s

Plan on 2 vans to transport the food

Dry ice if traveling more than xx hours

For the non-Sam’s items – take at least 1 person with you to push the carts

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Tropical Salad

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