Let's talk about the tapas, shall we?
I wanted to go cheap (I had a $50 budget to work with) & delish & small (hence the name tapa) & southern.
Here is the first menu item:
Chicken Bon Bons
Ok, so take away the cheesy name & they're basically chicken nuggets
Chicken Bon Bons
1 Pkg. Frozen Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts (I got the Publix brand for $6.49 & there were 8 breasts in it)
These were super easy to make & I kinda eye-balled most everything...the DAY of the party! I know, it is a horrible habit & I've got to stop doing stuff like that. Thankfully, for this party, it worked out great! Thaw the breasts, cut them into bite-size pieces, then dip them in an egg bath, then dip them in bread crumbs mixed with seasoning. For seasoning I mixed a little bit of dried parsley & seasoning salt. It was so simple but turned out tasting delicious! Once you've dipped all the chicken pieces in the two mixtures, place the chicken
Breaded Green Beans & Macaroni Cups
Breaded Green Beans
1-1.5lbs green beans (ended up costing just under $3)
Olive oil or Canola Oil (I know you're not supposed to fry things in olive oil...but I'm a rebel, what can I say?)
I boiled the green beans until a little tender and I did this the day before. Once you're ready to fry em up, dip the green beans in a milk bath, then in a flour mix. (Mix the flour with salt & any seasoning you want) Then, I just fried em up & put them on a plate.
3 boxes of Shells & Cheese ($1.50 ea)
Parmesan Cheese (optional...or if you have any other cheese you can add to it)
Make the shells & cheese according to the directions on the box. Add two eggs, maybe three to the mixture. This is where it gets fun. I had some parmesan cheese from a recipe I had made a week before that, so I added the parmesan cheese with a tiny bit of italian seasoning. You can be creative with whatever you think would taste ah-ma-zing! In a non-stick muffin pan, scoop out a couple of spoonfuls of the mac n cheese into the muffin cups. Put the mac cups in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Once they come out of the oven, sprinkle a little dried parsley or fresh parsley on the top to add some flair (ala Office Space). They look great, simple & inexpensive.
A Southern staple, given a little sophistication!
Martini Mashed Potatoes
Potatoes (whichever are on sale...I got a 5 lb bag for $1.99 *score)
Milk (or whatever you prefer to make your pots creamy)
Scallions/Fresh or Dried
Green Beans not fried, let over from the fried green beans
Make the mashed potatoes to your liking. Scoop into martini glasses (we used several real martini glasses & a few plastic ones) Garnish with scallions & bacon bits. Add two green beans to the martini glass for the finishing touch.
Parmesan Mini Biscuits
2 Pillsbury Grands Biscuit Cans (Or whatever is cheapest...I got it for $1.59 each)
Take each biscuit & divide it into two. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese & bake as directed.
I honestly wasn't sure how this was going to turn out. I had no recipe, had never heard of anyone that has ever made it and was...ofcourse....planning on trying this the day of the party. It was actually a hit!
1 large can of baked beans (I bought the original recipe for under $2)
Drain most of the liquid from the baked beans & put into a food processor. Add a little BBQ sauce. Mix with the food processor until it becomes a hummus consistency. Serve with potato chips & celery. I garnished it with a little BBQ sauce, bacon bits & parsley.
Banana Pudding Cupcakes
These were actually made my sister, so I don't have all the directions for you. I'll have to have her to do a post about these later. Basically, she made a banana cake, topped it with banana pudding, a dollop of whipped cream & a vanilla wafer. They were better than any banana pudding I've ever had! :-)
And now, here's a pic of the whole set-up....
...Oh, I almost forgot....
Drinks! We mixed up a great cocktail for minimum pennies. It was southern & sweet...just like us! :p
1 Gallon Sweet Tea
2 quarts Lemonade (I bought the frozen lemonade & it was the cheapest)
Vodka (I bought a small bottle for about $7 & it lasted the whole night...what can I say? We're light-weights)
I eyeballed a lot of this. I mixed about 2/3 Sweet tea with 1/3 Lemonade & then about 1/2c to 1c vodka. You can garnish with lemon slices if you'd like.
And...for the plates, napkins, plasticware, decor & food...it all added up to be just barely under $50! Goal! :-) It was a stretch, but we tried to stick with simple foods with a twist & use things we already had.
Party On people!