Clever food names and nostalgic foods enhance a rock ’n’ roll party while keeping guests fueled for a night of singing and dancing. The types of dishes served should reflect the age group of the party guests, as well as the rock ’n’ roll period celebrated.
1950s Rock Theme
Diner food and rock ’n’ roll went hand-in-hand in the 1950s when customers noshed on diner fare while listening to the latest hit on the jukebox. Serve full-sized hamburgers, hot dogs and baskets of fries if the party includes tables for guests to sit down and enjoy a meal. Finger foods work best for dance parties with limited table space so guests can grab a quick bite during breaks between dances. Try slider burgers, cocktail wieners in blankets, and paper cones filled with French fries to keep the food easier to eat on the go. Set up a soda station and an ice cream float station, and serve milkshakes to satisfy the guests' thirst and sweet tooth while paying tribute to the 1950s rock ’n’ roll era.
Rock Star Inspiration
Practically any food in your pantry or refrigerator can fit the party theme if you give it a name based on a rock band, singer, or popular rock song. A full dinner of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn, for example, pays tribute to the singer, Meatloaf, popular songs from James Brown, Dee Dee Sharp and The Contours, and the hard rock band, Korn. Provide a selection of dinner rolls to pay tribute to the 1970s band, Bread. A basic fruit salad dish can be labeled "'Tutti Frutti' fruit salad" to reference the Little Richard song. Serve breaded, fried, hot pepper cheese balls and call them "Great Balls of Fire" for the Jerry Lee Lewis song. As a healthy option, offer a tray of fruit as a play on The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever," or Pink Floyd's "Apples and Oranges."
Children are often picky eaters, but you can still incorporate the rock theme while serving food they will eat. Find cookie cutters in the shape of a guitar, microphone or even a star. While cookie cutters are typically used to shape cookies before baking, you can use them to make guitar-shaped crustless sandwiches, microphone-shaped seedless watermelon pieces, or even star-shaped pieces of cheese or gelatin dessert. With a creative label, pretzel rods or veggie sticks transform into drum sticks for tiny rock stars. You can make pinwheel roll-up sandwiches and give them a clever name like "rock ’n’ roll-ups." Display the food on a table with labels next to each item, making the spread look like a rock band's backstage table complete with foods from their tour rider.
A large cake with a tier decorated to look like a record, fondant piano keys on the sides of another tier, with a guitar cake topper makes a bold centerpiece for the dessert table at a rock ’n’ roll-themed party. Cupcakes might work better so guests can help themselves. You can make fondant cake toppers that resemble records or simply stick a paper guitar or music note flag in each cupcake. Try cake pop microphones by sticking a miniature ice cream cone underneath the cake on a cake pop stick. Dip the cone and cake in melted chocolate; roll the cake in colored sugar or sparkly sprinkles to complete the microphone. Cookies can be baked into rock-themed shapes and decorated with royal icing to complete guitar cookies, record cookies, jukebox cookies, or even cookies that look like the rock "hand" symbol with pointer and pinky finger extended.
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.