Author Topic: What do I make???  (Read 1927 times)

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yupitsme

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What do I make???
« on: February 08, 2012, 02:49:00 PM »
DH and I are finally settled into our new home. We've had a few people over here and there but nothing big. Next month we are having a birthday dinner for him and I need help.

What do I make??????

I need appitizer, main course and side dish ideas.

7-8 people will be there and the only dietary restriction is me (gluten free) so I know what I can and can not eat.

I thought it would be easy to come up with something but I'm so nervouse because DH talks about what a good cook I am. I feel like I'm under a lot of pressure!

cicero

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Re: What do I make???
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 02:54:28 PM »
how m any people? will it be sit down or buffet? nibbles/grazing or a meal?

when i am nervous about hosting, i stick to things that i *know* i can do well, and that [most] people like

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: What do I make???
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 03:17:46 PM »
Stick to simpler things - ones that don't need a lot of last minute prep work.

A stand-by appetizer for me is bruschetta.  I can make up the filling ahead of time, even cut up the bread.  Then when I'm ready to serve it, I toast the bread under the broiler, flip it, put on the filling, sprinkle with parmesan, broil again to brown the cheese a titch and serve.  Annnd I just realized that it isn't gluten free.  Oops.  But maybe you could just make a few for yourself on gluten-free bread?

The wild rice salad I posted in the recipe folder is another nice one that can be made up ahead.  In fact, it is supposed to be made up ahead!

When I'm doing a big meal, more often than not, I'll do a roast.  I'll throw the carrots and potatoes in with the roast and then do another green veggie like broccoli or asparagus.  So the only last minute thing I'm doing is making the gravy.
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gingerzing

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Re: What do I make???
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 03:33:28 PM »
Another one for keeping it simple and not going crazy with the new recipes. 
For appetizers - cheese tray with grapes and cut up apples or pears (put slices briefly in a lemon water bath to keep from browning) serve with crackers or bread (gluten free, of course.  I tried some Almond crackers by Blue Diamond that were great.)

For something more on the formal end.  Perhaps a roast (so simple) with oven-baked potatoes and a veggie that is dressed up like Broccoli with toasted garlic.  Then maybe a nice green salad tossed with a homemade dressing.
I like a simple beef or pork loin roast with a bare amount of spices, just olive oil and some garlic or rosemary with salt and pepper.
I am in mood for oven baked potatoes -rubbed with olive oil and topped with sea salt.  A friend at work said she used beaten egg whites that she dipped the potatoes in and coated with salt, put on a tray and baked.  She said it was amazing. 
The Broccoli is an Ellie Krieger recipe.


Outdoor Girl

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Re: What do I make???
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 03:39:02 PM »
I've been making 'fries' a lot lately.  Cut up the potatoes into fry shapes, or even just slice them in rounds or wedges.  Toss them in a bag with a little olive oil, seasoned salt, pepper, paprika, a little cayenne if you want some kick, maybe some rosemary.  Shake them in the bag to coat and then spread them out on a baking stone or sheet.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 450F.  If using a stone, you don't have to flip them.  If using a sheet, you do.

I find there is enough moisture just from cutting them and the olive oil that they don't need the egg white to hold the spices on.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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Oh Joy

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Re: What do I make???
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 03:56:18 PM »
If it's not formal and I really don't feel like stressing, I'm all about assemble-your-own fajitas.

For apps, put out good chips with a black bean & corn dip, a salsa or two, and guacamole.

For dinner, put out your already-bowled tomatoes/lettuce/shredded cheese/etc, warm some tortillas, and quickly grill/fry up some chicken and steak strips you've already marinated and cut.  The appetizer bowls come in to round out the toppings.  You can make the items as few & simple or many & interesting as you'd like, and since everyone's adding just the things they like, there's no excuse for complaining.

I hate the pressure of cooking for people who've been told I do it well.  I find I then do much better if I choose something easy, and anyone who leaves happy with a full belly thinks they were told right!

jpcher

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Re: What do I make???
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 06:04:04 PM »
when i am nervous about hosting, i stick to things that i *know* i can do well, and that [most] people like


I agree with doing something that you've done in the past that people (your DH) raves about.

Since you're already nervous, I would hesitate to try a new recipe for the first time on the night of the party . . . especially since you don't even know how it's going to turn out (unless you do a practice run before hand.) . . . that would make me even more nervous.

As far as apps and sides, you should probably start with deciding on your main dish so that you can plan for things that don't clash with the main dish. (You already knew this, didn't you? ;))


How about your DH's favorite meal? Or even a traditional holiday-type meal . . . something that you enjoy making. These are all new people, so even your oldest recipe will be new to them.

Isometric

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Re: What do I make???
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2012, 12:23:09 AM »
Indian themed nights are a hit in my circles - usually there are 3 dishes - one vegetarian, one mild chicken dish (butter chicken) and spicy meat (beef vindaloo), add some rice, yoghurt with cucumber, naan's and you're all set! It should be mostly GF apart from the naan's.


MrsCrazyPete

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Re: What do I make???
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2012, 02:29:02 AM »
I vote for a pork loin. It's easy & fancy looking. Do a simple green salad and baked potatoes as sides. You could even have a make your own potato bar, set up with cheeses, bacon, sour cream, broccoli, etc. I like the simple cheese, fruit & crackers for a starter.
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Oh Joy

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Re: What do I make???
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2012, 09:53:50 AM »
My other dinner 'go to' is a double roasted chicken (two chickens, not one roasted twice).  Martha Stewart's version is easy to find online, adapts easily to your preferred root vegetables, and looks fantastic.  Serve with a nice salad (I usually do spinach, chive, nut, berry, cheese, cucumber, and viniagrette) and a steamed vegetable on the side.  A simple cheese & cracker tray or bread & olive oil appetizer goes along nicely.

Most of the prep is done ahead of time, and it just bakes in the oven smelling wonderful as your guests arrive and mingle.  The only downside it that no one ever likes to cut into the birds!

Have fun planning!

Hmmmmm

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Re: What do I make???
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2012, 11:35:46 AM »
DH and I are finally settled into our new home. We've had a few people over here and there but nothing big. Next month we are having a birthday dinner for him and I need help.

What do I make??????

I need appetizer, main course and side dish ideas.

7-8 people will be there and the only dietary restriction is me (gluten free) so I know what I can and can not eat.

I thought it would be easy to come up with something but I'm so nervouse because DH talks about what a good cook I am. I feel like I'm under a lot of pressure!

So what is it that he enjoys?  Maybe center around that.

Since you said dinner, I'm going to assume a sit down dinner but with apps served hors d'oeuvres style not as a first course.

Steak and potato dinner
Mushrooms stuffed with proscuitto and blue cheese
Grilled Steaks with port wine sauce
Roasted Asparagus
Au Gratin potatos

Pork Tenderloin Dinner
Platter of olives, cheeses, and marinated vegetables
Grilled pork tenderloin with a chipolte orange sauce
Wild Rice pilaf
Sugar snap peas & carrots tossed with lemon butter




QueenofAllThings

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Re: What do I make???
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2012, 01:40:49 PM »
If you want to make it look 'fancy' without spending all day in the kitchen, a stuffed roast is a great idea. I've stuffed pork, and also had the butcher butterfly a flank steak (along the long side so it opens like a book). Fill it with whatever you want - I think I did spinach, goat cheese, and roasted red peppers. Then roll it & tie it, and put it aside until you're ready to cook it.

You could also do something on top of the stove - Chicken Hash from the 21 Club is easy and awesome! (It's basically shredded chicken in a sherry cream sauce over wild rice). It will hold well on the stove for a few hours and you just gently reheat.

A big piece of salmon would work well too. Simple, with salt & pepper, or a honey-soy glaze.


saki

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Re: What do I make???
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2012, 06:39:20 AM »
This might make us sound a bit crazy but one thing that we do when we entertain to make it all run smoothly is plan, in advance, which of us is doing what.  So, we might decide:  husband to serve initial drinks, me to serve the starter & put main in the oven, him to clear starter plates and serve the main, me to serve pudding, him to serve coffee.  Or whatever.  It just reduces the faff when guests are here because we already know who is in charge of what. 

Iris

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Re: What do I make???
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2012, 05:31:39 PM »
Another vote for cooking something you have made before, and that DH is fond of, since it's his birthday.

I *do* enjoy cooking, but I enjoy socialising more, so I don't like to fuss in the kitchen when there are guests over. I tend to go with something that can be largely prepared beforehand. In winter things like lamb shanks or casseroles that can be prepared in the slow cooker are usually well recieved. I have also done lasagnes before. I also like pot pies - they look like more work than they are :)

In summer we barbecue all the way - then Dh cooks and socialises at the same time :)
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