Thanks, everyone for your thoughts so far.
Even though I like the taco bar, I'm shying away from it because of the work involved (or my mind is running away from me and turning into a bigger deal than it needs to be.) I was thinking about ground beef/chicken/steak and possibly seafood tacos. Along with all the sides, salsas, guac, etc.
I really like the soup/sandwich idea. Since I'm off that week, I could probably prepare a soup a day -- split pea, wild rice, not sure what the third would be. But I don't have enough serving bowls and I'm not real crazy about serving soup in the plastic throw-away bowls. Any serving suggestions for this?
So, I'm leaning toward the jambalya. This is the recipe that I've used in the past: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/cajun-jambalaya-recipe2/index.html
Couple of questions:
1. I can do this in my roaster, right? (http://www.amazon.com/Oster-CKSTRS23-22-Quart-Roaster-Stainless/dp/B00400QBJA
) That's not going to mess up the rice, is it?
2. I'm thinking 6x's the recipe. Will that be enough?
3. For the shell-fish allergic, since the meat/shrimp isn't added until the last minute I can simply put a couple of servings in a separate pot after the rice is cooked, then just add sausage and chicken to that batch.
4. For the vegetarian (not sure if either of the 2 I know will be in attendance, but I want to be prepared) Is there anything offensive in the recipe? I know I'll have to make a separate pot of rice because of the chicken broth, but will vegatable broth work? Or should I use a different liquid?
5. Sides? Apps? Any suggestions/recipes?
I'm thinking corn bread, dinner rolls, fresh garden salad . . . and then I'm stuck.
Any help would be appreciated.
(eta: I'm still open to other suggestions.)
P.S. Unfortunately Tgiving dinner is always at SIL's home so we never have any yummy leftovers