As long as we are talking of stuffing things:http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Stuffed-Peppers-My-Way/Detail.aspx
This recipe for stuffed capsicum (bell peppers) is very, very good. I did make a few changes: I use parboiled, basmati or brown rice because I like the texture better. I used red capsicum instead of green. I don't know what Italian seasoning is so I used oregano instead, and I added some chopped black olives to the mixture also.
I also did not roast the peppers for so long before stuffing as it makes them floppy. I roasted for ten and increased the cooking time post stuffing. It seemed to work out well. You could make the mix the night before and keep in the fridge. You could probably roast the capsicum the night before too, stuff them the morning of, put them in an oven dish and just bung it in an oven 15 minutes before serving. Easy!
One other easy thing I'd suggest is an antipasto platter with olives, stuffed vine leaves (you can get them in tins or from the deli), roasted capsicum strips, slices of mozzarella or other cheeses (check the label to be sure it contains no rennet), crostinis with pesto (good way to use up basil if you make it yourself), cherry tomatoes, basically anything nibbly on plates that can be passed around. The bonus is that much of it can be done the day before (like roasting the capsicum) and basically it just needs to be plated. It's also a very sociable way to eat -- passing things back and forth, everyone trying a little bit of everything and commenting on how tasty it is.
If you're into baking there is, in my opinion, not much more divine than freshly baked focaccia topped with roasted garlic and parsley, served with some freshly sliced tomato wedges and a few different sharp cheeses. Heaven on a plate. I haven't tried this recipe but it looks good:http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Homemade-Focaccia-Bread/Detail.aspx
I usually use a Nigella Lawson recipe.
Roast four or five whole heads of garlic the day before, cool, squeeze out of their skins and blend with some freshly chopped parsley (basil would be good, too), some sea salt and olive oil, and then top the bread before baking.
One last suggestion, and this recipe goes down really well with vegetarians and omnivores alike, is Delia's thick onion tart. I happen to think that caramelised onion and goat cheese go divinely together, so I add 100-200g of chevre, sliced, just before pouring over the egg mixture:http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/thick-onion-tart,1259,RC.html
It IS fairly labor intensive, so she has provided a 'cheat' using pre-made pastry:http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/thick-onion-tart,1719,RC.html
I think you could cook either of these and just warm them when you arrive.