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Old September 25th, 2005, 03:25 PM
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Dinner Party Ideas

Next weekend I'm thinking of having a fall dinner party. My sister and her family are going to Florida during thanksgiving, and my parents are working, so I won't be doing anything for Thanksgiving, so I thought maybe next weekend I would invite some family and friends over for a night of food and fun. Maybe play some board games and such.

Now, one of the party goers is possibly pregnant (I know they are trying, and I have a feeling she is, but hasn't announced it yet), another is a vegetarian, and another has allergies to most tree fruits and all nuts. Plus, there will be two kids, 11 and 6. I was thinking of making it pot-luck, so everyone who has food issues can be mindful and bring something they can eat. I would make a few key dishes, like an apertizer, the main course (A roast or something), and a side dish (vegetarian). My friend who has allergies always does dessert since it's so hard to get things she isn't allergic too, and I could have the vegetarian bring a salad maybe. And my sister could bring some home made wine, and make a punch (she always likes to do that).

So...this is what I was thinking for a menu. Any suggestions or ideas would be great. On a side note, there will always be a batch of rice in the rice cooker as I live with a philipino who eats rice with everything.

Apetizer: Pizza Fondue. I make a great fondue sauce with the cheese mixed in (pizza/pasta sauce with extra spices, with grated cheese all melted in), then cut up all kinds of lightly cooked veggies, cooked meats, and bread peices to dip. Great for the kids.

Main course: I'm torn between a slow cooker swiss steak or stroganoff or a small turkey or turkey breast. If I go turkey, you can't really have it without stuffing and mashed potatoes... Maybe some swiss or italian meatballs? That would be nice with rice, salad, and another veggie...but so does swiss steak.. I saw a recipe for Guiness stew..but that wouldn't be suitable for someone who is pregnant. Ideas? Swiss steak is basically stewed beef in tomato sauce with spices. Very good on rice or pasta or alone. If you do it in the slow cooker, the beef gets all melt in your mouth.

Veggie Side Dish: I have this recipe for roaste butternut squash, with sausage, maple syrup, and walnuts. Obviously I can't use the sausage or nuts. So..I was thinking of modifying it by making a roasted squash with smoked gouda cheese and maple syrup (the sweet syrup goes well with the smokiness of the cheese). What do you think?
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Old September 25th, 2005, 04:02 PM
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I think you should avoid turkey, and go for one of your other options (the swiss steak sounds really good, and it would be a good follow up to fondue, since it's also swiss)

A thought about adding cheese to the squash; wouldn't the consistency get pretty mucked up since the cheese would melt into it? (also, since fondue is so heavy, you may not want cheese in multiple courses)

I have a dessert idea! A Ritz Cracker Mock Apple Pie! I'm completely serious! It tastes and looks just like apple pie, but there aren't any apples in it (so that solves the tree-fruit issue)
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Old September 25th, 2005, 04:10 PM
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HHahaha. I had a recipe like that once. It was a pie made with vanilla pudding and saltines. The pudding makes the saltines all soft, and it tastes like a delicate pastry!

I think you're right about the cheese and squash. I'm just not a veggie person, and if there is a salad, then I am at a loss of what else to cook. I'm not content in just having plain steamed or stirfried veggies.

As for the swiss steak, I think it would be great, but I also think that having two tomato based sauce meals would be overkill. Unless I did a beer fondue (traditional - and using non-alcoholic beer).

Hmmm...

I could do stroganoff instead, which will also be melt in your mouth, and maybe do some roasted mixed mushrooms as the side.
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Old September 25th, 2005, 04:31 PM
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what about corn on the cob?
Or I know a really good, simple recipe for maple-glazed carrots and parsnips:
(for 4-6)
1 1/4 lbs pasnips (about 6), peeled, halved lengthwise
3/4 lb thin carrots (about 12), peeled, greens trimmed but not removed
Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
10 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F, with rack in lower third. Place parsnips, carrots and thyme on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil to coat lightly. Drizzle with maple syrup; season with salt and pepper. Toss well to combine. Bake until bottoms of vegetables begin to caramelize and turn dark brown, about 20 min. Remove from oven and toss veggies carefully. Return to oven and bake until all sides are well browned about 25 min more. Discard thyme, serve immediately.
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Old September 25th, 2005, 05:39 PM
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Snowy potatoes

8-10 med potatoes pealed and mashed with milk and margarine.
Add 500 ml container of sour cream
1 pk cream cheese
Whip all together til smooth, no lumps.
Pour into baking dish and place a couple bits of margarine on the top.
Bake til bubbling down the sides. Approx 30-45 min on 350.

Broccoli and cheese

Fill a casserole dish full of cut up raw broccoli. You can use the stocks but peal them first and cut then into thin enough pieces that will cook at the same speed as the flowers.
In a separate bowl combine and mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tbsp of mayo/ salad dressing
Shread about a half cup of cheddar cheese
Spread over broccoli
Bake til broccoli is cooked.

We have both of these at all of our holiday dinners. They are very good.
Why not add sunflower seeds to your squash recipe.
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