I'm hoping we can use this thread for menu ideas to share.
I have 11 women friends coming over for dinner this week. One doesn't eat onions, another doesn't eat wheat and another doesn't eat pork or beef. All of them enjoy fairly healthy food. In the past I've had Mexican food where they can create their own tostadas or tacos. Last year I made enchiladas. I'd like to consider something different this time. I have more time to plan something out now that I'm retired and would maybe like to make some of it ahead of time?
Do any of you have ideas for appetizers, the main dish, side dishes and dessert? I need inspiration for some reason. Maybe it's because I've been deep into painting both my bathrooms for the last week and am just now putting all of that mess away.
Thanks in advance for sharing your best springtime meal menu ideas with me!
Back in the days before carbs were evil, I did a baked potato bar for my bff's bridal shower. We picked the nice, big Russets and actually baked them in the oven. We had a mountain of different toppings, so pretty much everyone was happy. Heck, if you didn't like potatoes, you could have made a meal from the various toppings!
What about a salad bar with lots of different toppings and a few meat options? That way, you could do a lot of the prep the night before.
I'm not really a dessert person, so I'm always partial to fruit salad. Not quite the season for it though. I'd hit up Pinterest for ideas. I always find ispiration there.
Follow up on my menu for 12. Your ideas helped me get started on a menu. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, be healthy and of course taste good! We will also have snacks between dinner and dessert while we play bunco so the options below will allow for some choices.
Baby greens salad with a variety of foods that they can add in like marinated beets from my garden, avocado slices, artichoke hearts, carrots, celery, etc.
Three bean salad
Grilled organic chicken breast slices
Two quiches - one asparagus (no crust) and the other a Spinach Florentine with a rice crust.
Sourdough bread that I'll bake right before they arrive.
Watermelon - I have been craving it and got a couple of baby seedless melons that I'll cut up.
For dessert - Blondies and (GF)Brownies with Vanilla Ice Cream
I think there should be something for a variety of food tolerances. And we will love any of the leftovers should there be some!
Thanks again for your ideas. I almost went for the potato bar as I think that would work well for this group but ended up with the above items. I've never cooked with lamb but it would be perfect for a spring meal.
bachelorwatcher I canned the marinated beets in the fall. I have tomato sauce too from last year but it doesn't factor into this meal. My 2019 garden is just starting with peas that came up a few days ago. I'm also growing spinach and carrots but they too are just emerging from the ground. I have seedlings growing in my house: bok choi, peppers, tomatoes, leeks, onions, shallots and lettuce. Cucumbers and beans will be sowed directly into the garden in a few weeks.
The spinach Florentine has a rice crust which makes it gluten free. I haven't made this recipe before but my friends are fine with experimental cooking and there are enough other things in the event that it doesn't work out!
Yum, quiche! That makes me want to go out and get the ingredients to make quiche myself. We also have a local coffee place that makes their own quiche every day. It's been too long since I paid them a visit so it might be time to go back.
I think your menu sounds awesome! Wish I lived close enough to go to one of your dinner parties. I would be happy to bring dessert!
My dinner went well! Funny thing though, I forgot to put out the three bean salad, beets and artichoke hearts - but it didn't matter as there was plenty of food. One woman thanked me for all the salad fixings that I left deconstructed as she was on a pretty strict diet and it helped her choose what she needed. We had a couple of bottles of local wine and some beer from a local brew pub as well as sparkling water beverages and lemonade. Everyone's plates looked different and when it was time to eat it was pleasantly quiet. We lingered a long time over dinner and it seemed like they were content. It was lots of work to put it all together but it was worth it! I had gotten the sourdough bread from Costco that you put in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes to crisp and warm it up - it was great to have that smell in the house as they arrived and that bread was very popular.
I am now faced with a whole counter of dishes that I rinsed and stacked last night. Our party ended at about 10:00 and I was too tired to hand wash them all. I have an old house without a dishwasher so will need to spend some time washing and drying everything. I did use paper plates as I don't have 12 plates but we used my utensils and glassware. I may get a set of 12 small white buffet plates from Crate and Barrel or a similar store for future parties because I would like using them better than paper.
Thanks again for the discussion about my menu for this meal. I'm looking forward to more chats about what you all are planning for your events!
It sounds as if you have a large garden. Do you ever run out of home-grown vegetables, and end up buying them at a store?
bachelorwatcher, we do supplement what we grow with broccoli, cauliflower and potatoes and fruit. We grow broccoli but not enough for all year as it grows here in spring and early summer. We have lots of deer here and not enough fenced areas to grow fruit trees but I would love to grow those as well.