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Mar 16, 2007 12:21 PM

Dinner crisis - Too tired to go out, didn't go shopping, having company, help!

We've got some out of town close family coming tonight and we were planning to go out for dinner, but I am just exhausted. There are very few options for take out / delivery in our area (except pizza) so that's pretty much out.

I was thinking of cooking something easy, probably a pasta dish since I don't have any meat/fish/etc. I do remember seeing an eggplant and some other veggies in the fridge.

Any suggestions? Our guests will be very forgiving, I have a good reason for being tired and I know they won't be upset with something simple, but they love my cooking and I have to feed them so I'd like it to be something appealing at least. To add to it, they are coming right when I get home from work so I don't have time to go to the grocery store, and I need something easy to prepare so that I'm not stuck over the stove.

Help me hounds!

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  1. You could bread the eggplant and pan fry it and serve it with some pasta and sauce. Or stuff the eggplant with whatever stuffing ingredients you have (bread, veggies, etc) and serve that with some pasta.

    1. If you have ricotta cheese, you can make an eggplant rolette.

      I made them last night but didn't follow the directions exactly--used some pumpkin ricotta leftover from making ravioli. Serve with pasta. I had made the zuni chicken and added whole garlic cloves so I poured the juices over the pasta and added parmesan cheese. But, I think it would have been fine over pasta w/ garlic and olive oil.

      1. I don't know if this will help, but I have a funny story. I once worked for a magazine well-known for its food section. Our food editor, a local celebrity back home, was holidaying in a condo in Hawaii. Her companion had broken his foot and they had kind of lost momentum, were lazing around and ordering in. That was when she got a call from a BIG (in all ways...) food critic from back home that she had, in a moment of far-off weakness, invited for dinner should he ever be in Hawaii when she was.

        Mr Critic left a message saying he was taking her up on her invite RIGHT NOW. She looked in the cupboard...nothing but some spaghetti noodles left by the last tenant, one bottle of curry powder of uncertain age and the bag of frozen (and thawed) peas that her guy had been using on his foot. Oh and a LOT of vodka...

        Long story short, on her return she read the critic's newspaper column of the "fabulous" meal she had served- linguini with vodka/curry sauce and "fresh new peas"-he was marvelling at the resourcefulness of a a foodie who could find fresh baby peas in Hawaii-little did he know!!!

        1 Reply
        1. First - Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Repeat a few times. It really does help.

          How about curried vegetables with rice?
          Could you not leave work just a bit early so you can swing by the grocery store? Or call the fam and let them know you'll be just a little late, so you can stop at the grocery store? My family wouldn't hold it against me if they had to wait on the porch or in their car for a little while, especially if I let them know.
          Where would you have gone out to eat? Perhaps they might be willing to prepare a to-go order for you? I don't know how much of your tale you're willing to tell, nor how regular a customer you are, but I don't think it hurts to ask them.
          And, if all that doesn't pan out, I say what's wrong with pizza?
          Or, if you're exhausted, and they understand, maybe *they* could pick something up or run to the grocery store for you?

          1. Dependant on what you have in your cupoards really. if you have tomatoes (tin or fresh) then a veggie pasta dish is easy. You could always layer the eggplant, cooked pasta & tomato sauce in a dish & oven bake - cover top with cheese & bread crumbs. (i have used crisps & pretzels crackers once!)

            Leaving you time with your guests while its in the oven & not too much effort.

            My emergency dessert is:
            Put fruit, jam or syrup in greased bowl. (2pint)
            Mix together 4oz self raising flour, 1 tsp of baking powder, 4oz butter, 4oz sugar (1/2 cups in USA i think) , 2 eggs & pinch salt.
            Pace on top of fruit , jam etc
            Cover & microwave for about 5 mins till done
            serve with cream, ice cream, or custard ....

            What ever you do, I am sure they will just be happy to see you!

            Have a lovely evening :o)