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What to make for guests when I don't feel like eating a lot

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This is a strange question, because usually I am not too shabby with a fork in hand and I hate people who pick at their meal or prefer salads. But I've been doing too much intensive dining lately, and tomorrow evening, friends of my boyfriend's are coming over for dinner (we'll be 6, total). So here we go again... As a result, I am having trouble planning the menu (yes, I am the only one who cooks in this household).

Any good ideas for a lightish meal that cleverly seems normal? (I mean, 3 of the diners are hearty-eating guys, and one of the girlfriends is not too hung-up either.) Thanks!

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  1. Just some random thoughts.

    1. Are you in a position to bar-b-que, then maybe your boyfriend or his friends will take over and not expect you to cook.

    2. Or you could do something family style and just not eat a lot. So roast chicken, potatoes, veggies, etc. Or do a pot roast, etc. Then everyone just takes what they want and you can limit how much you eat.

    1. Call it what you want: mezze, mini-buffet, whatever. Sliced loaf of wonderful bread, room-temp real butter, honey, mustard, selection of cheeses, selection of meats, olives, wine (or beer if you're thinking 'hobbits' favorite snack')

      Think how many chowhoundish ways to go: Italian with salamis, prosciutto, wine, Italo-cheeses / Greek with stuffed grape leaves, feta, cold lamb / Middle-Eastern with lavash, hummus, etc.

      1. When I am in your situation, I usually make fish of some sort. I have found greek-style recipes to be perfect for this. Take a piece of fish (or a whole fish or some shrimp) cover with lemon slices, salt, pepper, chili flakes and parsley sprigs, sprinkle some dried oregano over the top and broil. Serve with a nice, ligth couscous or rice cooked with lemon juice, zest and fresh herbs. Add a little salad and possibly some grilled veggies and you are in HEAVEN. It's hearty enough to be a real meal, but also light and fresh tasting, which is also perfect for the summer. Good luck!

        1. Thanks for the suggestions! I don't have a barbecue, so I think I will go with shrimp + jasmine rice, with some gaspacho to start. Not too heavy. Now for dessert...?

          2 Replies
          1. re: sjb7501

            shebert or fruit sorbets, a trio of flavors, and store-bought ginger thins and/or shortbread cookies

            1. re: sjb7501

              This is from Jacques Pepin's Fast Food My Way

              Raspberry Chocolate (or Shortbread) Gratins

              Heat the Oven to 375. Divide 2 cups of Individually Quick Frozen raspberries into four small (1 cup) custard cups or gratin dishes.

              Measure 1 1/2 cups of either really good crumbled chocolate chip cookes (He likes Mrs. Fields) or crumbled shortbread (He likes Walkers) Mix the crumbled cookies with 1/4 cup of sugar. Sprinkle the mix evenly over the berries. Dot each ramekin with 1/2 Tablespoon of butter. Put the cups or ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake for 16 to 18 minutes. They will be browned on top and the berries will be bubbling. Cool to lukewarm or room temperature and serve with sour cream, if you like.

            2. Cheese plate
              Tossed greens with a light dressing
              Fresh fruit
              Light wine
              Iced coffee..

              we make light meals when the temperature outside exceeds 80 degrees.
              Just last night we had fresh fruit, yogurt, slices of banana bread and iced coffee for dinner while we watched an old movie.

              enjoy your party!

              1. Sorry, but as you said it is a strange question. I would serve my guests the same type food I've served them in the past. My "intensive dining" is my issue, not theirs.