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Critique my menu...

I'm doing a buffet for a mid Saturday afternoon quasi-child's birthday party for about 12-15 people. Most of the people will be adults, but there will be some young kids there. This is a self-professed "health" crowd but God forbid I cook anything with bacon in it because if past history is any indicator, they'll be eating it in double handfuls.

I'm usually good at assembling these kinds of meals but I'm just not comfortable with this menu. Too many carb dishes? Too much food? Thoughts? BTW, someone else is bringing the birthday cake.

Tomato Onion Cheese Tart
http://beyondsalmon.blogspot.com/2006...

Sauteed Gnocchi with Tarragon Tomato Sauce http://www.latartinegourmande.com/200...

Grilled Vegetable Platter

Cucumber Salad - I need a recipe!

Whipped Chickpea and Potato Crudite
http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

Crab Cakes With Red Chili Mayonaise
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Shrimp Kebabs With Cocktail Sauce
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Other contenders
Tortilla Espanola with Aioli http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

Sushi-Roll Rice Salad
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Mango-Curry Shrimp Salad in Wonton Cups
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Chicken Sates

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  1. Hmmm ... I'm not sure about two tomato dishes and possibly two shrimp dishes plus crab cakes. I'd drop the gnocchi for sure and add the chicken sate, or do the mango-curry salad with chicken instead of shrimp. The whole menu seems kind of unfocussed to me, and a little fussy, especially for kids. If I were going to add another dish, instead of another Asian flavor I'd add something Mexican, maybe something that would take advantage of the end of the season corn.

    What's for dessert? You can't have a birthday party without dessert!

    1. It loks good. only thing i'd say is that I see a lot of dishes involving some form of mayo, and since i'm not a big fan of the stuff, and it's hot, and maybe outdoors, i'd cut one of em or substitute mustard

      1. I made the tomato onion cheese tart a few weeks ago, and it was really good.
        For a cucumber salad, you can go simple- cucumbers, red onion, dill, oo and red wine vinegar. We love this salad with cucumber right from our garden. WE usually add garden tomatoes, too, but it looks like you have the tomatoes covered. If you want a little somthing more, some cubed harvati cheese would be a nbice addition. But I would add the cheese right before serving.

        5 Replies
        1. re: macca

          This recipe for the cucumber salad is similar to what macca mentioned...and very easy and good.

          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

          I'd skip the gnocchi, and the grilled vegetables in favor of the cucumber salad. Also, as other have mentioned, no need for 2 shrimp dishes, but if you want to use mango, maybe this Mango Salsa would work. I love it and it's very tasty with tortilla chips.

          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

          Oh, and I'd skip the crabcakes in favor of the Chicken Sates. My (almost) 3 year old happens to eat everything, but not all kids so, so having a chicken dish might be good.

          1. re: valerie

            Never thought to add sugar- but may try it nrxt time we pick our cukes. Don''t think I would add 3 tbls, but weet and sour may be a nice change.

            1. re: macca

              The cucumber salad I make has sugar too ... in fact it has only sugar. I peel, halve lengthwise, seed, and slice the cucumber (quarter to third of an inch, not too thin). Halve grape tomatoes, sprinkle with superfine sugar, stir, let sit for ~15 min to create its own dressing, stir again. Just enhances the natural flavors, very fresh.

              1. re: foiegras

                Thanks. Will have to try it. My recipe is from my dad- he was diabetic. Maybe that is why there was no sugar.

                1. re: macca

                  The Epicurious recipe is really not that sweet, but the sugar just cuts some of the "sharpness" of the vinegar. It's a good balance.

        2. Seems like a lot of work for 15 people. I'd cut the number of dishes in half. One shrimp dish. Gnocchi or rice. Grilled veggies or cuke salad. Looks gorgeous though!

          1 Reply
          1. re: southernitalian

            Yes, I agree. A lot of food for 15 adults and a few children. Southernitalian's selection seems well rounded.
            I'm borrowing some of those links though. The recipes look *veddy* interesting.

          2. Asian pickled cucumber salad: Peel cucumbers & slice thin. Toss with salt and drain in colander for at least an hour - they'll lose a lot of water. Rinse, drain well, and dress with white or rice-wine vinegar, sweetened to taste (I even do it with Splenda), a shot of soy sauce, and a shot of toasted sesame oil. Refrigerate overnight. Also good with the addition of thin-sliced sweet onion and/or radish.