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menu help...family visiting

the inlaws are coming for 5 days and i need some menu help. MIL can't eat fish. Aunt can't eat poultry or eggs. I will also have a brand new baby so looking for simple dishes to prepare. any advice would be greatly appreciated.

oh, don't have to worry about breakfast...they will eat at the hotel.

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  1. All my ideas are simple. as in d-u-h

    I have the recipes/method if you want to try any of these
    Bleu Cheese/Roast Beef Sandwiches
    Broccoli & Garlic Pasta
    Cheddar Almond Salad
    Genoa Salami w/manzanilla olive/cream cheese sandwiches
    BBQ Pork Sandwich w/coleslaw
    Szechuan Green Beans w/ground pork
    Italian Sausage & Potatoes
    Hot Beef & Hazelnut Salad

    1. Here are some non-poultry-fish-or egg dishes I make all the time. Hope these help.

      Bowtie pasta with cheese pesto sauce
      pasta e ceci (your username is rizzo, so I'm guessing you know all about this one!)
      pasta fagioli
      grilled paninis with eggplant, mozzarella, & roasted pepper
      lentil soup ( it's summer, but I still crave it!)

      1. Anything with sausage is easy:
        Italian sausage, onion, mushroom, peppers, zucchini & sauce over pasta
        Kielbasa with cabbage, potatoes and onions
        Sausage with beans...

        Pork tenderloin is quick & easy and works well with many flavors.
        Salads-can have everything prepped and serve salad bar style with various protein options.

        Tacos, fajitas all are flexible and can be prepped ahead of time according to your schedule.

        Don't worry - there will probably be extra hands happy to help!

        1. With a new baby, why should you cook? And it's so hot!

          But if you MUST prepare meals for your guests, how about:
          Rice salad (cooked brown rice with whatever veggies and fresh herbs you have, with beans, cheese, &/or nuts for protein + vinaigrette dressing)
          Deli-style platter (no fish or poultry necessary - roast beef, salami, cheese + appropriate veggies, condiments, and eggless bread) and everyone can make sandwiches
          Mediterranean-style salads (hoummus, tabbouleh, balela, baba ganoush + pita, like an antipasto)
          Steaks or burgers, corn, and pineapple on the grill
          Cold veggie soup, using tomato juice or V-8 as the base. Call it gazpacho it you must.
          Broccoli-tortellini salad - yep, you've figured out my MO - add whatever you have that's not off limits and let it chill

          1. how about polenta with a vegetable ragu or ratatouille (easy to prep and just let simmer).

            lasagna with or without meat

            chili w/ meat or use tvp instead for a heartiness... easy to let stew and not be a bother to you.

            assemble your own's - potato bar, taco bar, burrito bar, paninis

            coucous salads are so easy to make b/c couscous takes no effort to cook anyway

            brisket studded with garlic on a bed of potatoes and carrots and onions is easy to prep and let cook

            1. Look to New England. Meat loaf, goolash or chow mein, a big pot of stew, corn chowder, crock pot BBQ or pork roast, a big Boston pork butt baked and a good old bottom round beef roast w/ roasted potatoes*. Make lots and serve left overs. Ask for their favorites and let them cook, if they would like to help, so you have more time for the bambino.

              *Note: I cook none of the above.

              1. Thanks for the ideas.

                I've never made meatloaf...my mom's was awful so I don't know if I like it or not. But I'd love a good recipe.

                Sra.Swanky...that panini sounds yummy.

                I also though about trying some greek dishes, like pastichio that is basically a casserole...but again, I've never made it.

                Thanks for the recs.

                1 Reply
                1. re: rizzo0904

                  What do you dislike about your mothers meatloaf? That will help us know what recipe you might enjoy. There are many varieties of meat loaf - it is a pretty flexible dish. Lightly mixing the ingredients helps keep it from becoming too hard/dense. Extenders (bread crumbs, uncooked oatmeal, crushed crackers, left over rice,etc.) can help lighten it and generate extra servings. Was hers too chunky? Chop the vegetables smaller - onion, garlic, bell pepper all work well. Too dry? Mix in some grated cheese or liquid (bbq sauce, tomato sauce, steak sauce, ketchup). Too greasy? A leaner grind could help, but you will loose some flavor - or raise it up on a rack so the fat drains away. Many meatloaf recipes suggest combining grinds, beef & pork for example. Some grocery stores sell packages with both grinds together for meat loaf. I hated my mothers meatloaf. Years ago a co-worker gave me an extra meatloaf sandwich for lunch and I liked his recipe very much!

                2. Before I had my last baby, I made a bunch of dishes and put them in the freezer so they would be ready to go when company arrived. One was a baked 4 cheese tortellini, which wa quite tasty, and a bit different from the typical lasagna. Let me know if you want the recipe. Having a rotisserie chicken in the fridge is helpful too, as you can use it countless ways.

                  I also made a bunch of squares and cookies for the freezer, so I could whip them out when people showed up to see the baby.

                  1. With a new baby, you shouldn't feel obligated to cook! In summer, a supper of salad, bread, and cheese and/or cold cuts is a great option.

                    1. Marinate some skirt or flank steaks in this:

                      2 cups Coca Cola (can use diet)
                      juice of 2 limes
                      1/2 cup sherry
                      3 T Lea & Perrins worchestershire sauce
                      3 T soy sauce
                      2 T sesame oil
                      s& p to taste
                      3 T garlic, chopped
                      2 lbs. flank or skirt steak
                      2 large yellow onions, sliced into rings
                      1 red pepper, sliced into rings
                      1 green pepper, sliced into rings

                      Flour tortillas
                      Shredded cheese of your choice
                      2 avocados sliced in cubes
                      1 cup sour cream
                      1 can black olives, sliced into rings

                      Mix ingredients up to garlic in large vessel you can use to marinate. Layer meat, onions and pepper, make sure all is covered in marinade. Leave in fridge for 8 - 24 hours.

                      Preheat broiler or grill. Warm covered (alum foil) flour tortillas in 250 oven for 15-20 min. Saute peppers and onions in large skillet for 15-20 min till cooked. Broil/grill meat to your desired doneness, leaving to rest for 15-20 min. Using large platter, preferably one that has partions for toppings, arrange onions, peppers, cheese, olives, sour cream, salsa & avocadoes. Slice meat against grain on angle. Voila - fajita steak bar.