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Jul 29, 2008 12:57 PM

Summer party recipes - make ahead...

Hi there -

I am hosting a small family reuinion (about 20 adults and kids) while on summer vacation - I'll be in a rented condo, which has a "fully equipt" kitchen - but won't probably have all of the fun tools that my normal kitchen does. And we won't have a grill ...

I'd love recommendations for food that can be made ahead and will still taste good cold or at room temperature. Food that can be made in advance would be great.

Thanks in advance for your ideas!

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  1. Hmmmmm,

    You could bring some fruit and melons and just cut them into large pieces. That way it won't get soggy like it can if you make a full fruit salad. Or you could make the fruit into kabobs.

    Pasta salad and/or cole slaw that is made with a vinegar dressing as opposed to mayo.

    Chicken wings

    Seven layer dip with tostitos...or a fruit salsa with chips.

    You could also do a crockpot dish...i love cutting up turkey kielbasa. I make a sauce with ketchup, spicy mustard, vinegar, and brown sugar. Pour it over the kielbasa and heat on high for 4 hours in the crockpot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rizzo0904

      The crockpot is a good idea - I've never cooked with one - but have an unused one sitting around. I was thinking of brats & peppers - that could be done in the crock and not overheat the condo...

      Thanks for the ideas - keep 'em coming!

    2. In sitations like this, I usually resort to heavy hors d'oerves and tapas-type dishes. Deviled eggs are great. Peel and eat shrimp. An assortment of cheeses. Bruschetta. This is actually my favorite way to eat and entertain. Keep it simple but hearty enough.

      2 Replies
      1. re: southernitalian

        Ludlows 23, I love southernitalian's idea. I'd add sliced roast beef, cooked in advance with fun breads and spreads with the cheeses. Maybe a pasta salad or tomato, moz, basil salad. Her idea can all be done in advance and just put out when needed. Lots of fun for guests to try different dishes and eat when they please, nice and casual for a summer party.

        1. re: southernitalian

          And I will add:

          baba ganouj
          pita bread
          olives and relishes
          cold cuts
          oven fritatta -- i.e. eggs with whatever meats, grains, or vegetables you like, baked in a shallow dish with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and parmesan on top; bake until browned on top and set; then cut in squares. Again, it keeps well and can be main dish or side dish.

        2. This is a good time of year to make ratatouille. It's easy to make a giant batch, it keeps well, and it can be eaten cold, room temperature, or hot. It's a good side dish, and can also make a nice light lunch with some bread and cheese or hummus.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jlafler

            ooooh I love ratatouille toped with dollops of goat cheese baked until bubbly and served with garlic bread.

            Crockpot is good to make chile con queso-basically velveeta (it's one purpose) and a jar of salsa heated and kept warm in the crockpot, served with chips and crudite. Enchildas or tacos would be good as a main course.

          2. If you do use a crockpot, make a batch of pulled pork and keep it warm in there. The pork can be made in advance and frozen. Serve it with rolls and a coleslaw that is oil/vinegar based. This is loved by kids and adults alike.

            Some more suggestions:

            orzo with roasted vegetables and crumbled gorgonzola w/ lemon vinaigrette
            blanched green beans & edamame, black beans,thin sliced red onions, soy vinaigrette


            2 Replies
            1. re: eatmyfood

              I love the idea of pulled pork - that sounds great. I've also saved your orzo/shrip recipe on your site - that looks awesome! Thanks.

              1. re: Ludlows23

                The Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Parmesan is a family and client favorite! hope you like it.