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Jul 31, 2008 02:06 PM

Birthday Dinner Menu Help - Need side dish advice

I am making a birthday dinner for my mom and family tomorrow (there will be 7 adults and 3 kids total) and need some menu help. I don't get a chance to cook for them very often so I want to make something nice.

So far, the main course will consist of chicken breasts with sundried tomato cream sauce, roasted rosemary mixed potatoes, roasted baby garden carrots with orange juice, and foccacia bread. I think it needs something more. Any suggestions????

My sister is bringing a salad with grilled peaches and goat cheese, and I have already made a birthday cake (2 tier vanilla cake covered in buttercream and pink fondant... so much fun!).

Any ideas/ help would be greatly appreciated!
(oh- and if you are reading this sis, I could use your help too!)

Also- any appy ideas?

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  1. Sounds good, but maybe a bit heavy on the starches/carbs. Aside from the chicken, you have potatoes, carrots and bread. The salad sounds lovely. Why not braise an assortment of vegetables, instead of just carrots? Here's a recipe I use- it's so good!

    Quick Braised Vegetables

    1 lb total mix of carrots, green beans & asparagus
    3 medium shallots, peeled and halved
    3 sprigs fresh thyme and rosemary, tied together in bundle
    1 Tbl evoo
    3 tsp. unsalted butter, divided
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1/3 cup low-salt chicken stock
    1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    1 Tbl orange juice

    Trim carrot tops and tails and peel. Cut them in half crosswise and then cut the thicker end in half lengthwise. Cut pieces into two inch pieces (or use baby carrots).

    Cut off tough ends of asparagus so that all spears are about 6-7 inches long.

    Cut away any brown spots on green beans and trim off the stem ends.

    Heat evoo & 2 tsp butter in a 10-inch straight-sided pan over med-high heat. Be sure the pan you choose has a lid. When the milk solids in the butter are just beginning to turn nutty brown, add the veggies, including the shallots and also the salt and herbs. Toss well w/ tongs. Arrange veggies in one layer w/ minimal overlapping. Cook w/o stirring until the bottoms are nicely browned, 3-4 mins. Toss and turn over and cook for another 2 mins. or until lightly browned. Pour in the chix stock and immediately cover the pan and simmer until the liquid has almost completely evaporated, 2-3 mins. Remove the pan from the heatand remove herbs and discard. Add the balsamic vinegar, orange juice and remaining 1 tsp. butter and toss to combine. Scrape up any browned bits and serve immediately.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lynnlato

      Wow! These sound fantastic! Thanks!

    2. I notice that you don't yet have a soup course. Personally, I truly love this recipe:

      Wish I'd developed it myself ....