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Meal ideas for visiting family

In-laws are coming up to visit in a few weeks. They will be here for 4 lunches and 4 dinners. I'm trying to keep it simple since I will have just given birth. And no poultry or seafood due to allergies.

Here's what I'm thinking for dinner:
Out one night for Asian food...awesome place downtown
Lasagna, salad, and bread that I can make in the morning and then just throw in the oven.
Grill one night....maybe sausages with onions and peppers...not sure about sides.
Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and veggies.

All of these dinners should be pretty easy to make and I can work around all of their food allergies. Problem is with lunch. I'm out of ideas.

One day we can easily just do Boars Head cold cuts, rolls, and maybe chicken salad for those who can eat it. We may go out one day. I also thought of doing some kabobs, hummus, tabouleh, and pita.....anyone have a tabouleh recipe? And I need another idea.

What else can I make so it doesn't get too boring?

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  1. Oh, and I refuse to make multiple meals. If you don't like what momma makes, you get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That was my mom's rule when I was growing up, and it's my rule now. LOL

    1. Very nice of you to do all of this especially with a new baby! And congratulations!

      Dinners sound good. For lunch, what about pizzas? You can get Boboli pizza crusts (or similar pre-made crusts) and put various toppings on them. You can make them in the oven, or even on the grill. That and a salad is a nice lunch. (or if you really want to make it easy on yourself, order in from a pizzeria!)

      2 Replies
      1. re: valerie

        I would go ahead and make the lasanga and meatloaf and freeze so you just have to pop them in the oven.

        Maybe late breakfast?Quiche and some fruit?

        1. re: valerie

          I like the pizza idea. And it isn't that hard to make your own crusts in advance and freeze, rolled but uncooked. Then just pull out and dress. Salads are great and you can pack anything into them.

        2. Is this a case of the in-laws coming to see the new baby who is days or weeks old? If so, this is the time to call your friends and set up a bucket brigade. Surely they're planning to bring you meals or stuff for the freezer anyway. If you were my friend, I would be thrilled to have you give me a menu and the food restrictions, work out a delivery schedule, and know I'm being of real help to the new mom and dad.

          Seriously, making lasagna is not like reconstituting Hamburger Helper. Are you daft? The grandparents I know usually do a role reversal. They clean the house, they shop for groceries, they cook for and coddle the woman who just gave them a beautiful grandchild!

          Okay, make and freeze a few things if you must, and eat out definitely (hope they pick up the tab). But I say make a few calls, order minestrone and shredded pork and scalloped potatoes with ham or whatever, and have it delivered!

          2 Replies
          1. re: nemo

            My inlaws aren't the "we're here to help and clean the house" kind of people. They're more "show us a good time and take care of us" kind of people. My MIL means well, but is high maintenance, and does not know her way around a kitchen. Thankfully my husband will be here too so he can prepare food while I watch the baby.

            And we make lasagna all the time, I know it's not hamburger helper.

            1. re: nemo

              Nemo, thanks for saying what I was thinking re people going to visit a newborn baby-and-mom (their own grandchild, no less), and expecting to be fed rather than doing the feeding and chores :) Amazing!

              OP: line up your friends for sure. You sound like a good cook and I am sure you would have loved to help out a friend in a similar situation. This is one of the times in your life when you have a free pass to gracefully accept help from others, and enjoy your new baby and your recovery.

              Where's your husband, or does he too not know his way around a kitchen? Let him take over cooking for his parents. If he can''t cook, then he can organize take-out, simple assembly-only meals, or organize assistance from friends.

              If the baby is not born yet, you don't know what kind of baby you will have (each is different) and you may have to cope with a fussy or (heaven forbid) colicky infant. Plus normal sleep deprivation. Plus exhaustion. Plus your total change in emotional focus. Plus .... (you get the picture).

                1. re: rizzo0904

                  Well congratulations to you! The reason I asked was I was curious to know if you'd ever experienced the mind altering fatigue you will feel for the first 4 or 5 months (after that it's just a constant tired throb) with a newborn. Please take everyone's advice and ask for help! Best of luck.

              1. Congratulations on the new baby! My in-laws are very similar so I feel your pain. The Boboli pizzas for lunch are a great idea. Another thing that everyone loves is ham and cheese on a croissant. Wrap in foil and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Unwrap and continue cooking until flaky. So good! Another lunch idea is BLTs. It's perfect tomato season and easy to make. We make sausages with onion and peppers often and our favorite sides are baked beans and pasta salad. I know it's not fancy, but the flavors are so good together. I have an awesome pasta salad that can be made a few days ahead and will keep for about a week. It has a vinaigrette dressing and red onion. Let me know if you want the recipe.