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The Boss is Coming to Dinner...How does my menu sound?

Everyone that responds always gives such good suggestions, so I thought I'd give it a try again. The boss and his wife are coming to dinner and then we are going to brave the cold and watch a hockey game outside. My menu is focused on comfort food...I have a toddler so there's not much time to make something labor intensive/super gourmet. Here is my menu:

Antipasto platter: yummy salami, cherub tomatoes, marinated bocconcini, pepperonicini, and homemade boule

Big salad with vinaigrette

Dessert...I'm a bit stuck here. Suggestions? I was thinking a sorbet with a decent cookie of some sort or affogato plus yummy cookie?

What do you all think?

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  1. Your menu sounds good; may I suggest a nice crusty bread and for the dessert, since you're going outside after the meal, I wouldn't serve sorbet just because I'd want something warm like a bread pudding or cobbler. JMO

    5 Replies
    1. re: Cherylptw

      The sorbet/affogato was all I could come up with. I agree that something cold prior to heading outside isn't the best choice...Your cobbler idea sounds good. Thanks for your reply.

      1. re: super_b

        I'm not generally big on Italian desserts, but I have been wanting to try this recipe for vin santo cake with creme fraiche:


        1. re: Procrastibaker

          That sounds GOOD...Is it meant to be very dense since there's no leavening agent? I wonder how it would do at our altitude (I'm at 7500 ft). Another good idea!

      2. re: Cherylptw

        That's what I was thinking. Warm dessert. Mabye a flourless chocolate cake, timed to come out of the oven about when dinner starts. Not as fussy as a souffle, but warm, comforting, serve it with vanilla ice cream.

        1. re: Cherylptw

          boule = bread

          As for dessert, since the rest of your menu is Italian, I'd suggest an Italianate dessert - storebought if necessary, like cannoli or panna cotta. Or tiramisu or another form of trifle.

        2. I like the idea of a warm dessert, but something light also sounds good, given the lasagna. Maybe a good fruit crisp with ice cream? Rhubarb? Or you could do brownies with hot fudge & ice cream, but cut the brownies small and do multiples for the guys?

          2 Replies
          1. re: foiegras

            Rhubarb is not really in season yet, unless you can find it frozen.

            One idea you can do with cut up brownies is to layer them in a pretty plain glass bowl with whipped cream, hot fudge and raspberries. A Brownie trifle - it's awesome.

            1. re: Phurstluv

              Yes, frozen is what I had in mind. My grocery always has it in the frozen fruit section.

          2. Your menu sounds just great. For a warm desert that you can prepare ahead of time and put in the oven to bake while you're eating, try Nigella Lawson's gooey chocolate puddings:


            they are wonderful and simple. must serve with whipped cream.

            1. I'd make Amanda Hesser's Almond Cake. You can make it up to a week in advance & serve it with fresh fruit & whipped cream if you like.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Snorkelvik

                Like that one!

                How 'bout a selection of fancy cookies, fresh strawberries and a few cannoli thrown in for good measure. From my experience, after a heavy meal, people really love something light, and cookies are ideal. You can even toss around a few chocolates, that way they can take whatever they fancy.

                The meal sounds lovely by the way.

                1. re: millygirl

                  I love, love, love that cake as well. Mmm. I also like the idea of doing an after-dinner hot drink with cookies rather than a full-on dessert.

                  1. re: Procrastibaker

                    ok...just looked at the almond cake recipe...i'm drooling at my computer. unfortunately, dinner is tomorrow night, so aging the cake for 2 weeks is kind of out of the question. but I will be making it in the very near future. yummy.

              2. If you're going to a hockey game, why not serve some sort of cake, and hot chocolate, for dessert? If you want to get really festive, you can spike the hot chocolate.

                1 Reply
                1. re: shaogo

                  Yes. Homemade churros and hot chocolate would work for me at the rink. Substitute a homemade cruller for the chuuros if you want. Brandy in the hot chocolate goes without saying.

                2. Thank you to everyone...especially the dessert suggestions. I'm hoping that time will allow me to try out one of the baked goodies. Unfortunately, I don't live anywhere where fancy cookies can be purchased easily. Keep the ideas coming!

                  1. Dinner sounds great. I'm with the fruit-for-dessert folks. After pasta and bread, I'd prefer baked apples with brown sugar/butter, maybe raisins and/or shredded cheddar cheese or baked pear halves with slightly melted blue cheese and drizzled honey or a crumbled almond filling frangipane-ish.

                    1. Warm Peach Cobbler with Vanilla ice cream...Not "Hoity Toity"... but they'll beg for seconds....

                      1. Since you'll be heading outside, how about some warm, sticky cinnamon rolls with cream cheese glaze? You could use the shortcut of thawed bread dough. I think that would taste great with hot chocolate, be comforting and memorable, and fill up anyone who was too polite to ask for seconds of lasagna.

                        1. I know it sounds crazy (b/c it's not Italian or warm), but what about Raspberry Fool? It would be light after a big heavy meal. Plus, I could prep a thermos of a hot, spiked beverage to bring along to the game...Just a thought as it is wicked easy to make.