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Need ideas for an easy (but special) 70th birthday dinner

I need some menu suggestions for a 70th birthday dinner for my father in law (7 people are coming) on Saturday night. The problem is my week is totally slammed. I have a few hours on Friday night that I can dedicate and that's about it. I'd prefer not to be in the kitchen frantically cooking when everyone is here Saturday afternoon and evening. Any great ideas? I'm already exhausted and just can't come up with any great ideas. (Going out to eat isn't really an option or I would go that route). HELP!

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  1. I think the best birthday would be one based on the birthday "boy's" favorite foods. do you know or can you ask?

    1. Speaking as a recently-arrived septuagenarian, I'm a whole lot easier to please than I was at forty! Not sure how universal that is, but any effort that shows thoughtfulness and a desire to please me will invariably please me. If Mrs. O had taken me out for pizza I'd have been delighted …

      Seems to me that escondido123's suggestion is about as good as it gets. We geezers tend to be fondest of our childhood favorites, so I seriously doubt you'll need to spend hours in the kitchen.

      1. I would do a braise. Takes a while but it is fairly unsupervised cooking time. A few braises are Chicken cacciatore, Pot Roast, Short Ribs or a brisket.

        If you want something quick, you could cook my bbqed pork tenderloins and some smoked sausages, Bush's grillin beans, Get some potato salad from the store and add some hard boiled egg to it. My store uses too much sauce so I usually add some potato in too.

        You could cook steaks and baked potatoes... the ultimate fast food.

        1. If you're feeling like throwing some money at the project, and a fun one it is, there's a method for roasting a Prime Rib that calls for no supervision. In fact it's better if you're not there, to avoid the temptation of looking into the oven. It turns out an ideal mid-rare roast every time if you adhere strictly to the directions. You could make a gratin ahead of time, maybe potato-leek or chive with a smattering of garlic; and you could pre-wash and bag salad greens with a paper towel or two, prepping any garnishes like nuts or croutons ahead of time - so back at home you'd just need to bake the gratin and toss the salad. W. Cake and ice cream, there's dinner.
          If you'd like the method I'd be happy to post it; let me know.
          I'll reiterate as well that basically everyone loves roasted chicken. You could brine and season them on Friday evening, and they would only need time in the oven and a rest on Saturday; no furious activity involved. You could make a risotto, cooking it to just under al dente, and finish it on the stove on Saturday; literally only 10 minutes' work, and a nice side. W/ salad, dinner again.
          Enjoy; Happy Birthday to your FIL!

          1. I 2nd the idea of braising, maybe short ribs? I made some that were served on gorgonzola polenta from an epicurious or bon appetit recipe not long ago and they were outstanding. Super easy--they were seasoned the night before and then browned in the morning and simmered away most of the afternoon with red wine. I can find the recipe if you're interested.

            If you're for something more casual, a good antipasto platter (buy everything and just plate) and then a really good "Italian" (i.e. authentic) lasagna. Good wine, some cheese and fruit and maybe gelato or tiramisu for dessert...nothing to do at the last minute, and nothing that has you slaving for hours.