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Fall Open House Menu

Looking to have an open house this fall, hopefully in October. I'd like to do cozy fall food, but the caveat is nothing that is prone to mess or stains in hopes to ward off any catastrophes to our new carpet. Here's my sample menu, but would appreciate any tweaks:

Apple cider glazed ham in crock pot
Balsamic sweet potato dice in phyllo cups
white bean dip with pita chips and crudite
loaded baked potato dip with chips
veggie rainbow wraps (wraps, herbed cream cheese, julienne veggies wrapped up and cut into thirds)
jalapeno cheddar cornbread
spiced nuts
oatmeal cookies
pumpkin muffins
apple cake
cider
full bar

am i too heavy on the carbs? should I add sausage puffs? Do I need cheese somewhere in the mix? I'm trying to minimize the effort on the cooking front, and trying to do things in advance. Also I'm trying to stay relatively budget friendly and I think the nuts are what will set me back. We already have the full bar and it will probably be on a Sunday, so I think the drinking will be at a minimum at any rate.

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  1. This looks a little carb heavy and also a little sweet-heavy to me, with a sweet glaze on your only meat dish and then sweet potatoes as well, plus lots of desserts and cider. If I were you I'd skip the sweet glaze on your ham and do something a little more savory instead, and perhaps replace the potato dip with a platter of meats and cheeses so that those who wish to avoid carbs can do so.

    1. Apple cider glaze on ham or anything else sounds dangerous to your new carpet.
      I would skip it and serve mini meatballs (on skewers.)

      1. There wouldn't be a single thing there I could eat. :( Much too heavy on the carbs (and I don't like pork... actually, I know lots of people that don't like pork.) Anyone with a gluten intolerance would have to skip half the items.

        Even just a veggie platter or a salad would help out someone like me that eats low carb. (It would be boring but at least I wouldn't starve or feel awkward that I couldn't eat while everyone else was.) Sparkling water would be a good addition, too. Cider is full of sugar and not everyone drinks.

        4 Replies
        1. re: weezieduzzit

          well there will be crudite with the white bean dip, the wraps will be gluten free. Oh and I plan to have other beverages (like carafes of lemon water) but the cider and the bar will be the features. thanks for your input.

          1. re: charlesbois

            Even if the wraps are gluten free, there is nothing on your menu that someone who keeps very low-carb can eat, other than a few raw vegetables.

            1. re: charlesbois

              white beans (even counting the fiber content) are way high in carbs

            2. re: weezieduzzit

              Not trying to be mean, but he's not going to be able to please every single possible dietary idiosyncrasy.

            3. Are you "too heavy on the carbs"? Not for me. I love what you're offering.

              Everyone is different though. You have to decide just how far you're wanting to go to satisfy every person's dietary desires.

              If you know everybody that's coming you could simply ask them if they have any special desires.

              As for me though, I really like what you're offering. But, then again, I, thank God, do not need to avoid carbs.

              6 Replies
              1. re: 1POINT21GW

                Thanks for the support! I would love to be able to serve an endless variety of dishes that can cater to everyone's tastes (vegan, gluten-free, low carb, paleo, south beach, fruitarian), but that would be beyond the constraints of my budget and sanity.

                1. re: charlesbois

                  Exactly. I was just trying to be as nice as possible. But, the truth is, it's your food, your time, your energy, and your money. Serve what you want. If they're your family and friends they're going to enjoy being with you and each other and the food is a bonus and, regardless of if it's exactly what they're eating that particular month of their life, they're still going to appreciate the thought and effort you put into the food. Besides, we're talking about adults here. If they're hungry enough, they'll figure something out. And, when you're at their place for a get together, they get to make whatever they want and I'm sure you'll equally appreciate their thought and effort.

                  You're not running a restaurant, you're simply having a get together.

                  1. re: charlesbois

                    Since you specifically asked if your menu was too carb heavy, you shouldn't be surprised when those who watch their carbs or cook for those who watch their carbs tell you that it is. You suggested adding sausage puffs and/or cheese, and I responded that you could simply add a platter of sliced meats and cheeses and eliminate a dip, thereby solving all of those issues in one fell swoop. Making sure that as many of your guests as possible have something suitable to eat (within reason) isn't running a restaurant, it's being a good host.

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      My menu is definitely carb heavy, but I find them comforting when the weather turns cold. Your suggestion of eliminating the sweet glaze on the ham is a good one. I certainly hope that carb-avoiders, my father being one of them, will enjoy the wraps, the crudite with the dips (the baked potato dip is dairy-heavy, and the potato comes from the chips. Alas I cannot have dairy.) and the nuts. I'm pretty sure I'm being a good hostess with an array of food that most, if not all, guests can enjoy. Although I should try to brainstorm a veggie-friendly, low-carb friendly dish. I'm not at all practiced in low-carb cookery though.

                      Unfortunately I find meat and cheese platters overdone to the point of banality.

                      1. re: charlesbois

                        Without getting all medical because Chowhound doesn't like that... the purpose of eating very low carb is to keep your body in a state of ketosis. One single higher carb meal can kick your body out of ketosis lickety split and it can take a week or more of super low carb eating for some people to acheive ketosis again. Its not like simple calorie counting where you can make up for it by spending extra time on the treadmill the next day.

                        So, it's not like low carb people are just being picky or fussy- it's a major wrench in the works when everything is high carb.

                        1. re: charlesbois

                          Vegetarian-friendly and low-carb are usually not super compatible, actually. People on extremely low-carb diets might eat no more than 10-20 grams of carbohydrate a day, which equates to just a couple of cups or less of most non-starchy vegetables. Grains, even gluten-free grains, are out entirely - so something that might seem low-carb and vegetarian-friendly, like a quinoa salad with vegetables, really isn't an option for many low-carbers. There are things that work, but for most people on low-carb diets, animal protein is king.

                  2. Your menu looks lovely charlesbois. I say serve what you love and keep the carpet-cleaner handy for spot touch-ups (that first spill is going to be kind of like the first ding in a new car--your life may actually be happier and more carefree after that first "whoops" ).

                    I wouldn't worry too much about individual dietary demands. People are coming to see YOU , not really for sustenance.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pedalfaster

                      I totally agree with getting the first spill out of the way. In fact, I'll probably drink a raft of red wine that day just to tempt fate :)