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Apr 1, 2013 06:30 PM

Menu planning help please!


I'm having a birthday lunch in mid-may for my one year old son - I have another 2.5 year old son and we are hosting about 25 people, including 6 other (older) kids. It has to be non-meat as my in laws keep kosher and don't want to eat meat in my house ;)

I also should note that I'm very busy with the kiddies so really want to do as much as possible in advance.
Here's what I was thinking:

3 salads - some sort of orzo/tomato/pinenut thing, a snowpea/radish/sesame-miso salad and a crunchy vinegary slaw with cucumbers.
I'm going to order party sandwiches so there's some protein and it's easy.
Then I was thinking I should do some sort of quiche or tart and I'm stumped on something that would be both easy and/or possible to do in advance- any suggestions?
Pesto pea crostini

Cupcakes for the kids
Ina's Lemon Yogurt loaf
Mini peanut butter chocolate cheesecakes
Oatmeal cookies

So what am I missing? Is this doable? Any suggestions? Feedback? Thanks in advance!!

  1. Menu sounds lovely!
    No meat, hmm.
    I am thinking maybe a beautiful cheese platter, with fresh fruit, some high-quality crackers/crisps/lavash, and a kind of jam or chutney with some smoked almonds alongside... do all Canadian cheeses... or maybe a hard cheese, a soft cheese, and a nicely-veined blue or something else of that ilk...
    Ina's lemon yogurt loaf NEVER fails to please company... that's a wonderful idea. Oatmeal cookies, cupcakes, how can you go wrong.
    I think for the sandwiches you could maybe do personalized grilled cheese sandwiches? Bon appetit did a great recipe in their Oct 2012 issue, here is the link:
    Of course lots of dips, spreads, and salsas are great at parties... may I suggest a homemade roasted corn guacamole (, a delicious salsa ( maybe a quick pico de gallo with lots of nice chips, blue corn tortilla chips, maybe a some of those root veggie chips... kale chips... possibilities are endless and yummy!!
    Your salad ideas sound great. Orzo tomato pinenut, with some kind of balsamic reduction on top, a bit of slivered basil.. your second salad sounds more asian-inspired, why not add slivered toasted almonds, nappa cabbage, sesame oil, sesame seeds and fried chow mein noodles and do a little asian nappa salad? And for your final salad... crunchy vinegary slaw sounds excellent. Maybe add a little jicama for interest, or a different kind of slaw dressing --- a tangy Carolina mustard slaw?? Mmm.
    Party sandwiches sound lovely too. Some egg sandwiches, maybe corned beef and pastrami with pumpernickle or rye bread, some tangy mustard alongside, some cream cheese pinwheels with a sweet pickle...
    any pescetarians at the party? Could do a gorgeous side of lox... some cream cheese? Yumm.
    Pesto pea crostini sounds good! Edamame is a nice twist on the pea idea too, if you wanted to.
    As for the quiche -- I usually do a Lorraine at parties I throw, but a delicious interesting one is a simple leek & goat's cheese or leek & feta quiche. Just do tenderflake and you'll be golden!!
    I hope I was able to be of some help to you... please let me know how the festivities go! Good luck, have fun in the kitchen cooking and then later with your lovely guests!

    1. There is a duplicate of this thread at so we'll close this one and ask everyone to add their suggestions on that thread. Thanks!