HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Ok I need some help/inspiration! very excited!

  • 80
  • Share

I have recently become reacquainted with some old friends from high school. We have not seen each other in close to 30 years. We are all going to be in the same area and I have invited them for dinner. It will be in June so dining al fresco is an option. As is grilling, and other outside options.

There will be 6 of us. Arrival time will be close around 5 so cocktails and and apps a must.

No one has far to travel (3 will be staying with me) so wine with dinner is good too.

WHAT IS THE MENU? I want impressive without being showy. Yummy but easy to eat so we can keep talking… but enough attention in case the conversation lags..

couple of things if it helps: no food allergies or diet restrictions

South of boston so a little early for great local produce (ie corn and tomatoes) but lobster and seafood are easy. Also means weather could go either way…

I can cook pretty much anything but am not an accomplished baker. However key is conversation so make ahead, or guest involvement in the kitchen would be great. Don't want to be sweating a ton of last minute details.

Money is not a huge issue but needless to say this not a $500 bottle of wine, caviar, champagne kind of night. Lobsters for 6 could I can manage.

So what your dream menu (within reason) for catching up with old friends??

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. I love planning parties - so much fun; anticipation is the best part :)

    I would definitely do lobster - either tails on BBQ for a more formal presentation or a messy affair with the whole boiled in seawater, bibs on .... Start with a crisp, tangy salad and finish with Pavlova. For appies, there is a wonderful fava dip in Goin's book and everyone loves Ina's grilled shrimp with mango salsa.

    1. In my opinion, Lobsters require too much concentration to eat for a reunion. Also, if you want make ahead, you need to think braised. How about a Middle Eastern menu, with a main course tagine? Lamb shanks (or chicken), preserved lemons (you could get a good head start on making your own), olives, dates, carrots, golden raisins. Some Chinese broccoli on the side would be a good match.

      You could start out with an baba ganoush, beef kebabs (easy to make) braised in a tomato based sauce (there are Turkish recipes for eggplant that I think are seasoned mostly with coriander), finished with yogurt.

      While it requires last minute frying, many years ago, I did an app of shrimp bisteeya spring rolls (filling of chopped shrimp, almonds, a bit of sugar, garlic, cinnamon, bound with egg whites).

      2 Replies
      1. re: sbp

        I agree. I probably wouldn't want to pick apart a whole lobster while I am trying to catch up but if you want to have lobster be part of the meal, what about lobster salad in endive leaves as a starter? If it's June and possibly may deal with heat, what about a Middle Eastern Mezze? Hummus, baba ganouj, shrimp on skewers marinated in pureed preserved lemons and paprika, roasted peppers with feta. It can be all out on the table with a great rose or sparkling wine. I agree with a pavlova for a finish.

        1. re: Dcfoodblog

          I think whole lobster is a bit complicated too. So maybe an option of lobster salad like others have posted would be easier.

          I know that for me, peeling shrimp is a no brainer, but the last time I had whole lobster I got brains on the wall and my head hurt a bit.

          If you serve whole could you cut them a bit? I know some places do that to snow crab legs.

          Have fun with your classmates!

          If you are going to be outside some grilled fruits might be fun.

      2. I'd love a mixed seafood grill, lobster would be great! If I was visiting from elsewhere and not able to experience the seafood from your area, it would be a treat. As for lobster being too complicated, well, I think it would be a blast, messy, casual, putting people at ease.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wyogal

          Wyo- how did I miss this post? A mixed grill might be the perfect balance.

        2. I love this idea because I had the best experience a person can have in high school. most fun 4 years of my life. the friends, the sports, the singing, the drama, all experiences (well almost all) realized.
          you are all going to have a great night.

          the menu has my mind running in all directions. at this tired moment, I can't decide. for dessert I know I'd make a 5 fruit pie baked in my 14" cast iron skillet&fresh vanilla ice cream out of my ice cream maker.

          hope you get some great ideas for the meal.

          10 Replies
          1. re: iL Divo

            <<head slap>> I make a mean ginger icecream! Maybe a strawberry/rhubarb pie to go with it.

            Can I cheat and buy the pie from a local baker?? :)

            1. re: foodieX2

              Yes!

              1. re: foodieX2

                I, too, make a mean ginger ice cream and more often than not serve it with apple pie hot from the oven. But you'll want something more springlike or summery. I'd be concerned that strawberry/rhubarb would have too many flavors and would compete with the ice cream so I'd probably go with peach, either pie or a cobbler type dish. The ginger ice cream also pairs spectacularly well with both chocolate (brownies, molten chocolate cake, chocolate syrup) and fresh fruit salad (although it may be a bit early for that).

                1. re: foodieX2

                  "Can I cheat and buy the pie from a local baker?? :)"
                  no, sorry, it's not allowed :;-/

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    There goes your invite!!

                    LOL!! :)

                    1. re: foodieX2

                      foodie, wahhhhh ;(
                      I'll make it/bake it/bring it.
                      now please may I get my invite back :)))

                      1. re: iL Divo

                        Well since you offered to make pie....

                        :)

                        1. re: foodieX2

                          you're funny foodie :)
                          was asked to bring dessert to a high school mini reunion at a gals house about 4-5 years ago. most of the food was already being taken care of by others but she'd sent me an email asking for a dessert. I love pie, pretty much any kind of pie and since my heritage is from bakers, thank you gramma, I decided to do a huge one and make it special. had never done it before but went to the store and grabbed fruits that sounded like they'd work, of course wasn't really sure-went about it blindly and shot from the hip ;:-/
                          mango papaya peach apple pear.....................
                          formed and baked and brought in my grandpa's huge cast iron deep skillet, so good.

                          1. re: iL Divo

                            You are killing me, that sounds wonderful, great flavor combo. I bet it was huge hit!

                            Now what is your address so I can send the invite??

                            <<grin>>

                            1. re: foodieX2

                              oh you're so sweet.
                              our best friend from high school saw me take it out to the patio where we all were.
                              with excitement (he's a huge dessert freak) he gazed as I took the foil off so it could be displayed. he says "oh 'bleep' you said you brought a pie, that's a cobbler." I told him to cool his jets as I cut him the first slice. he then saw and tasted this was NO cobbler.
                              thankfully it disappeared with a blink. sometimes I even amaze myself :)

              2. Lobster rolls, lobster pie or lobster mac&cheese would be good, make-ahead food that is easy to eat. Corn in June? Not local in the greater Boston area. Tomatoes yes, but just, IF it ever warms up reliably!

                Have you ever seen/had the individual clambakes they do at Summer Shack? They must be in one of Jasper White's cookbooks, probably the lobster one. Can't get more regional than that. You'd need a couple of really large pots but you might be able to put them on a grill if you have a big, powerful one.

                Or how about upgrading the traditional boiled dinner by simmering the corned beef, then roasting wrapped in foil with a brown sugar mustard glaze,
                while steaming the cabbage but roasting the carrot, onion, rutabaga, and potato. That's a great meal, and doesn't smell up the house the way boiled cabbage does.

                5 Replies
                1. re: greygarious

                  I do have my dad's HUGE professional steamer that can easily hold a a whole lobster boil for 10. That's the first thing my husband suggested. My dad did it with layers of lobsters, steamers, linguica, chicken, potatoes and then served cooking liquid in steaming mugs along with the meal. Really good loaves of crusty bread, melted butter and big salad made the meal until August. Then a whole layer of the steamer had fresh ears of corn from our garden.

                  1. re: foodieX2

                    This is exactly what I would want if I was visiting a friend that had access to fresh lobster.

                    1. re: foodieX2

                      I'll ditto wyogal's comment - this sounds PERFECT for a re-gathering of friends!

                      1. re: foodieX2

                        I agree, similar to the MD crab feast it is a great social activity which encourages lots of talking.

                      2. re: greygarious

                        I was about to suggest lobster. We made them for a boat outing on Long Island Sound a few years ago and they were a huge hit.

                      3. My best advice is to cook something you are comfortable cooking. Something you've made before. Something that you love. Especially if this is for friends you've never made this menu for. This way, you can cook effortlessly and enjoy your company. They will love your BEST menu that is tried and true.

                        What the menu is, is up to you. I've read many, many posts by you, FoodieX2, I know you have an arsenal! Enjoy!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: pagesinthesun

                          Aw, thanks!!! :)

                        2. Since you're not an accomplished baker, for your dessert consider Claudia Roden's Orange and Almond cake (aka Nigella Lawson's Clementine Cake). Made this recently with two navel oranges, and was delighted with the results. While the cake takes a long time in terms of elapsed time, it requires no baking skill other than the ability to measure and stir and recognize when the cake is done. Another plus this cake has going for it is that the texture and flavor get better with age, 48 hours minimum aging for best flavor. After 48 hours I kept the leftovers in the fridge, cake continued to please! There are several threads on this cake on the HC board, where the cake gets raves. It is truly a fabulous cake, with a bonus of being gluten-free. Here's a link, there are others on this board:

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8799...

                          Good luck with your dinner, you sound very excited about it and no wonder, how nice to reconnect with old friends.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: janniecooks

                            thank you for that link! Sounds wonderful.

                            1. re: foodieX2

                              I am in the minority, but there are other posters who also hated the texture and flavor of that cake. I salvage almost all kitchen disappointments but this one went to the dogs. I can't recall if they were willing to eat it.

                              After a big meal, homemade ginger ice cream with some good cookies is a nice dessert. Homemade or storebought - Trader Joe's has many great ones and I believe there's a thread on theirs but definitely one on best storebought cookies in general.

                              1. re: greygarious

                                I read those links and the haters' comments, so I had reservations about making it. But I wanted to make a simple dessert for a gathering that included one gluten-free friend, who often misses out on dessert for that reason. So I decided to toast whole, natural almonds (skin-on), then grind them myself in the food processor. Having not had the cake made with almond meal, or with ground blanched almonds, I can't comment on the texture of that version. But I can tell you that the cake I made, with toasted, natural, processed almonds was fantastic, especially after two days. I found the texture after one day like that of a syrup-soaked cake, but by the second day some of that moisture seemed to have been absorbed into the almonds and it became more cake-like, albeit an extremely moist cake. I also did not find it eggy-tasting in the least.

                                Different strokes....

                                1. re: greygarious

                                  Trader Joe's Triple Gingersnaps would be a double-ginger dessert - or would that be a quadruple ginger dessert?

                            2. Sounds like a fun time! I'm really into Ina Garten's entertaining menus lately, she's got some good ideas.

                              Heres what I'm thinking. Cheese straws and fresh fruit with a moscato for starters (i like some sweet stuff at the beginning but thats just me). A seafood salad served on lettuce leaves, served with a great, crisp white. Strip steaks with tomato, new potato and mushroom kabobs on the grill with beer or a fun red. Ina's mocha ice box cake for dessert.

                              Everything can be made/prepped in advance, and you'll just have to be occupied with grilling the main.

                              1. Thanks everyone! I am not dead set on serving lobster but it was the first thing that came to my head living outside Boston in June! Unfortunately as I also noted its way too early for good tomatoes and local corn won’t be around until late July/early August. 2 of the folks are very familiar with our regional foods as they live near or have visited New England often and the others are travelling from all over.

                                The middle eastern menu with tagine, etc sounds delicious but its reads "cold weather" to me. The mezze might be more of an option. I am really hoping for a gorgeous day where we can eat outside, lighting the fire pit if needed. While lobster salad is a go to summer meal for me (one of my favorite summer picnic foods!) it screams summer and my fear is that we will have one of those raw days where the fireplace inside is where you would rather be. Maybe I could a mini combo using lobster in some kind of an appetizer but then have platters with skewers of lamb, roasted veggies, hummus, soft pita, etc

                                Gah- why am I making myself crazy, lol! Luckily I have plenty of time, keep those ideas coming.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: foodieX2

                                  My thought, too, was that if you're forced inside by weather, the mess and smell from whole lobster could be overwhelming indoors.

                                  Ina Garten's seafood gratin has lobster, shrimp, scallops, it can be made ahead so your time is spent visiting, has veggies in it, and a salad, some apps and a side, it'd be local, but not high effort just before or during meal time. Can eat it outside or in.

                                  1. re: mcf

                                    ^^^ Nice^^^

                                  2. re: foodieX2

                                    Glad you won't have fresh tomatoes by then, 'cause you can't throw one at me now: would you consider that one person might not like/be able to eat seafood (me, in a tiny voice). Maybe at least one meaty/poultry thing on the grill, just in case. Or a vegetarian option for the non-seafood folk? Or do you know for sure that they're all seafood eaters, p'haps?

                                    1. re: pine time

                                      OP did specify no food allergies or diet restrictions. I can't eat shellfish either so I had the same thought. Boo hoo for us!

                                      1. re: pine time

                                        Appreciated your call out- no tomato throwing here. As I noted in the OP no food allergies or diet restriction. I also posted later (at least I think I did!) that I checked in because some have ready access to lobster (so they might have been ho hum) and they others don't (so may not like/care for it)

                                        I also was not dead set on seafood its just such a nice New Englandy thing! But after all these wonderful replies I leaning towards it more and more. Its definetly a group effort as everyone is insisting on contributing something.

                                        We are skyping next week to final up our plans. Hope to have the menu set soon and then can work on the fun details like cocktails and decorations.

                                    2. Do you do grilled pizza? Not everyone loves seafood, almost everyone loves pizza! Personally, I dont like seafood for a crowd due to the mess. pizza can be: Gorgonzola, carmelized onion, goat cheese and grilled red pepper, chicken, beef, lobster? garlic.... All prepped by you the day before. People can choose what they like, experiment and contribute to the making of it or not as desired. You get to socialize.

                                      Loads of fun. If you don't make your own dough, store bought still tastes great on the grill :)

                                      Make up huge Caesar salad and buy a variety of lighter wines. Tasting different wines with different pizza creations is really fun, there will not be awkward silences with this kind of party :)

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: sedimental

                                        How about a lobster chowder? I ate several (langoustine, actually) in Iceland a few years ago. They are very rich and with fresh, hot bread, they can work beautifully on a cool evening. Paired with a salad that highlights the best produce of the moment, perhaps a little amuse to start, and a dessert of something you made or bought, plus the ginger ice cream, which sounds fantastic, and you have a wonderful dinner. The upside of doing a lobster chowder is that you don't need to buy a whole lobster per person (which means $$$ left over for better wines). Half a lobster per person should be ample.

                                        I've made a version more than once with mixed fish and shrimps, which was excellent. Lobsters where I live are really pricey most of the time.

                                        1. re: sedimental

                                          grilled pizza's came to my mind too.
                                          that'd be fun way to 'have' to integrate with each other.
                                          for the shy, they can pick their toppings from set out bowls of various goodies, with these you can even buy the premade pizza dough, so all they'd have to do is 'form' their shapes and then slap on the grill.

                                          I like the sound of the corn and tomatoes in a raw salad featuring both. fresh lemon&lime + thyme viniagrett over all

                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                            tomatoes and corn are out as the "good stuff" won't be available yet.

                                            If you were going to do pizzas I assume you are thinking individual so would I need 6. Knowing that I live in an ancient farm house and it’s a pretty big trek from kitchen thru the garden to the grill area would you set up the stations in the kitchen and then have the group carries trays of the pizza to grill? Or would you set them up on a table outside? What about bugs? I would think they would then need to have to right back inside. My grill could probably fit 4 pizzas at one time so it would need to be done in stages and depending on toppings wouldn’t all cook at the same time. I don’t know- its feeling award as I would be manning the grill the whole time and the guest won’t all get there pizza at the same time. Help me out, am I over thinking? How would you make it work?

                                            1. re: foodieX2

                                              Yes. You might not have the set up for that. You DO need counter space outside. They cook quickly. I spoiled myself and have an outdoor kitchen and pizza oven :/

                                              You don't need to make small ones though, if you have a big grill. I like "half and half"pizza's and my friends get really creative and into sharing.

                                              1. re: sedimental

                                                color me jealous! I DREAM about having an outdoor kitchen. Our house is 260+ years old so there is always something that needs fixing and never enough leftover for the pipe dreams. It has hits farmhouse charm but I often dream of brand new with everything exactly where and how I want it...

                                                1. re: foodieX2

                                                  re: meal timing----everyone makes pizzas, but they are cut up and shared communally as they come off the grill. then you can vote on which ones were the best :)

                                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                                    Ooh, with a house that old you just have to serve traditional New England to your old friends. I agree on the lobster, whether it be a boil, grilled tails, lobster rolls or other. I'd also serve something else that says Colonial New England, like Johnny Cakes or a cranberry salad or something.

                                                2. re: foodieX2

                                                  no you're fine cutie.
                                                  sounds like it would be a chore and I'm hoping you are as relaxed as possible while planning the big day let alone the actual day. here at my house it'd work great but sounds like we are pretty far apart in our home designs.

                                            2. The mezze sounds lovely. That would be my pick. The seafood boil or mixed grill would thrill me as a visitor to the area, but you'd really have to find nice veg, and the messiness is a bit of a concern, depending. It does sound like most of your guests wouldn't be too crestfallen at the lack of lobster.

                                              Do you have a raclette grill? I keep thinking raclette, but maybe I'm just in that mood lately. I guess it could be considered more a cold weather thing, but you could do it indoors or outdoors. You could have everything prepared ahead. It's fun like fondue, but more unusual, lends itself to conversation (like you said, in case there's a silence), and people can customize their bites. Serve with a big salad and a light, refreshing dessert -- sorbet, fruit, some of your ginger ice cream with thin lemon cookies. I haven't tried this, but have been thinking about doing non-traditional raclettes, like Mexican or Italian, but perhaps the standard would be best here. Is six too many around a grill? I've only had four people. HAVE FUN!

                                              1. Hey foodieX2, since you mentioned mezze, here's a menu I made not too long ago that went over well:

                                                Mezze:
                                                -lemony hummus - cook canned chickpeas in their juice until super soft; 1 clove roasted garlic, juice of one lemon, zest of 1/2 lemon, tahini (2 Tbsp.?). Blend til smooth. Drizzle with good olive oil and dust w/ sumac before serving.
                                                -homemade pita bread - based on this no-knead dough http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2... - works best on a rack rather than baking stone
                                                -dukkah w/ spicy carrot spread - http://www.lottieanddoof.com/2012/03/...
                                                -Frizzle's Syrian eggplant w/ yogurt - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8413... - 50/50 Cabot Greek and Brown Cow cream top yogurt
                                                -mixed olives - kalamata and spicy green marinated - purchased

                                                Mains/Sides:
                                                -Greek-marinated grilled pork tenderloin - garlic, lemon juice, oregano, fresh rosemary, olive oil - or you could make some kind of kebab
                                                -Maria Speck's artichoke polenta tart -http://www.thewednesdaychef.com/the_w... - I thought this was just OK; you could make a vegetable tian
                                                -quinoa/couscous salad w/ cukes, grape tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro, dressed with Chow's roasted red pepper dressing - dressing here: http://www.chow.com/recipes/29671-spa...
                                                -grilled zucchini w/ olive oil and za'atar
                                                -Trader Joe's prepared Greek-style Gigantes beans - http://www.thekitchn.com/product-revi...

                                                Drinks:
                                                Alamos Torrontes, homemade cucumber soda, lemon-ginseng green tea - you could also do an Aperol Spritz or a cocktail with Lillet Blanc

                                                Dessert:
                                                Homemade banana ice cream with brandy-macerated figs folded in, topped with chopped pistachios - http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/345...

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                  Wowza! thats looks good. Looks like plenty could done in advance too. Thank you!!!

                                                2. You have gotten loads of good ideas here. I would just add another vote for do-ahead or participatory stuff that gives you plenty of time to relax and enjoy your company. I can hardly wait to hear what you end up with for your menu!! Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset will have their ultra-fabulous salad greens by then, by the way...

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                    And my CSA from Norwell farms should be in too. Woot, gotta love summer!

                                                  2. Some great ideas here. I'll just add a couple of things. It might be fun to do some kind of "retro" dish....something that was popular when you guys were in high school. You could update it a bit....but an appetizer that made everyone laugh and remember might be a good way to kick things off. With cocktails of course. I'm not much of a dessert person, but i love grilled fruit, usually brushed with balsamic, over gelato. Light and really good! Have fun and report back!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: perk

                                                      Love it! Would spray cheese and ritz crackers work, LOL. they would probably die laughing!

                                                      Being boarding school kids our snack foods of choice were the ones you could hang out your window to stay cold or be able to be "grilled" on the teflon bottom of your popcorn popper.

                                                    2. As an app - not being from new england - I would instantly think Muscles served up in a big bowl with plenty of bread for scooping up the sauce.

                                                      I do mine with hard cyder, basque cherizo, Saffron, Fennel.

                                                      Lobster sounds excellent - how bout cooking it up before and serving in on a white pizza? cooked on the Grill with Arugula etc.

                                                      - Tri-Tip on the Grill with Chimchurri?

                                                      I don't think there's a wrong answer here. prep and serve things in courses.

                                                      1. Don't make yourself crazy with dessert, if baking is not your sweet spot (pun intended). How about really good ice cream and all the fixings, including some home-made hot fudge sauce? Sitting around eating ice cream with old friends from high school sounds like so much fun!

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: susan1353

                                                          Would a sundae bar be too tacky? It is kind of high school.

                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                            I like that idea. Have some good homemade toppings (fudge, chopped or candied nuts, fresh fruit, whipped cream), and everyone will be impressed and enjoy the relaxed end to the evening. I think it's nice to serve with a homemade cookie :)

                                                        2. I like the Middle Eastern Mezze starters idea. Asparagus should still be "in", you could do a quiche or tart (I love this one http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... ) and I love participatory food - so maybe seafood or meats that could be put out on a large platter with shredded carrots, cabbage, etc and an Asian (or insert your favorite ethnicity here) sauce or sauces and bibb (boston hehe) lettuce leaves to wrapped around everything, so you talk, wrap, talk, wrap

                                                          1. the fact that lobster is an option tells me that you are adventurous in the kitchen, so I am going to skip straight to dessert(because that is how I roll). personally, I would go with one of the desert that always impresses it isn't half as difficult as people think it is (Syllabub, Tiramisu, Creme Brulee, Bananas Foster, etc) all of which are easily managed in the numbers you are considering.

                                                            1. Leg of lamb on the barbeque. Mmmm. Not showy, since it is just roasted meat. And could be done in the oven if necessary. Requires relatively little attention.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: MagicMarkR

                                                                I like boneless, butterflied, marinated leg of lamb done on the grill. Super easy, quick and delicious.

                                                              2. If you do all cold dishes - lobster rolls, chilled appetizers - it would be all made ahead of time allowing you to just bring things out as appropriate instead of having to cook. Shot glass appetizers are great for this kind of thing because they allow you to eat standing up and having a conversation. A few shrimp hanging out of a shot glass of cocktail sauce, or individual servings of gazpacho, vichyssoise, ranch or aioli with thinly cut celery/carrots/cucumber/zucchini stuffed down the sides, individual seven layer dip with corn chips, shelled pistachios, pretzel sticks and mustard - the variations are endless. Cleanup is a snap as well.

                                                                One can never have too many shot glasses.

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: CDouglas

                                                                  CDouglas, I think you're brilliant. love the shot glass appys&think individual 7 layer dip ramekins is sooo clever.
                                                                  but then I adore 7 layer dip :)
                                                                  you're right no one has enough shot glasses :)

                                                                  1. re: CDouglas

                                                                    Your shot glasses must be a lot larger than mine. ONE shrimp would be the max. No room for veg sticks or corn chips, etc. Mine, which are real shot glasses, hold max an ounce and a half.

                                                                    1. re: CDouglas

                                                                      believe it or not we collect shot glasses but only ones we find "tacky". I think we have over 400! Some of them would not leave my guests with the best impression of me.

                                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                                        Oh, no - I think various shotglasses with apps are a great idea! You can show your friends how you've "grown up".......or not. ;-)

                                                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                                                          just do us all a favor and let us know your decision...I'd like to know what you serve

                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                            I promise!

                                                                      2. Was there something that your school cafeteria specialized in that you could include, probably in a better version, for nostalgia's sake?

                                                                        1. How about a huge baked seafood casserole that you can set up the day before and refrigerate? You could use chunks of lobster along with chunks of halibut or cod, a couple of pounds of shrimp, and definitely some New Bedford scallops---you could include some pasta for ballast---and make a lot of sauce that is basically a white sauce with pretensions toward being Newburgh, maybe a little cheese in it and a dollop of ketchup just for color, a little chopped celery and green pepper, and don't forget the sherry. Bread crumbs and butter on top. You wouldn't have to fuss with anything as it would be in the oven baking during cocktails and all you'd need with it would be salad and bread, or, if you omit the pasta, you could have rice with it. I am a fiend for doing the food ahead when I entertain because life starts getting crazy the instant the first guest walks in the door and I don't want to have to be cooking at that moment or going forward.

                                                                          1. Its finally here! My friends arrive tomorrow afternoon. So excited. Here is the final menu in case you are curious…

                                                                            Stocked bar but the signature cocktail will be Boozy lemonade. I plan on making the lemonade with mint simple syrup and will add citron vodka and with a splash of St Germaine. I will have bottles of Rose and assorted whites on ice to serve with dinner

                                                                            Apps/nibbles:
                                                                            Marconi almonds
                                                                            Homemade hummus with pita chips and crudités
                                                                            Ina’s roasted shrimp cocktail
                                                                            Assorted cheese and crackers

                                                                            Main Course:
                                                                            Cups of clam chowder
                                                                            Lobsters steamed with new potatoes and linguica
                                                                            Lemon butter (natch!)
                                                                            Mixed green salad
                                                                            Corn bread
                                                                            do I need another veggie?)

                                                                            Dessert:
                                                                            Slices of watermelon
                                                                            3 kinds of homemade ice cream-ginger, peach and vanilla
                                                                            Some kind of thin almond cookie, usually get them at TJ’s or WF
                                                                            I’ll put out some Chambord as a drizzle for the ice cream for those who want

                                                                            Thoughts?

                                                                            ETA: and the weather is supposed be perfect so will be dining al fresco!

                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                            1. re: foodieX2

                                                                              Wow everything sounds delicious. I think there is too much seafood. If it were up to me I would skip the chowder. How about a beef crostini?

                                                                              1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                chowder is traditional at a lobster boil. Bet you are glad I am not adding mussels and clams to steamer, LOL!!

                                                                                1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                  I love seafood and would love an all seafood dinner but it is not everyone's thing. No worries if you know everyone likes it and that there are no allergies. Just giving you my two cents...

                                                                              2. re: foodieX2

                                                                                I think it sounds perfect, foodie! I think with the lobster/linguica, the salad is fine. You've got a LOT of food there, so no need for another veggie (it's not yet time for local corn; otherwise, I'd have suggested that.)

                                                                                And you are going to have Ab-Fab weather this weekend - enjoy!

                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  Thanks Linda! Summer is finally here!

                                                                                2. re: foodieX2

                                                                                  man that sounds sooo good... have a great evening.

                                                                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                    sounds great! I think the crudite would eliminate the need for another veg, although I might enjoy a ripe tomato slice (if you can get them yet) or maybe barely blanched green beans that I could dip into my lemon butter. : )

                                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                      Sounds perfect to me! How did it go?

                                                                                      1. re: nokitchen

                                                                                        Hi everyone-

                                                                                        Sorry so long with an update. The party went on to the wee hours and then there was the clean up and nasty thing called a job, LOL! I have been slammed at work.

                                                                                        Party was a huge success. Not only did we have lots laughs, with great stories and much handing around the cameras to look at photos, but the food went off with only a few minor hitches. One was I ran out of propane but a neighbor had a n extra tanks (phew!). The other was the last minute addition of a spouse who was an extremely picky eater. She was good egg about it but she couldn’t hide the fact that she barely ate anything.

                                                                                        We are planning another for next year.

                                                                                        Thanks for all the advice and encouragement!