I need ideas!
  Re: (...)
I have a dinner coming up for one of Maggie's former teachers and her husband. The purpose of this dinner is to, of course, see them both. BUT I need to be as hands-free as possible to spend some time consulting regarding my business with her teacher.

I plan on having some appetizers: perhaps a bruschetta bar, I loved that the last time I did it. But what I would really love to do is a dip, shrimp toast and something else like a tepenade.

Then what? I need a low maintenance dinner plan.

Any ideas?

If they tell me meat is okay then I need some killer sides for a prime rib. Anyone have an awesome au gratin potatoes? or other killer potato dish that is easy. Caesar salad. But if they say NO meat, I am at a loss.

Oh and if I can do beef then I want a Whiskey Sour for the drink of the night.

Any thoughts are appreciated.
"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
  Re: I need ideas! by luvnit (I have a dinner comi...)
When is this dinner? I'll need to think about this.
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: I need ideas! by Gourmet_Mom (When is this dinner?...)
I haven't heard back from them yet, but it could be as early as January 22.
"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
  Re: Re: I need ideas! by luvnit (I haven't heard back...)
Unless you know, for certain, that none of the guests have food allergies and that all of the guests like shrimp OR you are certain to provide an alternative, I would steer clear of the shrimp toast.

Likewise, tapenade has a pretty intense flavour and even people who love olive oil may not always like THAT much olive flavour all at once. Furthermore, some people just flat-out hate capers. Plus, with the anchovies, there's still the seafood allergies/dislikes to consider.

That isn't to say, absolutely, that you shouldn't serve those items - only that you need to know your guests' tastes and medical conditions well before serving such things or such things should be clearly identified - and alternatives provided - to avoid starving out and/or causing medical problems for the guests.

Hummus would probably be a safer bet than tapenade. With another dip, some pita bread, a couple different kinds of crackers and some crudités, the guests could mix and match as they wish.
If blueberry muffins have blueberries in them, what do vegan muffins have?
  Re: Re: I need ideas! by labradors (Unless you know, for...)
Tapenades are really popular here with our clients. He does a sundried tomato one that is fabulous. The fig/olive one he does can be a bit strong, a little goes a lonng way, but is great on goat cheese crosatini.
Practice safe lunch. Use a condiment.
  Re: Re: I need ideas! by Lorraine (Tapenades are really...)
I'm not much help for a few days (see 'what's for dinner' for reason), but I have to disagee with Labs on the shrimp/tapenade ideas. As long as you have the bruschetta 'bar,' there are plenty of alternatives for non-shrimp eaters. And, the tapenade, everyone should try it once and it's amazing how many folks have not.

All this brain can think of right now is a pilaf to go with your prime rib (if chosen) - rice, quinoa, barley, orzo.... Good luck.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: I need ideas! by cjs (I'm not much help fo...)
I have an awesome potato gratin recipe that I can send you if you PM me your e-mail address. It's from the CI Best Make Ahead book. Made the entire menu for the holidays twice and it is wonderful!
  Re: Re: I need ideas! by HomeCulinarian (I have an awesome po...)
Everyone's ideas sound wonderful to me. I love the idea of the bruschetta/tapenade bar. If you need a meatless choice, you could consider eggplant lasagna. My family loves it!

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Re: I need ideas! by Mare749 (Everyone's ideas sou...)
To take Maryann's idea one step further...you could always do the eight layer lasagna or your favorite version and then your guests would have a choice. It's a great do ahead. And if you REALLY wanted to wow them and don't have seafood allergies, you could add or sub a seafood lasagna. Sharon's got a killer recipe I've always meant to try.
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: I need ideas! by Gourmet_Mom (To take Maryann's id...)
Creamed corn is always a good side for us with prime rib. Who doesn't like corn? And cream? LOL.

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