My First Time to Host A Family Gathering
  Re: (...)
I'm hosting a July 4th party at my house and I'm nervous and want to impress the in-laws. I still have no idea what to serve. I want to practice everything before the big day.

I feel comfortable making:

*chicken skewers (actually using the asian lime spare rib recipe, just switching out the meat and no cooking in oven)

*peppercorn burgers (though I might try the Schlow burger this week to see if it's better)

*cantaloupe cucumber salad (the one with mint, onions, fruit)

What else would you recommend serving from CaH recipes? I feel confident every time I cook from these mags that the food is going to be great, but I only have a few back issues and just started getting the mag this year so I don't have a lot to choose from.

Any advice on other stuff to serve as side dishes? Thanks
  Re: My First Time to Host A Family Gathering by Maude (I'm hosting a July 4...)
Go to and look. The have selected recipes from many back issues
"He who sups with the devil should have a. long spoon".
  Re: Re: My First Time to Host A Family Gathering by Old Bay (Go to [url=http://ww...)
The Pulled Pork is always my 4th favorite! I fix it every year along with the Root Beer BBQ sauce! It is a big hit, and serves a lot of people! Give it a try!
Loving every moment of my life!!
  Re: My First Time to Host A Family Gathering by Maude (I'm hosting a July 4...)
First of all Maude, may I make a few suggestions to make your first family gathering a lot easier on yourself and so you can also enjoy this event?

Whatever dishes you decide to make, make a list of things you can do two days before, one day before and the morning of.

Go thru the recipes you're making and see what you can prep early. Most sauces/dressings (BBQ or salad) can be made two days ahead. Lots of the chopping can be done the day before - onions, garlic, bell peppers, chile peppers, cabbage, etc. - and just put each in individual baggies. (Put all the baggies belonging to one recipe in a larger baggie, then you won't have to do a lot of searching.)And most of your dishes will be just a matter of combining ingredients. Hamburgers - form them ahead and pkg. Skewers - cube the poultry or meat the day before and pkg. Cantaloupe - wash & clean the melon but don't cut it up till you're ready to use, just put in big plastic bag.

The day before, get out all the serving dishes/platters that will be needed for each dish you're serving, along with serving utensils. Put them aside and out of your way.

An hour before your guests arrive - STOP whatever you're doing and take a nice bath or shower, take a deep breath and if you are in the mood, have a glass of wine or beer or just a nice soft drink with your feet up. then go to it!!

I have a wonderful summer Ice Cream Cake recipe I'll post if you haven't already chosen what you will be serving. But, whatever you serve, I'd make sure to have lots of ice cold watermelon also!!!

Everyone from Great-grandmas to toddlers love this! AND, you can make a week ahead and freeze!!


6 ozs Chocolate chips
1/3 c peanut butter
3 c Rice Krispies®
1/2 gal vanilla frozen yogurt -- (or ice cream)

Melt choc. chips & p.butter together in lg. pan or bowl; add cereal.
Spread on cookie sheet & cool; break up cereal mix. into small pieces.
Soften Ice cream; fold in all but 1/2 cup of cereal mixture & spread in
springform pan.
Use remaining 1/2 cup cereal mix. to make decorative topping, then

Garnish w/whipped cream & strawberries, if desired.

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with ideas...Be sure to have fun with this!!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: My First Time to Host A Family Gathering by cjs (First of all Maude, ...)
How many people are you expecting Maude? I have always loved family parties, and have certainly done my share in the past. But our family is shrinking, as the years go by. Make the most of it. What Jean has said is 1000% right. As it would be. You must enjoy yourself too.

I find lists incredibly necessary. If I am having a sit down, or a buffet, I set and cover the table(s) two days before. That can be very helpful. I do hope you have a wonderuful time.
  Re: Re: My First Time to Host A Family Gathering by vannin (How many people are ...)
One thing we always have is spiced beetroot. Our family has always been big on beetroot. Maybe time for Billys recipe. Anything on a stick is great. I am normally expected to do stuffed potatoes, but sometimes make a potato salad at the last moment so it is still hot.
  Re: Re: My First Time to Host A Family Gathering by cjs (First of all Maude, ...)
This suggestion from Jean sounds incredibly awesome!!!

I would also serve some more finger desserts---such as thumbprint cookies, chocolate cherry cookies, pecan tartlets----always great for the ones that are filled up--and snacks later on during the day. With a little sorbet or ice cream--YUMMM!! You, also, will not have to fret about the choice that they all have to make---they will do it all on their own!!

If you need recipes---I will be happy to post!! These can be done way ahead of time---very easy---and appreciated by everyone!!

HAVE FUN---chill out--I know it can be extremely stressful to please all concerned---just be yourself, nothing more needed!!! (You're already a member of the family--no sweat!!)

AND welcome to your new family--Maude---!!!
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy

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