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Dinner Help!!!

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hubby and I decided to have my parents and brother and sisters over for dinner one night sometime soon and I have NO IDEA what to make. Whatever it is has to feed 8 people. I was thinking maybe something simple, like hamburgers on the George Foreman grill or maybe something a little more complicated, like beef stroganauf or a beef stew. Anyone have any suggestions? I am still new to this cooking thing since I've only been married for 9 months. Thanks for any suggestions!
post #2 of 25
Burgers are always yummy, but hard to get 8 done at the same time unless you have a big grill.

You could always get a ham at Costco - precooked, you just put it in the oven for 1 hour, and they are so yummy, and make side dishes.

I love making stew, but to make it from scratch takes about 12 hours.

You could make a pot roast and veggies, or a chicken recipe. Or a whole big fish like salmon, or a few small trout in a foil bag with herbs and butter, and side dishes.

The internet has sooo much fun stuff to make on it! Here are some god sites:

post #3 of 25
Do you have a crock pot? I always love making meals out of it. The recipes are all easy to follow!
post #4 of 25
When I have a bunch of people over, I often make either spaghetti or lasagne. These are both easy to make from scratch and you can get them done ahead of time so you're not busy in the kitchen while everyone else is visiting.

Good luck!
post #5 of 25
Anything Italian is fairly easy and good. A nice salad and garlic bread all toasted and voila....a feast for everyone! ..Add a little wine and a store bought cake.......yummy yummy yummy

I say keep it simple so you are not stressing out in the kitchen and miss an enjoyable evening. Make anything ahead of time - will save your mental health!
post #6 of 25
Hi Sarah
What does your family enjoy??? I cook about 6 times a year for both mine and my husband's family
usually about 10-15 people

It also depends on how much money & time you have to spend on your dinner party.

Let me know and I can give you some ideas somethings look really complicated & impressive but are in fact very easy to make. You didn't mention if you enjoy cooking even though you are new at it...it gets easier with practice just like everything else!Mandy
post #7 of 25
I agree with Ali. If you want something easy for a 1st time dinner party ham is great! Get some pinapple to add and o'gratin potatoes - yum - I'm coming for dinner. You don't want anything that is going to require to much work so that you can socialize with your guests. The other option is a barbeque - steak marinated in sherry and President's Choice Memories of Kobe sauce - double yum! Baked potatoes would be great with that!

BTW I have great recipes for dessert if needed!


From "A cat's little book of instructions"

be adorable

stay out of car engines

stay out of open windows during thunderstorms

stay indoors on bonfire night!
post #8 of 25
I was going to suggest the same thing as Dawn - Spaghetti or Lasagne. Most everyone likes it and it's easy to feed a crowd. It's also real easy to make an impressive Italian meal.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas everyone! I think that I might go with spaghetti w/salad and garlic bread or the ham with potatos, a veggie, salad and rolls. I do have a slow cooker. I've only used it a few times though. I don't really have time to cook alot, but I do enjoy cooking, esp. when its something big. I think that I might get a cake from Costco or make some cookies or a pie.
post #10 of 25
I am a cooking addict. And I cook for my family often.
You got some good ideas here, all I can add is try to choose things that you can prep before hand so you can actually enjoy your company. A good example is if you are going to make mashed potatos, try cutting and peeling the night before and just keeping them submerged in water. Then all you have to do is cook them and mash. If you go the pasta route, you can make the sauce before hand and just reheat it to toss w/ the pasta.

Its all about time management when you are having a crowd.
post #11 of 25
OMG I can't believe I didn't say lasagna!

I made lasagne recently and it was soooo fun! You get to build it!
I have a good easy recipe if you need -

1 pkg. lasagna noodles (16 oz)
1 pd ground beef
1 onion (I might have left this out, I don't recall using onion)
1 tbl italian seasoning
4 cups Ricotta
1 cup parmesan, grated
2 1/2 c spaghetti sauce (I ended up using a while jar)
1 1/2 c mozzarella, shredded
2 eggs
extra parmesan for top

1. Boil noodles til al dente (firm but soft), drain, rinse with cold water, and lay out over cookie racks etc to dry. This covered my whole kitchen, it was hilarious! Preheat oven to 325.

2. Brown ground beef (with onion if you use one), with salt, pepper, and seasoning until no pink, drain, set aside.

3. Big bowl - muix ricotta, parmesan, 2 eggs, 2 cups spaghetti sauceand ground beef.

4. Put a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in casserole dish. Layer noodles, plus some opposite way, then a layer of cheese/meat mix, then sprinkle some mozzarella, repeat. On top, a layer of noodles, some more sauce, some mozzarella, and parmesan.

5. Bake for 50 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if top browns too much.
post #12 of 25
I'm actually making lasagna tonight but I found a recipe where you don't have to boil the noodles first.
post #13 of 25
The no boil noodles you mean? They aren't as good, in my opinion. They don't get as thick, and they make the lasagna watery. Not worth it, for me.
post #14 of 25
No, they are the regular lasagna noodles, you just don't boil them. I'm curious to see how it turns out.
post #15 of 25
Just wanted to say in my opinion the no boil noodles are great! I make lasagne often, and I come from an all Italian family. My lasagne rocks, and I use the no boil ones and nobody can tell.

My recipie is similar to the one just posted, except I also add some veggies and I have my own way of making the "mix" for the filling.

Anyways, good luck w/ your dinner! I am sure it'll be yummy!
post #16 of 25
You guys are making me hungry with all this lasagna! MMM! Everytime I come to this site, there is a topic of food. First potato chips, then poptarts, and now this??? Thats it! I am out of here(For the evening!) I am going home and cook something! Too bad I don't have the ingredients for making lasangs so I will have to buy the store brand! Or go to a italian restaurant!
post #17 of 25
I was going to suggest lasagna as well....but everybody beat me to it.

Sabra, I must have the same recipe as you do, I NEVER cook my noodles first, I just layer them on, and they cook in the sauce in the oven, and they come out tender every time!! Saves so much extra work!
post #18 of 25
That's weird, I wonder my recipe told me to cook them?? It's a conspiracy! Can one of you guys post a recipe you use, or PM it to me when you get time? The noodle cooking and drying was kinda entertaining, but time consuming and tiring!

Mmmmm.....I think I shall make another lasagna soon!
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yes! Please post the recipe for the no boil noodles. Anything that saves me time is great!
post #20 of 25
If you use Prince noodles, there is a good recipe right on the box. But here is my "family" recipe.

12 no boil noodles
1 container ricotta
1 pk. mozzarella cheese split in half
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb browned ground beef
1 jar of tomato sauce, plain is best
1 cup cooked veggies, chopped small ( any assortment, I use carrots celery and onion ) You can sautee them in a bit of olive oil till they are soft.

Mix ricotta, egg, mozarella, parmesan, and seasonings and set aside. Leave 1/2 pack of mozarella to top at the end. Mix ground beef w/ the sauteed veggies. Start building your lasagne, layering noodles, sauce, beef mixture, and then ricotta. Repeat till all ingrediets are used. Cover with remaining sauce, and left over mozarella. Cover, and bakd at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Mmmmm! Sounds delicious. Thanks Daniela!
post #22 of 25
You are welcome. Just to add, it reheats very well, just save a little extra sauce for the edges.
post #23 of 25
Hi Sarah,
What I recommend is a Chili con carne.You buy 1kg 1000 g. of ground beefroast it in a goodsized saucepan then you add 1-2 onions cut into small cubes add canned tomatoesand if you like some cloves of garlic,cut 2-3 peppers into nice pieces and in the end you add masses of kidney beans3-4 cans. heat it for some time. the temperature shouldn´t be too high.before serving it with cooked rice you add salt pepper chilipowder and a little cumin just as you like.It´s a nice meal and serves a lot of people and you can freeze the leftovers . We all like it- years ago I fed about30 peopleat a New Year´s party for my son.They all liked it and it wasn´t much work. Have fun and enjoy cooking the meal Cooking is always more fun when you have a good bottle of wine close.It isn´t that I´m a drunk but....
All the best from northern Germany Elisabeth Provos-Killing
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks Elizabeth! I include that as one of my options. I don't know how much of chili people my family is, but we'll see. It sounds so easy to make.
post #25 of 25
Here is my lasagna recipe....you just use regular lasagna noodles, but don't boil them first....just layer them on hard, right out of the box...

9 strips lasagna noodles
1 1/2 lb. hamburger
1 jar spaghetti sauce( I use Prego 3-cheese)
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 container ricotta cheese
2 C. shredded Mozerella cheese
2 C. shredded colby jack cheese
1/4 C. grated parmesan cheese

preheat oven to 350.
grease 9x13 pan

Brown hamburger
Add spagehetti sauce and diced tomatoes, simmer

Put small amount of sauce & meat mixture into bottom of casserole dish
Place 3 strips uncooked noodles on top
Layer on more sauce,ricotta cheese, and both kinds of shredded cheese
Repeat layers two more times (starting with the uncooked noodles)
Sprinkle parmeson on top

Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes
remove foil, and bake 30 more minutes.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving
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