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Old 01-09-2013, 06:23 PM   #11
Newton
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Re: "fancy" dinner party menu suggestions?

Around here fancy Mac & cheese is big so with bacon or different cheeses
Another look fancy thing is fish in parchment paper, you take a square of parchment paper, put down some veggies, add fish, add seasoning and some lemon and wine wrap upend bake. You can make ahead and put in oven right before serving

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:28 PM   #12
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I would go with something from the pioneer woman. A lot of her food is comfort food and looks so pretty. You could do a fancy rib roast, her twice baked potatoes a salad and rosemary bread. For dessert her flat apple pie looks amazing and is incredibly easy.

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:54 PM   #13
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My dad does some really "fancy" pastas for big parties. For New Year's Eve, he made a Cajun pasta with sausage, chicken and shrimp (ditch the shrimp and possibly the chicken for budget, but the andouille is really good), and a smoked salmon pasta with cream for about 30 people (and had leftovers that lasted our family and his family for dinner for a full week). Add some bread and a nice salad, and you are ready to go. It wasn't particularly expensive, but it tasted amazing. The smoked salmon pasta, he made about an hour ahead and just kept it warm (he used a warming drawer, but the oven on low would work too). The Cajun pasta he made right before serving because of the shrimp, but if you leave out the shrimp, you could make that ahead pretty easily too.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:03 AM   #14
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Re: "fancy" dinner party menu suggestions?

I recommend keeping the menu simple and take extra time with the presentation. I would make:

Soup- Black Bean and Salsa soup Similar to: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/black-bean-and-salsa-soup/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=black%20b ean%20salsa%20soup&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7= Home%20Page used dried black beans and double the recipe, garnish with sour cream and green spices

Salad- mixed greens with (homemade?) dressing in a fancy bottle

Main- pasta, your favorite recipe

Dessert- cinnamon ice cream
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:06 AM   #15
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Re: "fancy" dinner party menu suggestions?

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Originally Posted by tuxgirl View Post
My dad does some really "fancy" pastas for big parties. For New Year's Eve, he made a Cajun pasta with sausage, chicken and shrimp (ditch the shrimp and possibly the chicken for budget, but the andouille is really good), and a smoked salmon pasta with cream for about 30 people (and had leftovers that lasted our family and his family for dinner for a full week). Add some bread and a nice salad, and you are ready to go. It wasn't particularly expensive, but it tasted amazing. The smoked salmon pasta, he made about an hour ahead and just kept it warm (he used a warming drawer, but the oven on low would work too). The Cajun pasta he made right before serving because of the shrimp, but if you leave out the shrimp, you could make that ahead pretty easily too.
These sound delicious. Do you have the recipes?
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:54 AM   #16
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Re: "fancy" dinner party menu suggestions?

What about something like soup, salad, and breadsticks. There was an awesome Olive Garden Copy Cat for Zuppa Tuscona running around here a while ago and it tastes super special. Pair it with a nice salad and some warm homemade breadsticks with dipping sauces and YUM. It would feel very special to me at least. Of course presentation on the table makes a difference too.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:05 AM   #17
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Re: "fancy" dinner party menu suggestions?

I've done those as well, but our church does it a little differently. The host makes the main dish and drinks and the other 3 couples bring the rest (salad & bread, vegetable, and dessert). And yes normally we've been paired up with those who are above our economic status or they are living way above theirs. I've kept the meals simple and so have the most of the others, if we know in advance what the theme is we bring along something that goes really well with it (Italian cream cake, Healthified Mexican bean salad etc.) Ok so the Italian cream cake (3 layers lots of nuts) is a hit each time I take it and I got the recipe off of the internet.

I'd say keep it simple each household is different and if supposed to be a child free evening pay your babysitter extra to take the kids to McD for a while or have them sleep over at Gmas.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:37 AM   #18
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Re: "fancy" dinner party menu suggestions?

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These sound delicious. Do you have the recipes?
I second that request!
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:05 AM   #19
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Re: "fancy" dinner party menu suggestions?

I do a lot of hosting. I keep it simple because that is what I have gotten the most raves from. You can keep it simple and still have great flavors. When I ask people what they want, most ask for baked spaghetti and bbq chicken. I do the bbq chicken with boneless chicken breasts in the crockpot and dump in a bottle of bbq sauce. Then I just shred with a couple of forks and serve on buns. I always do home made coleslaw and corn on the cob with the bbq chicken. I always do a veggie and fruit tray too for munching on when people first arrive.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:19 PM   #20
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Re: "fancy" dinner party menu suggestions?

Quiches are quite inexpensive and fancy feeling- add in things like home baked pies, breads, biscuits, popovers, tarts or the like and people get pretty happy. Baked potato soup with toppings like scallions cheese and bacon is pretty cheap to fix- with a loaf of hot homemade bread or rolls and a nice salad, you would have a meal many would like. Fancy desserts make people happy too and usually just involve effort and time.
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