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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Holidays & Entertaining / cooking for 15... would like some help :)
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    cooking for 15... would like some help :)

    Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:25 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hello all!

    I am going to be hosting a lunch for about 15 people after a 2-3 hour event immediately prior.

    What's your suggestions for something I can serve just about instantly and be a part of the fun?

    The ideas I had are:
    +roasted turkey breasts (2-3 of them) in the oven cooking while we attend the event. Also in there could be mashed potatoes in another tray, and fresh green beans in another tray. And if I can bake those stuffing boxes (the instant kind) that would be great too. I could just put these items in the center of the table to get passed around/self serve. I would need to just open a 2 or 3 cans of cranberry sauce and heat up some gravy to serve.

    +Tortellini in pink sauce: the tortellini only take 5 minutes to cook from frozen, pink sauce takes about 5 minutes as well. while those cook, i could put a couple of frozen garlic breads in the oven to bake and prep a salad to go on the side. There is no meat though... suggestions? I would have to serve the tortellini, but that's pretty quick. the salad and garlic bread could be on the table for people to self-serve.

    +baked steak & potatoes: the hubby's favorite (and it is HIS day). probably would put a tray of green beans and have some sweet potatoes too. to serve I would have to slice it up and put it on plates individually.

    i'm sure there are other options, but for some reason I can't think of any. serving this group isn't too easy: can't do spicy, can't have fish (shrimp is okay), mostly picky eaters..... and i can't spend more than about 10 minutes serving up this meal.

    I have at least decided on:
    appetizers: I'll be having a little tray of pita bread, hummus & olives, a tray of cheese, sausage & crackers, and another tray with fruit (grapes, berries, pineapple)
    drinks: buying 2 gallons of sweet tea and some soda with ice
    main meal: asking people on the zaar for recommendations icon_wink.gif
    desserts: a pie, a cake, and maybe a tiramisu bowl.

    i see some pro's are on here cooking for 40 with relative ease... so if any of you are available (pro or not!) feel free to give me your suggestions/ideas.[/b] icon_wink.gif icon_wink.gif

    Last edited by WuhanNoodle on Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total
    Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:30 pm
    Forum Host
    Just checking on what equipment you will have available. An oven, what about microwave and crockpots? I imagine a refrigerator, of course. Some do-ahead things will make this much more manageable, but it would help to have an idea of what equipment is available.
    Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:27 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I have 2 or 3 crockpots (1.5 qt, 4 qt. & maybe another 2 qt?). I have this buffet server tray thing my mom bought me, so it'd happily hold two different items and keep them warm (bread pan size each little tray). I have this adorable item I don't know what it's called. It looks like a stainless steel frying pan without the handle and has an attachment that makes it float a foot above the table so you put a candle or something to keep it warm. I also have a 3 tray steaming machine with delay timer. I also have a kind of Chinese gas grill. Usually used to keep a giant pot or wok boiling for hotspot but I think also used when camping.

    In my kitchen I have 2 toaster ovens, regular oven and stove and microwave. I also have a bread machine and a kitchen aid stand mixer. And that ninja blender system thing b

    And no, my house is not big. It's a tiny apartment but people know I love the kitchen so I have all these gadgets stored around the house. No counter top space for all of them. HOWEVER I'm using a pool house to host the dinner so that could hold some things icon_smile.gif

    Thanks for taking the time to help and think about this. I really appreciate it!!!
    Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:46 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Well, didn't get any input but in case someone ends up in my shoes here's what I did:

    1. Buy 3 butterball turkey breasts (frozen ones) and do the recipe for southwestern turkey (and tiramisu). Prep but don't bake it until 3 hours prior to the event. It'll really soak in flavor of those spices. When I did bake, I set it to only 300 degrees to compensate for the extra time it'll have in the oven.
    2. Do a giant crockpot and a half worth of the make-ahead mashed potatoes (with sour cream & cream cheese):
    3. Prep a giant bowl of romaine and have Caesar dressing, croutons, and shredded Parmesan ready to be placed by its side.
    4. Have one of those frozen garlic French breads. When you pull out the turkey place that in to cook. Skip waiting for preheat but set timer.
    5. I prepped 3 or 4 lbs of fresh green beans with Parmesan and garlic & herb seasoning and butter. Throw that in to cook with French bread or sauté on stove really quick. I cooked it along side the turkey... That was okay, but it became so tender it was more like canned green beans instead of snap green beans.
    6. Opened a can of cranberry jelly onto a serving plate.

    For appetizers/extra snacks:
    1. Tossed a bag of samosas to bake with French bread. It says deep dry them. That's obviously unnecessary icon_wink.gif
    2. Tossed a bag of methi kachoris in there too.
    3. Prepped the night before two trays of cheeses & beef summer sausage. Wrapped 4 times in plastic wrap to make sure it was airtight. I hate dried out cheeses. Trays were elegant looking plastic ones purchased at dollar tree. Placed a napkin underneath. Worked PERFECTLY. Opened up some ritz crackers on the table next to the platters.
    4. Tossed 4 roghni naan (like pita bread) in oven with French bread. After hot, cut into pieces and served on a platter with store bought hummus in the center.
    5. Opened up a can of black olives, jar of Spanish green olives (manzanillas I think?), someone added pickles to that platter.

    Got tons of compliments icon_biggrin.gif I needed help moving items from kitchen to pool house but everyone chipped in and while they did that, items finished cooking in the oven. Haha. Will post a picture if anyone of the guests decides to share them with me...

    *Ended up serving 20. There was just enough of everything for everyone. But we did have extra appetizers. Which worked well as snacks for guests who stayed over night and for when we had friends over the following night.

    **Cheeses served:
    Smoked Gouda
    Marinated mozzarella balls
    Herbed & spiced havarti
    Chipotle Gouda
    Miss Fannie
    Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:29 am Groupie
    I used the following menu for my son's rehearsal dinner last year. Everything was made ahead and was easy to warm in a slow oven during the wedding rehearsal.

    Before dinner beverages/appetizer:
    Box Sangria mixed with 7-Up
    7-Up mixed with margarita mix
    Bagged pre-washed vegetables arranged on a tray with salad dressing

    Main Course:
    Two large pans of lasagne
    Marinated vegetable salad

    Paula Dean's Frozen Margarita Dessert (2 pans)
    Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:31 am Groupie
    I apologize hotdrynoodlelover that I didnt get here soon enough to help with ideas for main dishes. We had a family emergency and I was not able to get here often.

    Your menu sounds very good and happy to hear everyone enjoyed themselves. icon_smile.gif

    Please come back the next time you need help with your holiday gatherings or have any questions.

    Miss Fannie and duonyte thank you so much for the help! xoxox
    Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:45 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    It all worked out well and thank you all for taking time to give this some consideration: miss Fannie, were you going for a theme there? Might I add playing margaritaville while you eat? Haha. I have done lasagna, but we eat it a little too often. Was looking for something to serve that really made th day special and different than the norm. Anyway, it is a ton of work for a menu: peeling potatoes, prepping veggies & meat, chopping cheeses and laying them out, etc. but it was also a good experience. I went to a holiday party that served a similar menu and smiled. My zaar and publix recipes were so much better than the caterers!!
    Anyway I hope you all enjoyed the winter holidays icon_smile.gif until next time~
    Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:42 pm Groupie
    Thank you for checking in and letting us know how your holiday meal went. It is a lot of work to make a meal that big but when everyone is loving your cooking the reminder of work flies away. icon_smile.gif

    Have a great 2013!
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