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Very busy and need company meals

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What's with the ads?

#1 Moxie


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 10:03 AM

We have family coming in and I need to feed them. Give me your favorite, easy meals you would feed a guest (being honest--if it were just my family this would be a ramen and take-out weekend).

#2 Pink and Green Mom

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 10:09 AM

I just did this yesterday - my inlaws are in town.


Take 2 lbs of precooked (not raw) shrimp, and marinate with 1/2 c olive oil, 1/3 c grated parm cheese, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 4-6 cloves minced garlic, and a dash of red pepper flakes.  I just throw all that in a ziplock and leave it in the fridge to marinate all day.  Shake and rotate bag every few hours if you have the time.


At dinner time cook pasta and when there is about 5 minutes left heat up a pan to really hot and dump the contents of the ziplock in the pan until heated, and then pour over pasta.  Serve with Italian bread and a salad.

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#3 bolt.


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 10:21 AM

Do you have anything in the freezer? I've usually got the possibility of pulling out a meatloaf, spaghetti sauce, patties for burgers... That kind of thing.

Honestly, though, try to stick closely with "being yourself" --

- Get one meal of company-worthy takeout.
- Get something convenient and frozen, oven it and serve it.
- Grill some meat and serve it with cold veg and/or deli sides.
- Do a "salad bar" (with bread, cheese and meat options) for a cold meal.
- Warm some expensive pre-made soup in your crock pot. Serve it with a warm bread product from a can.

Sometimes the "company worthy" elements are all in the flourishes! Put ordinary things in your nicest serving bowls, and add visual elements. Or buy one fancy thing and serve it among ordinary things.

Examples: If you were going to put out sour cream, dump it into a decorative bowl, sprinkle some parsley on top, and set it in the middle of the table. If you are putting out cheese and pickles, just buy one nice cheese, and surround it with the rest of your everyday things. If you want ramen, put two slices of leftover meat and a strip of carrot on top of each bowl, and serve it with pride. Salad bars look decadent if you put out *all* your nicest toppings, and every dressing you own, all at the same time, in pretty dishes.

Edited by bolt., 02 June 2016 - 10:23 AM.

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#4 lanabug


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 10:37 AM

Roast, potatoes, and carrots in the crockpot. Throw a salad together and put some heat-n-serve rolls in the oven right before dinner.  Super easy, economical, and everyone likes good ol' comfort food!



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#5 wendy not in HI

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 10:45 AM

Pulled pork - pork butt or shoulder in the crockpot with some liquid smoke and maybe some spices and a bottle of rootbeer.  Roast all day.  Serve with bbq sauce, cole slaw, and kings hawaiian rolls.


Taco bar - ground beef with taco seasoning (prepare ahead and freeze), refried beans, tortillas, chips, all the toppings - lettuce, tomato, olives, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, cheese


Frozen lasagna and good french bread from Costco.  And while you are there, pick up a chicken or two, a big salad, and some rolls.  Serve the chicken that night and the lasagna the next night.



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#6 zoobie


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 10:57 AM

Big slab of salmon from Costco can be cooked in 15 minutes. PW's recipe is really easy. Fancy up some wild rice and steamed green beans.
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#7 umsami


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 10:59 AM

Well, being that it's summer, I'd bbq.  Can do chicken legs, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.   Watermelon and corn are in season, so I'd serve with that.  Or maybe strawberry shortcake for dessert.



My easy, emergency meal is to go to BJ's (like Costco or Sam's) and buy a Stouffer's Frozen Lasagna.  I then pick up a Caesar Salad kit at the same time.  Takes forever to cook the lasagne, I want to say two hours, but zero effort.

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#8 TechWife


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 11:15 AM

Baked ziti - I'd make it ahead and freeze or refrigerate it until needed.

Roasted chicken from the grocery store with fresh veggies to dress it up a bit

Grill - chicken, burgers, steaks, whatever

I tend to go for low maintainance foods when I have company. I want to spend my time visiting, not in the kitchen.

For breakfast I have a couple of different cereals to choose from and some fruit. If they are staying multiple days, I Maugham do a big breakfast one morning.
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#9 mommymonster


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 12:27 PM

For dinner, I'd grill chicken breasts or thighs (with lemon and herbs), and serve it with some nice bread, bagged salad, and a fruit plate (bought from the store). Another night, I'd do Chinese take-out (or whatever take-out most people can agree on). 


For lunch, I'd get deli cold cuts and cheese, bread, and salad. Rinse, repeat. 


Maybe one day I'd do pancakes, bacon and maybe an egg bake, or just scrap it and serve coffee and donuts. 


Good luck!

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#10 J-rap


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 12:35 PM

Put a bag of frozen boneless chicken breasts (I think there are 3-pound bags) into a slow cooker.  Mix in 1 bottle BBQ sauce, 1 cup Coke, 1 cleaned and sliced lemon, 1 sliced onion.  Cook all day.  Cut the chicken up into smaller pieces before serving over rice.  (They don't need to be bite-size pieces, but each breast half can be cut into 4 pieces, for example.

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#11 alisoncooks


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 12:46 PM

I'd pick up a couple of rotisserie chickens and bag salads, rolls from the deli section.  Throw some potatoes in the oven to bake.


Spaghetti and garlic bread and salad can be quick and easy.


Deli meat & cheese + some Hawaiian rolls + frozen corn on the cob + baked beans from a can + fruit salad.  I've done this before when my parents were in town and it was easy and good.  Set up a make-your-own sandwich bar.

Edited by alisoncooks, 02 June 2016 - 12:46 PM.

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#12 Cinder


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 01:00 PM

We'd grill out hamburgers and hotdogs one night. Another night would be take-out Chinese. Yet another night? Probably chili. Grilled chicken thighs (boneless, skinless) using this marinade. My family likes this with rice and steamed broccoli.

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#13 MeghanL


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 01:21 PM

Fajita chicken bake: Sprinkle fajita seasoning over 6 chicken breasts. Top with sliced red pepper, green pepper and onion. Pour about a tsp of olive oil over the veggies. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes (or until done). Serve with spanish rice from a box. You can even prepare it ahead of time and put in the oven when you are ready to serve. Super easy, and good!


Tortellini Salad: mix together prepared tortellini, 1 can black olives (sliced), genoa salami (diced), cherry tomatoes (halved), 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts and Italian salad dressing. This makes a great side salad or even a lunch. I make it when my sister and her kids visit for the week. It's so good!


Chille Roast with dried fruit: dump a jar of peppers in adobo sauce over a roast. Add dried cranberries, raisins and blueberries. Put about 1/2 a cup of water in a slow cooker and cook 6-8 hours. Remove the roast. Take the leftover sauce and simmer with some flour. Pour over roast. Looks really fancy, but really easy. Takes 5 minutes to prepare.



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#14 JanOH


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 02:23 PM

Just cooked while on vacation for for a week with 14 people in our extended family.  We do easy, easy, easy.  



Hamburgers/Hotdogs on the grill

Beef Roast in the crockpot with carrots and onions and oven-crisp potatoes in the oven (because I couldn't fit enough potatoes into the crock pots with the meat).


Chicken tenders marinated in Italian Dressing on the grill with herbed rice from my rice cooker.


Minimum time in the kitchen!  I had all the spaghetti sauce, the taco meat (seasoned) and the chicken (marinated) in my freezer and ready to go.


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#15 Forget-me-not


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Posted 02 June 2016 - 02:37 PM

We have a busy weekend with company too.  Sunday dinner is going to be Costco's pulled pork on rolls with some sides.  Super easy.

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