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I decided to post early this week for several reasons:

1-Monday I have to tend to a sick puppy.  My car needs servicing.

2-I have a couple of articles that have to get written before the next round of noise, dust and mess takes place.

3-Cuz I feel like it.

This week, besides what appears to be the “usual” around here, we‘re expecting our daughter and family by a late dinner time on Thursday.  Given that, I thought it would be a great time to talk about dishes that are easily expanded from 2 and grow to about 6-8 people in a flash.

First-find out if your growing menu has any allergies or intense dislikes to contend with-this will “narrow” the field.

Example:  I’ve been informed that while grandson #2 doesn’t care a wick if his food is served together or separately -grandson #1 is in a phase where nothing can touch each other.

My son and I have dairy allergies and our daughter-in-law doesn’t like tomatoes in her salad.

This is actually a very easy meal to provide!

We‘re not sure if our son and daughter-in-law will join us for Thursday’s late supper (around 7:30), so bearing that in mind-I’m just making enough for 8 to be sure.

For our vegetable-buying a bag of triple-washed spinach as the base and putting together a “salad bar” carousel, which will include things like:

garbanzo beans, olives, sliced tomatoes, artichoke hearts, shredded carrots and some chopped red onions.

Everyone can make their own plate.  I’ll serve some warm garlic bread throughout the meal since for the main course, I’ll make:

Whole wheat wagon wheels (boys love these and everyone else will enjoy the whimsey).

To top the pasta, I’ll make a ground turkey meat sauce.  I’ll serve the grandkids in their sectioned off plates, which will avoid the nasty business of food touching one another!

Dessert?  Going with a tried and true favorite of everyone-Too Good To Wait For Breakfast Breakfast Cookies and some sorbet.

Other good choices?  If you don’t have “touching” issues-make a casserole, chili (set up a topping bar), tacos-again with a topping bar, self-made burritos or fajitas.  

As you can see-many of the dishes are those that have your guests getting involved with the plating!  

By Friday-I may be “out of service” due to grandchildren, so share your easily expanded favorites and I’ll share them with everyone either Friday or a time hovering nearby.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Aug 8, 2010
    • When I have the potential of a big crowd coming over, one thing I like to do is put a large roast in the oven. I’m famous (at least in my own mind) for my chuck roast. I cook it in the oven for a very long time, in it’s own juices with some light seasonings, serve it shredded in a chafing dish with sauces along the side - barbeque sauce, dijon mustard, sweet chili sauce. I include a basket of rolls in case anyone wants a sandwich or they can just eat the meat by itself. Then I put out a large green salad with assorted dressings. If anyone doesn’t like the things in the salad they can pick them out themselves, thank you very much. I’ll also make a tray of roasted red potatoes and usually some type of fruit cobbler or a trifle for dessert. And I know how finicky little ones can be so I usually make a pasta of some type so Jazelle has something she likes at the table. That’s going to change at some point, though. She’ll have to eat what everyone else is eating or tough luck.estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mindy Wilson wrote Aug 8, 2010
    • Great ideas ladies!!  

      Mindy Wilson



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Aug 8, 2010
    • Cynthia-sounds delish to me!  Roast is a great thing to serve for a crowd and the house always smells wonderful too



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Aug 8, 2010
    • I do like Cynthia, put a roast in the oven or crock pot.

      If it’s unexpected guests that I need to make a meal stretch for, I always do baking powder biscuits because they are quick and it’s easy to make some sort of gravy to go with them and serve as a main dish and just do some veggies for a side.  Or the biscuits will add a lot of quick “filler” when served as a bread.

      If it’s all the kids here, they have to eat whatever I fix.  Eat it or go hungry!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Nerissa wrote Aug 8, 2010
    • In the hot summer time, it is salad,  Spinach salad, vegetable lettuce tomato,options include  tuna, salmon, chicken, bean sprouts, cucumbers, red, organe or yellow peppers, red onions,  sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, assorted  dressings, crackers and breads,  everyone can make their own creation. I also serve a variety of fruit; peaches, strawberries, watermellon,  creme frais or cool whip, if someone is inclined to make a fruit salad or cleanse their palate. It’s quick, easy and mnost importantly healthy. Everyone always seems to enjoy the variey. In the winter time soups on. I serve atleast three different types of soup which people tend to mix vegetable, shrimp and corn or clam chowder and chicken noodle with corn bread, rolls and crackers with a green salad on the side. Nutricious, delicious and hearty for those cold winter evenings. happy



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