HELP for Dinnerparty!!!

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Satine Posts: 790
Ok girls, Please come to my rescue!! :o0 A really good friend of mine is coming to stay with me in less than three weeks time with her boyfriend for a night. I haven't seen her in nearly a year, as she lives abroad, so really really looking forward to it. Thing is, I have said that I will cook a really nice dinner, as when she was living here I was always around at her place for dinner, and she is a fab cook, and a great host. One problem, Im not a great cook!! :o0 What have I gotten myself into!!! :o0 Usually when friends call round, I bang on a pizza and open a bottle of wine. No effort whatsoever!!! So Im looking for ideas for starters, mains and desserts, that won't be too difficult, but will give a wow factor, well a wow factor for me cooking it anyway!!! hahaha. I had a nightmare the other night, that everything went wrong, and i nearly woke up in sweats!!! :o0 God if she heard me now, she's p*ss herself laughing. Also any other ideas for a great, different dinner party? I want to SHOCK her. :o0 Thanks girls, any help would be great!!!! :thnk
Babylou Posts: 724
I'd do a lasagne or a casserole of something you can stick in the oven and forget about. For starter and dessert something you can prepare the day before, or head to marks and spencers and claim them as your own :o0
aylala Posts: 3673
First of all relax and take a deep breath. Then check out and search the come dine with me recipe's and I know you should find something there
Bananna Posts: 42
Cheese fondue - not much work and impressive enough without being pretentious - you will need a fondue set though but I think you can pick them up cheap enough. Just the right amount of boozy so everyone is warm and happy. Wouldn't bother with starters - just put dips and nibbles like olives, crisps, carrot sticks etc around the table. Something lightish for desert - fruit/ pavlova/ strong coffee??? If you google cheese fondue you'll get loads of recipes or I can send you one I used. Otherwise something like a casserole or lasagne that you can keep ready in the oven. Or a taco evening where everyone can help themselves to mexican (a simple mince meat or bean or both mix), salsa, guacamole, sourcream, cheese and lettuce - tasty! You might have sensed I like meals where everyone does a bit of the work!:)
Muriel09 Posts: 361
Do something handy enough that you can prepare in advance.A few handy starters are: 1)Prawn cocktail served in a cosmopolitan glass with the prawns around the rim-this looks cool and you can make it before she arrives and everyone loves it,tacky but tasty *) 2)Buy some Superquinn pate and serve with triangles of toast and a lil bit of salad 3)Mussels with garlic,parsley white wine and olive oil served with crusty bread 4)Make your own bruschetta and serve on a bed of rocket salad 5)Potobello mushroom topped with a slice of tomato,goats cheese or fresh mozzarella and drizzle with pesto and bake in the oven,really handy as you can make this early then just throw in the oven later. Main courses: 1)A really handy fishpie recipe got off my mam last week-get a casserole dish and butter it,place whatever fish you want on the bottom-I just put skinned pieces of haddock in,brush the fish with dijon mustard,put prawns on top add a few frozen peas and pour small carton of cream over it then top with mashed potatoes and put in the oven for about 40 mins it's GORGEOUS and a one-pot dish. 2)Make a nice lasagne and serve with salad and crusty bread 3)Monkfish wrapped in parma ham and scallion mash 4)Roast beef with potato gratin and a greenbeans. 5)Whole seabass baked with tomatoes,garlic ,capers and bayleaves and serve with buttery,parsleyed new potatoes. Desserts: 1)Strawberries and cream 2)Dip strawberries in dark choc that morning and serve them as dessert 3)Buy something,love Superquinns choc fudge cake and serve with cream(you'd think I worked for superquinn!!)
Satine Posts: 790
Ok girls, some fab ideas there!! Thanks a million!! I know i need to relax, its getting ridiculous like!!! :o0 i like the idea of lasagne or casserole, banging it in the oven and having more time for wine!! haha. Some other fab ideas there too. Must read over them again now, a lot to take in for such a novice, but ill get there hopefully!! Brushetta, mussels, prawn cocktail, cheese fondu, all sound great, and right up her street id say. She's well into her italian food, loves anti pasti (sp?, which i hate by the way), but lots of great ideas there girls!!! :thnk a lot!!
Mrs Summer Posts: 5040
I like to think im a fairly decent cook, as I just love trying new things out, heres some really simple things that you could do. Main: I make a fab meatloaf with creamy mash and cauliflower cheese, all recipes on Starter: vol au vont, buy the cases in frozen part in supermarket, get chicken breasts, onion and mushrooms fry them then add a tin of campbells chicken soup, then add all to cooked vol au vont cases,really fab dessert buy meringue in supermarket, strawberries and fresh cream, whip the cream, smash the meringue tiny pieces and slice the strawberries finely layer them all in dessert glasses, VERY tasty
candypants Posts: 8575
Im useless at cooking, id burn water :o0 But i do love the sound of mrs summers idea, sounds fairly straight forward with great results, yummy! :o)ll
Satine Posts: 790
Thanks Mrs Summer, Actually I have to admit, back in the day when I was a lurker on this site, I came across a "what to do for dinner" thread, and I think it was you that posted about chicken vol au vonts, which made me try them, and they turned out well!! For me anyway!! :o0 So if that was you that posted that before, the hubbie has a big thank you, haha, he was getting sick of the same oul same oul every night!! So that COULD be an option!! I could cook them on the hob, and have dinner in the oven, its an option anyway!!! :thnk
Satine Posts: 790
Haha, just laughing at myself here. I came into the living room to check the replies on this thread, went back out to the kitchen to check the dinner, and Im after burning the peas. WHO BURNS PEAS!!! says a lot for my cooking skills!!! :o0