Monday, February 22, 2010

Hospitality, Review Preview and Giveaway!

Recently Jim has gotten Evan interested in politics. They've been to caucuses, attended breakfasts to meet candidates (Aidan went, too) and most recently Jim volunteered our home to host a fundraiser luncheon for someone running for congress! Needless to say this has gotten me a little stressed about the menu! It has also gotten me thinking about different types of hospitality styles and recipes. I know some women have big fancy houses where they can cook gourmet meals and serve fancy drinks from their home bars. That is not me. We have a modest home where I cook home style meals and serve drinks in glasses that do not match. :)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been invited to host a review on my blog. The review could not come at a better time! I will be testing these and these. And here is where you come in!

I need some new recipe ideas; ideas suitable to serve to a future congressman at a fundraiser luncheon.

Leave me a comment with your favorite fancy, yet simple recipe and I'll randomly draw a name and send you a fun kitchen gift!

Edited to note: I will be putting together a kitchen gift package for you; it will not be coming from the above mentioned store! I will select a commenter at random on March 1. Let's get cooking!


Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Hi, Tara! First, let me respond to your comment on my giveaway that I, too, think we would be good mommy friends if we lived closer together. That being said, my suggestions for your fund raiser are as follows:

Simple baked chicken breasts with seasoning (basically just coat with your favorite spices then bake in oven according to any cookbook basic cooking times).

Pioneer Woman's roasted garlic and potatoes
20 whole Small To Medium New Potatoes
5 whole Heads Of Garlic, Or More To Taste (up To 7 Heads)
⅓ cups (to 1/2 Cup) Olive Oil
⅓ cups (to 1/2 Cup) Dry White Wine
Kosher Salt To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
Preparation Instructions
Quarter new potatoes and set on a large rimmed baking sheet. Lop off the very top of each garlic head and arrange throughout the potatoes. Drizzle olive oil over the tops of the garlic and all over potatoes; do the same with the wine.
Generously season the potatoes and garlic with salt and pepper. Toss potatoes to coat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes until nice and golden

A favorite veggie on the side. Green beans or asparagus would go well with the above items.

A garden salad.

And a favorite, simple recipe for dessert.

Nutritious, delicious and simple. This means everyone has a happy tummy and you aren't frazzled by the time everyone arrives.

Tooz said...

Jenn had a good menu. I would use Italian dressing on the chicken breasts for the seasoning.

David's go-to recipe for entertaining is Zataran's dirty rice, with the addition of one pound of hamburger and one pound of onion per box of mix. He also adds a can of dark kidney beans, drained. We serve this to internationals, especially, and it doesn't seem to matter what country they're from, they enjoy dirty rice.

Mrs. Allroro said...

I know a fancy and easy recipe for Chicken Marsala. The name is fancy, eh? I got my recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. Do you want it?

Asparagus sounds fancy to me!

Another potato recipe I like is rosemary potatoes. Let me know if you want that one, too. It is very similar to Jenn's. Mine is a Rachel Ray recipe.

I also have some great cake recipes. I think round cakes, layered, look really fancy on a cake stand. Especially with coconut on top. I also think a regular chocolate cake cooked in a bundt pan and served on a cake stand looks super fancy. Especially with powdered sugar sifted over the top.

It might be nice to have two or three (easy) desserts to choose from. That would look really fancy, eh? Even brownies plated with some sort of garnish--a sprig of mint and or a dallop of whipped cream--cheap and easy and fancy looking. (And you don't need a cake stand--just pretty plastic or paper dessert plates.)

I think pretty plates, napkins, silverware, and cups can make any meal look fancy. Just rename your regular meals with fancy names!

This might be a super cheesy idea, but it might be fun. You be the judge. You could look up some favorite foods of past presidents of the same political party as your candidate and serve those, with the president's name!

Kirsten said...

Martha Stewart's shrimp jambalaya

It is awesome and you can quadruple the recipe - and you can leave out the shrimp if you want it to be cheaper - I have left out the shrimp or minimized the amount or substituted chicken. It's hearty and comes across "fancier" than it is :) You can leave it in the pot of transfer to a crockpot to keep hot.

For appetizers I love stuffed mushrooms - so easy to make with whatever you want.

suzannah @ so much shouting/laughter said...

if you do a luncheon/brunch style buffet, this baked french toast casserole is amazing.

it's really forgiving with the measurements, and there are a million comments sharing ways to adapt it.

i cube one loaf of bread and make it with less butter, less half and half, less sugar, and more cinnamon, and i sub walnuts for pecans and maple syrup for corn syrup and serve with homemade whipped cream. delish!

quiches are nice, inexpensive, and easy. you could do a few of those with different ingredients very simply, and serve with some fruit, cut veggies, breads, and salads.

Nick Haskin said...

Hey Tara,
Another idea is chicken curry. I have a VERY easy recipie. Can be served with pitas and a lime and onion rice.
Otherwise I have to agree with the idea of baked chicken breasts with italian dressing. That is the way most hotels make them, with baby red baked in cubed form with green beans or aspragus.
as far as dessert, you could do parfaits, ie: fruit, pudding, fruit, pudding in a cup.
are you preferring a buffet style or plated meal?
contact me if you need the chix curry recipie.

Sheila Simmons said...

Strawberry Pretzel Salad
2 2/3 c. crushed pretzels
3 tbsp. sugar
3/4 c. butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. Cool Whip
2 pkg. strawberry Jello (3 oz. each)
2 pkg. frozen strawberries (10 oz. each)
1 c. sugar

Cream 3 tablespoons sugar with butter. Add pretzels and press into a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool. Mix the cream cheese with 1 cup sugar. Add the Cool Whip and spread over the crust. Let stand until firm. dissolve Jello in 3 cups boiling water. Add frozen strawberries. Pour over cheese mixture after Jello is slightly thickened. Refrigerate until set. Cut into squares to serve.

Sheila Simmons said...

Crispy Chicken

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 (6 oz) can Durkee French fried onions, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking pan.

In a shallow bowl, combine the butter, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic salt and pepper.

Dip chicken in butter mixture, then coat with onions. Place in a greased baking pan. Top with any remaining onions; drizzle with any remaining butter.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until no longer pink.

Servings:4 Adjust amount as needed.
Adapted from source: Taste of Home