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Old 08-24-2009, 09:52 AM   #1
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Need something light

I hope someone can give me a hand with this. I have people coming over for dinner on Wednesday. The menu includes braised lamb shanks, couscous and corn bread. I am making a cake for dessert. ( one layer orange yogurt )

What should I serve with drinks before dinner? I think it should be something light, not too filling, and easy to make.

Will appreciate any suggestions.

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Old 08-24-2009, 09:56 AM   #2
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How about a veggie tray with some dip? I don't see any veggies on the menu for dinner. Some celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, aparagus, tomatoes etc. They can be prepped the day before and just set out for people to much on.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:18 AM   #3
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My guests have liked a diced calamata olive/Mediterranean salad served on radicchio leaves (used like a cracker). It would compliment your lamb.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:27 AM   #4
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Make a veggie pizza appy. You use the croissant dough by Pillsbury, bake that on a pizza pan. Then smear it with a cream cheese/ranch dip mixture, add all kinds of fresh chopped veggies and serve in little wedges. Fresh, pretty and fast.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:29 AM   #5
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OOOOOO! Just had another idea for you. Cut grape tomatoes in half, smear a small blob of guacamole on each half and top with a piece of bacon. To die for delicious. And light too.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:40 AM   #6
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Since you have two starches in the main course, I second the idea of veggies or fruit. A nice salad or crudites would be great. Maybe with hummus or a bean dip?
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:53 AM   #7
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i would recommend hummous with pita bread wedges or dried pita chips or crackers,keeping in line with the theme of the dinner.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:56 AM   #8
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Having recently seen the moved Julie and Julia, and considering that tomatoes and basil are at their peak this time of year, I would opt for bruschetta:

Bruschetta alla Julie and Julia The Hungry Novelist

Also, I'd reconsider the cornbread -- to me it just doesn't go with couscous, and it gives you an awful lot of very filling carbs. I'd substitute a green veggie, such as asparagus or broccoli or broccolini.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:02 AM   #9
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Just couscous & cornbread? I agree that you need some kind of vegetable or vegetables in your menu. Since your menu (apart from the cornbread (?)) appears Mediterranean, I agree with the bruschetta as an appetizer, but you also might think about making some green beans or perhaps some broiled tomato halves. Either selection tossed or topped with some seasoned dry breadcrumbs, chopped Kalamata olives & feta cheese. Or maybe just a large Greek Salad (romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, red onions, feta cheese, chopped fresh dill, etc.)?

(Just personal preference here, but I'd also rethink the cornbread. If I were you & doing this menu I'd opt for warmed pita or other flatbread.)
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Having recently seen the moved Julie and Julia, and considering that tomatoes and basil are at their peak this time of year, I would opt for bruschetta:

Bruschetta alla Julie and Julia The Hungry Novelist

Also, I'd reconsider the cornbread -- to me it just doesn't go with couscous, and it gives you an awful lot of very filling carbs. I'd substitute a green veggie, such as asparagus or broccoli or broccolini.
Doug, I agree with you about the cornbread. And when I saw the menu, I immediately wondered about lamb shanks, or braised anything at this hot and muggy time of year in so much of the US. I realize they are on some restaurant menus year around, but they surely don't fit the season for me.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:27 AM   #11
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Prosciutto wrapped melon......

Have Fun!
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:26 PM   #12
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Doug, I agree with you about the cornbread. And when I saw the menu, I immediately wondered about lamb shanks, or braised anything at this hot and muggy time of year in so much of the US. I realize they are on some restaurant menus year around, but they surely don't fit the season for me.
Not a problem here -- it's one advantage of living by the beach in SoCal where the temperatures and humidity are in the comfortable range pretty much year round.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:02 PM   #13
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...one advantage of living by the beach in SoCal where the temperatures and humidity are in the comfortable range pretty much year round.
Excuse me!!! The coast highway from Santa Monica to Ventura was my dating ground during high school, and begining at sundown you had better have a sweater or jacket... or both! That on-shore breeze can get cool or even cold in a hurry! And that's the reason to go down there in the first place, so you have to snuggle to keep warm!
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:15 PM   #14
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i would recommend hummous with pita bread wedges or dried pita chips or crackers,keeping in line with the theme of the dinner.

This is where I was heading too but with the addition of olives or grape tomatos to accompany.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:44 PM   #15
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Excuse me!!! The coast highway from Santa Monica to Ventura was my dating ground during high school, and begining at sundown you had better have a sweater or jacket... or both! That on-shore breeze can get cool or even cold in a hurry! And that's the reason to go down there in the first place, so you have to snuggle to keep warm!
...and eat lamb shanks in August!
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Excuse me!!! The coast highway from Santa Monica to Ventura was my dating ground during high school, and begining at sundown you had better have a sweater or jacket... or both! That on-shore breeze can get cool or even cold in a hurry! And that's the reason to go down there in the first place, so you have to snuggle to keep warm!
hmmmm having spent the month of August in LA some years ago, with the temperature averaging around 103 degrees F. I wouldn't think of lamb shanks. I don't know any chefs who think that is summer food. and I wonder why Americans seem to want to turn all the seasons into one? Asparagus in January and Lamb Shanks in August? It doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:58 PM   #17
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hmmmm having spent the month of August in LA some years ago, with the temperature averaging around 103 degrees F. I wouldn't think of lamb shanks. I don't know any chefs who think that is summer food. and I wonder why Americans seem to want to turn all the seasons into one? Asparagus in January and Lamb Shanks in August? It doesn't make sense to me.
Depends on where you are. Most of SoCal is a desert once you get a few miles inland, often unbearably hot in the summer, but the coast is wonderful year round. As for seasons, I grew up pretty much without them, and I hate cold weather.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:09 PM   #18
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You are right about the corn bread, I will eliminate that. I had thought of hummus and will go with that as an appetizer., I think. As for serving the lamb shanks, I don't believe I asked about whether it is appropriate for this time of year. We do have a/c .

Appreciate the suggestions, though.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:08 PM   #19
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We do have a/c .
I had to LOL when I saw this because I thought the same thing. How can you have internet and not be able to afford or have a/c?
He** I even have chili in the summer! You could probably see your breath in the living room and hang meat in my bathroom!
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:17 PM   #20
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I'm chuckling a bit too. Mostly because I'm one of those folks who just cooks and eats what she feels like at the moment. Chili in summer? Why not? Antipasto platter in midwinter? MMMMMMMM!!!

I'm just grateful for the variety of things we can get here year round. I know it wasn't always so.
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