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Old 12-15-2006, 10:13 AM   #1
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Hosting Luncheon for In-Laws--need ideas

Let's just say I'm not looking forward to this. Two months ago we invited the IL's to visit for part of the week between Christmas and New Year's. They said they'd get back to us because they didn't know what else was going on. I guess they decided they didn't have any better offers because they finally called last night to say they would be visiting for 3 days. The one day, they're going to pick up DH's grandma (a lovely woman, so this part is good) and bring her over here for lunch.

Normally I'd be happy to whip up a nice luncheon for folks, but they are incredibly picky eaters. It doesn't matter how bland of food I cook they say it's spicy and they're pretty conservative in the things they like. DH's grandma, on the other hand is a great cook, so I'd like to do something to impress her (I know she'll appreciate it). The only other glitch is that I'd like something I can prep in advance or that takes minimal attention once it gets cooking so I don't have to leave Sofie with them unattended for too long (long, messy story ).

So....as you can see, advice, suggestions and moral support are greatly needed!


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Old 12-15-2006, 10:49 AM   #2
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How about chicken tetrazzini.
Or a quiche with a nice salad and asparagus or broccoli.
A chicken dish like cordon bleu?
A crab and corn chowder with some nice accompaniments.
Shrimp and crab over rice?
Noodles alfredo with either sliced grilled chicken or some ham and a salad.
Something like Ina Garten's croque monsieur sandwiches--basically a dressy ham and cheese sandwich in French toast, but hers are baked.
Hot chicken salad
I have a recipe that is chicken, rice, green beans in a casserole that is really good.
Also a shrimp and artichoke and rice casserole.
How about grits? If you are grits eaters, fix a Low Country shrimp and grits for a fun luncheon.
Crab cakes. Serve on polenta cakes with a remoulade and some green veggies.
Vegetable lasagna. Spinach lasagna.

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Old 12-15-2006, 11:33 AM   #3
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PA, what kind of dishes do the IL's say they like? We can make better suggestions if you can help us with that.... I don't enby you. I dislike cooking for folks who always have to find fault with something!
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Old 12-15-2006, 12:41 PM   #4
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I can empathise with you. My IL's were good and dear people, but my MIL was constantly griping about something, and FIL was big on "telling the truth"...as he saw it, anyway.
Chicken is always a good bet for picky people. Here's a tasty recipe that isn't spicy. You can replace the soup with your own homemade white sauce if you wish. Saute the onions and some fresh mushrooms, and use that for the base for your sauce.
RecipeSource: Broccoli And Chicken Casserole
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:01 PM   #5
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PA, how about Greek-style lemon roast chicken with potatoes? It is easy to prepare and it will free some of your time to look after Sofie. I have posted the recipe somewhere under the chicken section. You can't go wrong with this simple and tasty dish.
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:06 PM   #6
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PA, with picky folks, sometimes its best to go with something really simple. Why don't you put out trays of cold cuts, beautiful pickles and condiments in fancy dishes, a fruit or veggie tray and fresh buns. Let them make their OWN lunches. Then make something extra fancy as a dessert. Wasn't that apple cake something that went over well in your house? And apples are pretty harmless to MOST digestive systems.
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:17 PM   #7
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Everyone loves the Brunch Eggs recipe! Not at all spicy, very filling, and easy, because you assemble it the night before.

You could serve it with a tossed salad, a Caesar salad, Waldorf Salad, fruit salad, and/or even a good old green bean casserole.

Good luck!












Butter 13x9x2 baking pan. Layer ½ the bread slices, half the ham, 4 slices of the American and 4 slices of the Swiss cheese; repeat layering.

Mix eggs, onion salt, dry mustard and milk. Pour over the top. Let stand overnight, (preferable), or for a few hours.

Mix corn flakes in melted butter/margarine and spread on the top of the dish. Try not to skip this step, as it MAKES the dish!

Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until top is golden brown.

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Old 12-19-2006, 02:41 PM   #8
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Great ideas, everyone--thanks! Would you believe the IL's are back to not knowing what their plans are?!?! Ah, family! Anyway, once we know what's going on, I know where to come for meal ideas!
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Old 12-19-2006, 03:29 PM   #9
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Sounds to me like the IL's are the type of people who will not be happy with anything you make (I hope I am wrong though) so my advice would be to forget about trying to please them and focus on making something DH's grandma and your family will enjoy.
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Old 12-19-2006, 04:12 PM   #10
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I'd make a strata and a salad with nice rolls and a good dessert. I know you want to please them but don't knock yourself out since it sounds like they might be impossible to please.

Strata, salad, rolls and dessert is a delightful lunch and you can make it all waaaaay in advance...plus it will hold.
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:17 PM   #11
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PA, you are a saint. You gave your ILs an invititation and they basically told you they were waiting for a better offer. I guess none appeared because then they accepted and now they are once again on the fence.

Rude to me.

Were it me I would just want to tell them to fend for themselves.

But you are a finer person than auntdot, and I appreciate your ability to keep your focus and take care of your hubby's parents.

It seems to me you are never going to please these people, as GB said, but are going to try.

So do so.

But don't make their rejection hurtful to yourself. Some people are just like that.

If they do decide to grace you with their presence, sorry.

As far as recipes, heck, you know how to cook and what your ILs like. Do your best, make granny happy, and realize there are some situations in life you can never come out ahead iin.

Whether that is advice or just prattling I have no idea.

But have had to deal with dicey situations and have not always shined.

Take care and revel in the joy and goodness of this season.

And remember, they won't be there for Christmas.
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:01 PM   #12
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Some people just don't have any manners. I've had in-laws and friends like that. You love'em, but that's just the way they are.

Here is what I would do if I were you: Give them a call. Be very sweet, and ask them if they'd like to do this dinner some other time, when it's more convenient for them? Then leave the date up in the air...tell them to give you a call.
Go pick grandma up yourself, or drop in on her and have a visit. You'll enjoy that a lot more, and she may also.

And by all means...have a lovely holiday. Don't spend it worrying about what are really nonconsequential things.
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