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Old 05-20-2013, 07:35 PM   #1
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ISO help preparing big meals

Hi guys, I'm not used to cooking for large groups but will soon have 7 adults to cook for at dinner time. Does anyone have some ideas on meals that aren't too costly, but still relatively quick to prepare, and yummy of course. Thanks

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Old 05-20-2013, 07:47 PM   #2
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Chili, pasta sauce with meats or not, burgers on the grill, turkey tetrazzini. Most any casserole is a cheap way to feed a crowd. Pulled pork in a slow cooker for sandwiches along with BBQ beans and cole slaw.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:59 PM   #3
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Figs for dessert...
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:03 PM   #4
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Roast some meat (pork shoulder is our fav) and make a burrito / taco bar.

Big kettles of soup are always a hit and it's easy to add a quick sandwich or salad to make a nice meal of it.

Speaking of salads, make one your entree! Dice up some cooked chicken and have a plethora of greens, chopped veggies, hard boiled eggs, etc along with a couple of different home made dressings.

Make a big bowl of pasta or potato salad and serve with some BLTs or other warm / grilled sandwiches.

You can never go wrong with a fritatta (or quiche) + a salad either.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:05 PM   #5
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Chicken noodle soup. Grab a couple rotisserie chickens from the grocer. (pay for them first). Strip meat and save, use for chicken salad, sammies, etc. Put carcasses in crock pot, along with some water, chopped carrots, celery and onion and a bunch of thyme.. Make stock, strain, add noodles and such, and go from there!

You could also roast a turkey and do the same thing, along with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes. Thanksgiving in May. Everything could be done ahead of time.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:52 PM   #6
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Big free form meatloaves

Stews, pot roast, pulled pork

Roast turkey

Lasagna

Chili

Quiche or tortillas plus bread and salad
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:29 AM   #7
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i guess the question is how fancy do you want to go?

how many courses?

buffet or family style?
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:12 AM   #8
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If you are on a tight budget I would advise you not to fall into the trap of fixing foods just because they are cheap. I really believe that it is a false economy and hard on the morale of those at the table. I think it is best if you have a couple of nice meals each week and then learn to use the leftovers as the basis for another meal later in the week. The turkey that was mentioned is a good idea for this type of rotation or a half ham. Then sprinkle in a couple of inexpensive meals like pancakes, fried rice or pasta with oil and garlic an omelet etc...

Learn to shop the specials, cook from scratch, make soup, eat what's in season, buy less and don't throw anything away!

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
If you are on a tight budget I would advise you not to fall into the trap of fixing foods just because they are cheap. I really believe that it is a false economy and hard on the morale of those at the table. I think it is best if you have a couple of nice meals each week and then learn to use the leftovers as the basis for another meal later in the week. The turkey that was mentioned is a good idea for this type of rotation or a half ham. Then sprinkle in a couple of inexpensive meals like pancakes, fried rice or pasta with oil and garlic an omelet etc...

Learn to shop the specials, cook from scratch, make soup, eat what's in season, buy less and don't throw anything away!

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!
and another thing!

If this group will consist of eight adults the cooking, planning and cleanup should be done on a rotation or communal basis.

If everyone has a little skin in the game you will hear less grumbling and complaining!
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:39 AM   #10
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Buy a really good Crock Pot. Lots of things mentioned above can be done in it. Make use of what you cook like we put a whole chicken, without water in our crock pot. Cook it most of the day on low and you have the most flavorful chicken. Use the chicken to make chicken salad for sandwiches and the broth to make soup or chicken dumplings. Two good meals cheap.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:34 AM   #11
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Stew, gumbo, jambalya and chli. Simple one pot meals.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:09 AM   #12
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I had to chuckle when I read this thread. I saw large groups and thought it would be something like cooking for 50-100 people. I guess large is relative! My mom used to cook for that many every day. Some of the things she taught me to make I cannot make in smaller quantities either.

Don't have much advice that hasn't already been given. Good luck and hope you enjoy it.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:38 AM   #13
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I like the suggestions of casseroles, lasagna, any pasta with sauce and most of all the Crock Pot. If you have one, or can get one, it will be your friend. Just make sure it's large enough..no less than 6 quarts.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:01 PM   #14
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Wait a minute, you going to have 7 adults cooking, or cooking for 7 adults? Because 7 adults is not anywhere close to be a large group, not even medium, not even mediocre. 7 would be considering small group. And it is not much different than cooking for 1. Just multiply everything by 7. Grill hamburgers, have bunch of sides make a self-serving bar, some chips, you are done. Ground meat is pretty cheap so is shredded lettuce and some cheese, sliced mushrooms, maybe some avocadoes.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabbur View Post
I had to chuckle when I read this thread...
+1
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:49 PM   #16
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I come from a family of 12. On Sunday, it was Red gravy w/ sausage, meatballs, a lamb shank or 2. Served with ravioli a salad etc.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:59 PM   #17
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+1.

seven people is a small family on sunday in an italian american household.

in that, pasta feeds a lot, with a salad, some bread, wine and a meat course. then dessert.

again, more info needed.
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