I admit, although I love having dinner friends, I don't make much effort for the menu ... Really? No, not really when I think about it, since I persist in preparing the menu myself and cooking homemade food. Before I was a mother I used to do a lot, but a lot of kids later, time for cooking started running out. Since there was no question of no longer receiving friends and family, I developed shortcuts! And so much the better since it made me realize that the traditional meal (3-course sitting at the table as I have always known in my family) is in my opinion the most difficult way to receive. This is extremely stressful for the host and clearly the least fun. I therefore offer you more original solutions, easier and less time consuming to prepare. Ways of doing things that really allow you to have a good time around a meal, even when there are several children present. And the children? It is not uncommon that there are 2 or 3 times more children than adults. To sit them down, I like the idea of installing them on the ground on a tablecloth like a picnic outside or even on the living room floor in the middle of winter! Sitting on the ground in the same place, the damage will remain around the group and we are less likely to find it everywhere. Children find it fun and they will keep fond memories of your gathering.
Here are a few full ideas for your receptions:
Are the buffets reserved for parties? Oh no! Dare even ask the guests to bring a dish, type pot luck. This practice is common in some families and still very little practiced in others. It is not at all embarrassing to ask others to prepare a meal. And if it can make it easier to meet and therefore meet more often, why not? A major advantage is that we can try new recipes.
When I have friends at the last minute, we usually prepare this little express buffet. What I love above all: eat standing up and without utensils! Store-bought cold pizza Hot artichoke dip Ricardo Lots of raw vegetables Wrap (chicken, ham, egg) cut into bite-size pieces Salsa, guacamole, and corn chips
Each guest prepares a dish from a selected book. So you will have the chance to try several recipes from the same book, it's great isn't it? A great formula discovered when our favorite cooks publish a new book!
Welcome to the world of “bars”! This way of presenting the meal will particularly appeal to children because they love to choose for themselves what they put on their plate. I invite you to read the article on meals in the center of the table. The principle is simple, all the elements of the meal will be on the table or the counter and each one will make their own plate. Guests can sit at the table, on chairs, or stand to eat. This type of service also works very well in the summer on the terrace. In fact, it's about the same type of service as the traditional hot dog and hamburger but much more original! Here are some inspiring ideas: Taco bar:
The proteins: Meat: Ground beef sautéed with onions and chili powder or a recipe for classic chili Ricardo Vegetable: Vegetarian Chili Ricardo Chicken: Chicken verde chili Ricardo The toppings: Regular and flexible taco shells Grated cheese Lettuce Tomatoes Salsa and Guacamole Sour cream Chili Bar Looks great in the taco bar. The chili is presented in small bowls and the guests add their garnishes. instead of the taco shells, we use the corn chips which can even replace the forks. Spring Roll Bar (Children's Favorite!) The proteins: Cooked chicken or grilled breast cut into strips Marinated tofu and / or tempeh then grilled and cut into strips Cooked shrimp Omelet cut into strips
The toppings: Vegetables cut into thin strips: carrots, peppers, cucumber, red cabbage, green onions, lettuce You can add mango strips Rice vermicelli (easy to prepare, immerse them in boiling water (which is out of the heat) for a few minutes and drain. The sauces:
Sauces with peanuts Ricardo Wafu type sauce Three times per day If you have never prepared rolls, you can use this recipe from Ricardo For the rice leaves, provide a deep plate on the table to soak them. Just leave a few seconds (maximum 5-10 seconds) in the water and then start to garnish. Salad bar: It's super popular in restaurants that have one so why not at home? Plan at least 2 types of salad dressings, a creamy one and a vinegar-based one The proteins: Boiled eggs Grilled chicken Cooked shrimp Cubed Tofu Legumes The toppings: Provide 2 types of lettuce, several cut vegetables, some fresh or dried fruit, nuts and seeds and cheese (for example grated and feta)
I come from Saguenay so the question does not arise, when we receive a large group, we serve meat pie. This large meat and potato pâté lacks vegetables, so make sure to serve it with a good salad. Here are other all-in-one meal ideas that prepare in advance and require only cooking and some side dishes of vegetables. Do not think that these meals are not festive enough to receive. They can all be presented in different ways from what you would do on weekdays and the vegetable side dishes can change the whole look with their beautiful, bright colors. Lasagna Pasta pans Cheese macaroni Chinese dough
What do we eat for dessert? If it's a children's party, a traditional cake will be very much appreciated. If you're short on time, aim for simplicity. Making fondant is not an easy task, making icing with decorations either. Fortunately, the naked cake trend makes decorating easier. Very popular for years, the chocolate fondue on the table is now a classic. This is what children ask me at their parties. We place parchment paper on the table, we put fruit, some surprise elements (marshmallows, cupcakes, pieces of waffles, cookies etc) and we pour melted chocolate. Always a huge success. I also do this in camping or at family camp at Christmas with more than 40 people. The “bar” principle can also be used for dessert. Young and old will have fun preparing and decorating their cupcakes, ice cream cups or cookies themselves. How about cookies and ice cream to make your own ice cream sandwich? Fruits are always a hit with children, even without chocolate. Just present them differently for example on skewers and they will become even more attractive.