General chatter - Need meal idea for family visit- including kids!

12-30-2008, 01:17 AM
Hi everyone,

My sister is in town for the holidays with her three kids, so tomorrow we are having her family over, plus my folks, plus my brother, SIL, and their kids. Additionally, a couple of friends may stop by.

I want to fix a relatively easy meal that will work for a crowd. I'm a good cook, but I usually just cook for two! I don't want anything fancy for tomorrow.

All ideas and recipes are welcome!! Thanks!

Sarah Mac
12-30-2008, 01:28 AM
How about taco soup??? Whenever I have friends over, I make this awesome soup. You can either use ground turkey or lean ground beef. If you go on allrecipes and type in taco soup, there will be different variations. It is so simple too. Just brown your beef/turkey and onions and dump everything into a pot and let it cook for 1-2 hours or you can let it cook all day :)

It is a great idea because each person can add their favorite toppings: cheese, guacamole, sour cream, corn bread etc :)

One of the recipes from that site that I use

* 2 pounds lean ground beef
* 1 onion, chopped
* 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles (ROTEL)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained
* 1 (15 ounce) can ranch style black beans
* 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
* 1 (15 ounce) can white hominy, drained
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
* 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of corn

1. In a large Dutch oven, brown the beef and chopped onion over medium heat. Drain off any fat.
2. Add chilies, salt and pepper, beans, water, seasoning mixes, hominy, and stewed tomatoes to the beef and onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Top with shredded cheese, and serve with chips.

12-30-2008, 02:12 AM
What about setting out a make your own pizza bar? You can get and prep some toppings, get a bunch of mini boboli crusts or let folks use tortillas, english muffins, or other breads to spread the toppings on, and throw them in the oven for a bit. Only a little prep on your part, and everyone gets something that they like, and it can be made healthy with low fat or fat free mozzarella and veggies.

12-30-2008, 02:14 AM
Thank you! Both good ideas... I just remembered too that my sis is vegetarian. The pizza idea would certainly work for her, but I'm not sure if my kitchen can accommodate the spread. Sarah - if I don't make that soup tomorrow, I will certainly make it for us to eat! Great ideas, but I'm still thinking on it...

Sarah Mac
12-30-2008, 02:19 AM
I have also used the ground Boca beef for my vegetarian friends :) But I do not know if you want to make two pots :-P

12-30-2008, 03:12 AM
For family/kid meals I really like to do a sandwich bar -- with sandwich rolls, veggies, cheese, etc., so they can make their own Subway style sandwich. You could do a little cole slaw or soup from the deli to have with it....

I find the simpler the better when entertaining kids!

12-30-2008, 11:44 AM
Thanks for the ideas.

My mom just called and said my dad is making a large tray of mac and cheese. Sarah, that kind of takes care of my sister because she loves dad's mac and cheese and will make her main meal out of it. For the rest of it, it will be a side.

So, I am still unsure of what else I'm going to fix. You can tell I am an indecisive type. I like the ideas but am still tossing it around. I need to go to store by noon or so ... would still love more possibilities :-)

12-30-2008, 12:26 PM
I was going to do something similar to the taco soup thing--hubby's family calls them haystacks, but it's basically a big taco salad--

make one or two crockpots or stove top pots full of chili--you could do one vegetarian with just beans or the veggie meat and the other that is not vegetarian

tortilla chips or fritos for the first layer
then the beans/chili
(Optional -rice can also be used - spanish or brown )
then cheese

then all the regular taco toppings
lettuce, tomato, onion, green or black olives, avocado

salsa, sour cream, guacomola