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Old 11-22-2009, 09:41 PM   #1
Claudia1

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I need a WOW entree for a ladies luncheon

I am hosting 20-25 ladies from our church at a Christmas luncheon in our home. All are very special to me or my DD, plus this will be 4 days before my DD's birthday and 1-3 weeks before she delivers her baby. It will be a special time of support and love for her. This is the time to pull out all the stops and go for the "wow" but I have not been able to come up with a killer menu or entree/main dish. I'm open to all suggestions except a soup luncheon (won't work with my seating/serving arrangement). Also, this will need to be a buffet because I won't have enough serving dishes for that many family-style tables nor will I have help in the kitchen to serve each person individually.

The entree needs to be something that I can put out 20-30 minutes prior to serving, with a warmer if necessary. (I want to greet the guests, plus it will take time for everybody to go thru the line.) Have you had something recently that was really special? Do you have a great recipe to share? Hot or cold, I don't care.

I know this is slightly risky to plan something so close to DD's due date but we really don't think she will go that early. However, everybody knows that we may cancel at the last minute. It's a risk I choose to take for my DD and our beautiful friends.

Any ideas? Help, please!
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:57 PM   #2
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Chicken Devan, side of rice, green tossed salad with different toppings and dressings, rolls, dessert and a pretty punch. I have made this for luncheons many times and is enjoyed by many. It's always all gone, so I guess it's good for most. Easy to make ahead of time and keep warm and can be as simple or elegant as you would like.
If you are interested, I can post or PM you the recipe.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minniebeth View Post
Chicken Devan, side of rice, green tossed salad with different toppings and dressings, rolls, dessert and a pretty punch. I have made this for luncheons many times and is enjoyed by many. It's always all gone, so I guess it's good for most. Easy to make ahead of time and keep warm and can be as simple or elegant as you would like.
If you are interested, I can post or PM you the recipe.
lol, Minnie, you sound just like a Southern girl!! That's the exact ladies luncheon menu my mother would have served thirty years ago, and that I serve today. Throw a few ham biscuits and cheese straws around beforehand, with a little glass of white wine or some cranberry juice for those who don't drink.

Get out your silver if you have it and borrow it if you don't. When is your luncheon? (edited to asdd: duh, I see it is Christmas.) I have used white table linens and scattered something seasonal - my best effort was one Valentine's Day when I used candy hearts and children's valentines - the ladies adored it. For Christmas I have used a silver bowl filled with red and green Christmas balls - just buy a box of them at the drugstore and load up the bowl. Very pretty! You can scatter Christmas candies on your table - the old fashioned kind or peppermint sticks.

Any hot chicken casserole dish is good - I like the one with chicken and rice, and there is one with a potato chip crunch topping that is delicious.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:48 PM   #4
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I'm going to toss out an alternative chicken recipe, for two reasons. 1) Chicken Divan is really high in calories and fat, and 2) lots of pregnant women just can't tolerate the odor of broccoli.

This is my all-time best go-to recipe for company when I don't have a lot of prep time. It's delicious, very pretty on a plate served w/ wild rice or pilaf, but can be made ahead, frozen, and finished before serving. It's from Holly Clegg, and the best part is the calories, or lack thereof; it's 184 calories per 4 oz. serving.

Chicken Breasts with Artichoke Hearts and Mushrooms (for 8 servings)

2 lbs. skinless boneless chicken breasts
dehydrated minced onion to taste
paprika to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch green onion tops, sliced
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tblsp margarine
2 tblsp all-purpose flour
2/3 cp. fat-free canned chicken broth
3 tblsp dry sherry

Preheat the oven to 350. Season the chicken heavily with the onion, paprika, salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a 3-qt casserole dish coated with non-stick spray. Place the artichoke hearts around the chicken.

In a medium non-stick skillet, saute the mushrooms, green onions and garlic until tender, then place this mixture on top of the chicken. In the same skillet (to take advantage of the flavours) melt the margarine, and add the flour, stirring constantly. Gradually add the chicken broth and sherry, cooking until smooth, as the sauce begins to come to a boil. Pour the sauce over all in the casserole. Bake, covered, for one hour, then remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes to brown the chicken.

Note that if you have issues with cooking with wine you can just increase the amount of chcken broth, but the sherry REALLY makes a delicious sauce. You should not use cooking sherry, as that has a lot of added salt; just regular dry sherry.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:47 AM   #5
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How about a spiral ham? It can be heated ahead of time, it's already sliced to serve, looks impressive and feeds a crowd. And it should be on sale this time of year. You can just add a special glaze on top to make it special.

You could serve it with a spinach, pear and walnut salad, a rice dish and some rolls.

Enjoy your luncheon!
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:59 AM   #6
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You could do something like Lemon Piccata chicken, nice either green salad or antipasta, green beans almondine as well as rolls

You could have either cakes or some nice small Italian finger foods for dessert. Around here they have samplers of Italian desserts for sale-- they have cannolis, lemon cookies, etc.

Beef tenderloin also goes on sale soon, you could get a petit tenderloin, some burgundy sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes or sweet potato au gratin, maybe either green beans again or something like roasted brussell sprouts or such like that.
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:27 AM   #7
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We just had a luncheon for my niece who is expecting. We had wrap sandwiches (which we ordered out) that were cut into slices like pinwheels (hopefully you can picture what I mean.) They were multi-colored so apparently tomato and spinach wraps had been used? We also had a spiral sliced ham, rolls, and multiple salads. For salads we had a mandarin orange and almond salad (romaine lettuce with poppyseed dressing), a bean and pepper salad with vinaigrette dressing, bowtie pasta with pesto, pine nuts, and sun-dried tomatoes, and a fruit salad. It was a menu that allowed us to do the work in advance and enjoy our guests during the luncheon. The menu choices were all a big hit. The bean and pepper salad is really pretty using red peppers around Christmas time. I can elaborate on the recipe if you would like. Good luck!!
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:06 AM   #8
Claudia1

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Great ideas! Keep them coming!

Between my mother & I, we have enough Christmas china and holly flatware to serve everyone. She raised me to be a generous hostess, especially to our church family, so I have 33 years worth of table linens, holiday serving pieces, and too many decorations to count. I even have holiday salt & peppers and butter dishes for every table.

NotUrsula, I love artichokes and mushrooms, so this would be great. I would not worry about the sherry in this recipe. Sounds like enough cooking to get the alcohol out.

The pinwheel luncheon also sounded great, onthego103. I make my own Lebanese soft flat bread for rolled sandwiches that I thinner than a wrap. I have never done tomato or spinach, though, and those would be perfect colors for a Christmas luncheon.

Cindyb, I was thinking about individual beef wellingtons, with the dough wrapped like a Christmas gift but I was not sure about preventing them from getting soggy on the bottom.

Desserts..... no problem! I make my own candy from scratch (fondant worked on a marble slab, my own caramel for turtles, truffles, etc...) plus I am planning a dessert table. Everything will be mini.

Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2009, 06:41 AM   #9
barkley
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there was a recipie in a recent issue of women's day that might work. dh and i made it for dinner one nite and it was very tasty-and would work well in a chafing dish.

it's a chicken breast that's stuffed with a combo of diced apples, cheese and a few other ingredients. it has a light dijon sauce that goes over it so that's something that could go into the chafing dish to aide in keeping it moist. if you'de like it p.m. me.


i have a WOW recipie for lamb that can be done ahead of time (sliced and put into a chafing dish) but i know lamb is'nt something everyones necessarily found of it-it's served with snow pea/carrott dish that has a honey butter sauce. it's very good with either a rice pilaf or a lightly cheesed potato casserole.
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:16 AM   #10
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If you need another side dish there's a hot fruit compote that everyone always loves. One recipe calls for curry but the one I do is various canned fruits with a sugar sauce poured over, then baked as a casserole. I put it in a pretty glass compote and everyone raves about it. Simple and delicious!!
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:19 AM   #11
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I like the ham idea
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barkley View Post
i have a WOW recipie for lamb that can be done ahead of time (sliced and put into a chafing dish) but i know lamb is'nt something everyones necessarily found of it-it's served with snow pea/carrott dish that has a honey butter sauce. it's very good with either a rice pilaf or a lightly cheesed potato casserole.
would you mind sharing?
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by luvpooh View Post
would you mind sharing?
sure-after i get the kids out the door for school i'll pull it out and post it.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotUrsula View Post
I'm going to toss out an alternative chicken recipe, for two reasons. 1) Chicken Divan is really high in calories and fat, and 2) lots of pregnant women just can't tolerate the odor of broccoli.

This is my all-time best go-to recipe for company when I don't have a lot of prep time. It's delicious, very pretty on a plate served w/ wild rice or pilaf, but can be made ahead, frozen, and finished before serving. It's from Holly Clegg, and the best part is the calories, or lack thereof; it's 184 calories per 4 oz. serving.

Chicken Breasts with Artichoke Hearts and Mushrooms (for 8 servings)

2 lbs. skinless boneless chicken breasts
dehydrated minced onion to taste
paprika to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch green onion tops, sliced
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tblsp margarine
2 tblsp all-purpose flour
2/3 cp. fat-free canned chicken broth
3 tblsp dry sherry

Preheat the oven to 350. Season the chicken heavily with the onion, paprika, salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a 3-qt casserole dish coated with non-stick spray. Place the artichoke hearts around the chicken.

In a medium non-stick skillet, saute the mushrooms, green onions and garlic until tender, then place this mixture on top of the chicken. In the same skillet (to take advantage of the flavours) melt the margarine, and add the flour, stirring constantly. Gradually add the chicken broth and sherry, cooking until smooth, as the sauce begins to come to a boil. Pour the sauce over all in the casserole. Bake, covered, for one hour, then remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes to brown the chicken.

Note that if you have issues with cooking with wine you can just increase the amount of chcken broth, but the sherry REALLY makes a delicious sauce. You should not use cooking sherry, as that has a lot of added salt; just regular dry sherry.
This is delicious and I would highly recommend it for a luncheon.
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