In my year three in review post I revealed plans to start a new section on the site to featuring menu plans. I am pretty excited about this!
I am the official menu planner in my family for all of our get-togethers. This is no small feat considering we once served about 400 meals in a week. Plus, the nearest grocery store is 15 miles away. LOTS of planning was needed. This was the menu that week.
Since I have saved menus through the years from all kinds of gatherings I thought I would start to share them with you. Most of the recipes will be my own, but I may point you in the direction of a different blogger or to one of my favorite publications. I’ll provide tips on what can be done in advance, time savers, and whatever else pops into my head.
To start off I am going to do a menu I have made multiple times. You can see in the menu above it was on Friday during Family Week. It is great for large groups and much of it can be done ahead of time.
Menu: Huli Huli Chicken with Grilled Pineapple, Crunchy Asian Noodle Salad, Rosemary Dinner Rolls, and Lemon Trifle
Huli Huli Chicken and Grilled Pineapple – This dish never gets old and it is loved by adults and children. You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs. I like to cut the chicken breasts in half before marinating so the sauce gets over more surface area. Make the marinade the day before and let the chicken get all tasty in there. Make sure to reserve some of the marinade for your pineapple. You can use fresh or make it easy on yourself and use canned rings. Dinner prep involves grilling the chicken and pineapple. You may want to make extra chicken. It is great leftover in sandwiches, on pizza, or as a salad topper.
Crunchy Asian Noodle Salad – This starts off with a Suddenly Salad box mix. Those things seem to have like two and half servings in them, right? Well you won’t believe how it gets stretched in this recipe. The dressing is made from the seasoning packets in the salad and the ramen noodles, some of the reserved mandarin orange juice, and some other good stuff. My mom made this for a baby shower so she perfected how to do it all in advance. After cooking your pasta toss it with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking and store in a plastic bag or dish. Toast the ramen and nuts and store in an airtight container. Chop up the green onions, cilantro, and snap peas and combine. Mix up the dressing (all except the mandarin orange juice) in a jelly jar and refrigerate. Then right before your meal toss the pasta, veggies, and mandarin oranges. Add the mandarin juice to your dressing, give it a shake and pour over the salad. Top with your crunchies and you are good to go!
Rosemary Dinner Rolls – The key here is to remember to get your rolls defrosting early in the day. I really prefer the longer rising method. I have had too many flops trying to use the expedited method. About 30 minutes before meal time melt your butter, chop your rosemary and brush on the rolls. Then sprinkle on the salt. Don’t skimp on the salt! It makes the rolls. These are so surprisingly delicious.
Lemon Trifle – This dessert gets better after refrigerating for a bit. Go ahead and make it the morning of your dinner and it will be perfect. You don’t even have to think of it until people start bringing their dinner plates to the sink.
One year ago on Perfecting the Pairing: Spicy Mexican Chicken Lime Soup
Two years ago on Perfecting the Pairing: Turkey Enchiladas