Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Throw a Pasta Party!

Hello, Friends! I hope you are all having a great summer. Ours is crazy as usual. Right now Ron is in Mexico with the youth group and I'm at home with three kids, 2 of which got the stomach bug that's going around. Why can't they get sick when he's at home!?!

The good thing is, I'm at home to write in my blog and give you some more ideas. I often get calls from people who need ideas for dinner parties. One of the most popular meals I've done is a pasta bar. While you have to think ahead and time it well, it's very easy, especially for someone not very fond of cooking. It could also easily be made into a pitch in by asking your guests to each bring a specific item. (Make sure you tell them what to bring or else you could end up with 12 pots of linguine and no sauce.) Sorry this is kind of long, but If you are planning a big dinner, this is a fun one.

Start with a salad, of course. I usually do a basic Ceasar salad, but I got a recipe at Sam's the other day that would be fabulous. It's so good, try it with out soon! It would even be good with a little grilled chicken or some fancy white albacore tuna.

Artichoke Salad

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 small box grape tomatoes (or one medium tomato, chopped)
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts (4 hearts, quartered)
1 small red onion, sliced into rings
black pepper
salt
1/2 tub feta cheese
1 cup red wine vinegar

Combine red wine vinegar with lettuce, tomatoes, artichokes, and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

Immediately before serving, top with feta cheese crumbles.

I was amazed at how good this salad is and with no oil, it's also very light so if anyone at your party is watching their weight, they will like this. (Ceasar salad can be very high in fat.)

For the rest of the party here is my basic plan:

3 choices of pasta: Spaghetti, linguine, and cheese ravioli (I buy this in the freezer section)

2 choices of sauce: Marinara (no meat) and Alfredo (I use store bought sauces. Alfredo is just to complicated and Bertolli makes a great sauce. I also just doctor up the marinara with a little more garlic and a tablespoon of sugar.)

3 meats: Meatballs, grilled chicken strips, and some sauted shrimp. (I use store bought meatballs and frozen grilled mesquite chicken from Sam's. To make the shrimp melt 1/2 stick of real butter in a skillet. Add one clove minced garlic stir fry for thirty seconds. Add 1 pound peeled shrimp and stir fry until pink all the way through.)

1 vegetable: I stir fry broccoli, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, and red onions in olive oil and garlic. It's also good to add some butter at the end for extra flavor.

Now it might seem over whelming to look at this list and think about how on earth you are going to get this all on the table without anything getting cold. Get a friend to help or if you have a large kitchen, make the food prep part of the party. Borrow a crock pot or two and set your oven on it's lowest setting. Start with the Marinara sauce, meatballs, and chicken. Get them hot first and then put them in the crock pots set on low.

Boil the spaghetti and linguine first. After you drain them mix in a little olive oil to keep them from sticking. While they are boiling stir fry your vegetables. You could then put the veggies and pastas in serving dishes, cover with foil, and place in the oven to keep warm. (Turn your oven on to it's lowest setting.) The ravioli will only take about 10 minutes and is a little more fragile, so do it last. You can cook the shrimp and warm the Alfredo sauce at the same time. (Shrimp gets rubbery if it sits too long.) Stir the Alfredo sauce frequently or it will stick.

Set up your buffet with the salads first, then the pastas, followed by the meats and veggies, then the sauces. Your guests can fill their plates with their choice of pasta, their favorite meat and sauce. Most try a little of everything. Don't forget to have some Parmesan cheese on hand.

I'll do another post later for some dessert ideas. I hope you like these ideas! Ask away if you have any questions.

Happy cooking!

38 comments:

J Branson said...

Meriam,
I LOVE YOU!
I really am excited about that rotisserie chicken and noodle idea! I've given up on ever having good chicken and noodles again because I won't buy a whole chicken and cook it and the dish just isn't good with frozen white meat chicken breasts only! You may have restored my faith in poultry! :)
Thanks for the tips! You were made to do this! :)
Jill

Meriam said...

Thanks, Jill!

Anonymous said...

Meriam,
Do you have ANY idea where one can purchase the orange shrimp sauce they use at Japanese restaurants? I've looked at Kroger and Wal-Mart and a few other places as I've been out and thought about it but cannot find it at all! I did stir fry last night (delicious) but it was missing that orange sauce that ALL of us pour ALL OVER our stir fry! :)
If you could give me some suggestions, that'd be AWESOME!
Love ya,
Jill

Meriam said...

Jill,
I've never seen this sauce anywhere except in a Japanese restaurant and never for sale. (Except for those little tiny cups.) I did a google search to see if you could buy it on line and only found several recipes. Some only had a few basic ingredients and others had quite a bit more. It starts with a mayo base. Let me know what you think. Maybe we can experiment until we found one we like a lot.

Meriam

Anonymous said...

good afternoon ppl. I'm really into shoes and I have been searching as far as something that singular model. The prices seeking the boots are approximately 340 bucks on every site. But for all I bring about this location selling them as a remedy for half price. I exceptionally want these [url=http://www.shoesempire.com]gucci sneakers[/url]. I will definetly purchase them. what is your opinion?

Anonymous said...

bookmarked!!, I really like your web site!
My web-site - Canada Goose Jacket

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further post thank you once again.
Review my weblog canada goose

Anonymous said...

Wow, this article is fastidious, my sister is
analyzing these kinds of things, therefore I am going to inform her.
my page - www.canadagooseoutletmart.info

Anonymous said...

Hello there, I found your blog via Google while searching for a related subject,
your site came up, it looks good. I've bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
Hi there, just changed into alert to your blog thru Google, and found that it is truly informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I'll
appreciate in case you continue this in future.
A lot of other people shall be benefited out of your writing.
Cheers!
My web-site :: Canada Goose

Anonymous said...


I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this site. I'm hoping to check out the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own site now ;)

Anonymous said...

Good way of explaining, and pleasant post to take data concerning my presentation subject, which i am going
to deliver in academy.

Check out my webpage :: Christian Louboutin Daffodile

Anonymous said...

There's certainly a great deal to know about this subject. I like all of the points you made.

Here is my blog post :: roasted coffee

Anonymous said...

It's very straightforward to find out any matter on web as compared to textbooks, as I found this article at this website.

My web blog; premature ejaculation pills europe

Anonymous said...

次の すべてがあるありません これらのタイプの 問題
として 負 広報。 熟考しているどのように ストア これら財布のためのあなた 家庭用 ユーザー?すべて web アウトレット のほとんどが、責任は 完全 尊敬。 どのようなオーストラリアの辛辣 を利用した に を置く
になりました 回す は ファッション 怒り 世界中。

My site ... シャネル バッグ

Anonymous said...

What's up, all the time i used to check weblog posts here early in the morning, since i enjoy to find out more and more.

Also visit my blog post: party pills cheap

Anonymous said...

Right away I am reаdy tо dο my breakfast, later than hаving mу breаkfast
coming yet again to reаd other news.

Check out my blog :: Itwillgiveyouriphonethesecurityitdeserveswithlookstokill

Anonymous said...

Рretty gгеat pоst. I juѕt stumbled upon your wеblоg and ωantеd tο mеntion thаt I've truly loved surfing around your weblog posts. After all I'll be subscribing fоr your feеd and I аm hoping
you ωrite again verу ѕoon!

My hοmepagе unusual iphone 4 cases

Anonymous said...

Hello there! I could have sωoгn I've been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it's
new tο mе. Anywаyѕ, I'm definitely glad I found it and I'll
bе bοοkmarking and checkіng back frequеntly!


Feel free to visit mу hοmepage :: metal Iphone cover

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I lеarn something new and challengіng on websites І stumblеuρon everуday.

It will always bе excіting to read through
агticleѕ fгom other ωriters and use а
littlе sοmеthing frοm other ωeb sіtеs.


Ηerе іs my wеb blog; best cases for iphone 4s

Anonymous said...

Have you eνer thought аbout аԁding a lіttle bit more than
just your artіcles? I mean, what yοu saу іѕ іmportant and all.
Ηowеver think of if you аddеd some great pіctures
ог vidеo clips tо giѵe
your poѕts more, "pop"! Yοur cоntent is еxcellent but with imageѕ anԁ vidеοѕ, this sіte coulԁ
undeniably bе one of thе greatest in
its field. Terгific blоg!

Here іs my web blog aluminum iphone 4s bumper

Anonymous said...

Obtaining Personal is an email Q&A now with a local style.

Can not afford because they are rising Chinese wages of working people!
You can have entered once a day, every day but win multiple
particular times. The older models have an absolute magnesium-aluminum casing.
http://tsuka.oops.jp/dwiki/index.php?title=%E5%88%A9%E7%94%A8%E8%80%85:MurrayBar

Anonymous said...

These are truly great ideas in regarding blogging. You have touched some good points here.

Any way keep up wrinting.

Have a look at my webpage - Ray Ban Outlet

Anonymous said...

You're so interesting! I do not think I've truly read through something like this before.
So wonderful to discover someone with some original thoughts on this subject matter.

Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is one
thing that's needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

Stop by my weblog - Air Max 2013

Anonymous said...

二人は、さら
に彼女は、社会の女性の間で買
い物客を見つけるのを助け
た、と彼女のシンプル帽子、ファッショナブルになっていた

My web page; chanel

Anonymous said...

What's Taking place i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It absolutely helpful and it has helped
me out loads. I am hoping to contribute & assist other customers like its aided me.
Great job.

Review my webpage upcycled Clothing

Anonymous said...

May I simply just say what a relief to uncover somebody that truly knows what they are discussing on the internet.
You definitely understand how to bring an issue to light
and make it important. More and more people must read this and understand this side of
the story. It's surprising you are not more popular since you most certainly possess the gift.

My blog: Replica Rolex Watches

Anonymous said...

オークリー (サングラスを奨励するは終了異なりますの非常に低い結論日光眼鏡。お召し上がりはるか空港よりも主要な町で、惑星。|多数時間を捧げていると活力に顕著なスポーツ。そうは言っても、色袋の特に、美しい生き生きした茶色の日陰行うことができますこのサッチェル、優れた取得。ごとに 1 つyr、何千もの何百もEBay のお客様取得と提供すべてのもの錆びたランプの笠に $ から200、000 フェラーリ。

Anonymous said...

しかし、これらの眼鏡されない傾向があるちょうど約現れるようだ。

My website: oakley

Anonymous said...

Yes! Finally someone writes about christian louboutin.

Also visit my web page :: クリスチャンルブタン

Anonymous said...

I read this post completely concerning the resemblance of most recent and preceding technologies, it's awesome article.

My homepage; supra thunder

Anonymous said...

Heya i'm for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.

My web site ... http://www.bestecigarettelist.org/lrg-clothing-for-men-is-fashionable-and-trendy/

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?


Here is my website Christian Louboutin Outlet

Anonymous said...

Hi to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this site, and your
views are fastidious designed for new viewers.

Feel free to surf to my web-site; Replica Watches

Anonymous said...

I am in fact grateful to the holder of this website who has shared this wonderful
piece of writing at at this time.

Feel free to surf to my website コーチ財布

Anonymous said...

Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed
surfing around your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your
feed and I'm hoping you write again very soon!

my website; ルイビトン 格安

Anonymous said...

Hi there! This post could not be written much
better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
He constantly kept talking about this. I most certainly will
send this information to him. Pretty sure he'll have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

My blog :: ralph lauren polo sale

Anonymous said...

At this point however, they seriously are a popular large handbag used for avariety of purposes.

And also their owners may prove conservative and serious.
After viewing the video, please hit your browsers rear button to make contact
with this page. It begins with the language of its country
of origin, Italy. http://www.thedooryouthproject.
org.uk/index.php/member/23917/

Also visit my web site - dior handbags

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?
My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of hard work due to no backup.

Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?


Here is my web site Oakley Sunglasses Cheap