Friday, August 29, 2008

MMC 30-Minute Menus August 31 and Labor Day

How will you celebrate Labor Day? We are going to have a cookout with lots of friends to share the day. The menu for our cookout really can be done in 30 minutes but it will go much easier if you have help on the grill. My answer is to get the whole family involved in the party prep - husband on the grill and kids setting the table and putting the drinks on ice so I have time to pull it all together in the kitchen (and still be relaxed when the company arrives!).

You will find that I use several cooking methods to speed dinner prep including prepared foods. When you have a bit more time, you can always substitute the prepared foods with your made-from-scratch recipes.

French Lamb Chops (garlic butter put in pocket cut in side of chops and broiled or grilled)
Romain Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts (bottled vinaigrette dressing)
Minted Pears (drained canned pear halves marinated in creme de menthe; ice cream is good here, too)

Monday (Labor Day):
Mixed Grill BBQ (hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, chops, chicken, and / or seafood)
Buns and Condiments (purchased)
Salads of Choice:
3-Bean Salad (jarred)
Slaw (bagged slaw mix with crushed pineapple and mayo to moisten)
Fresh Tomato Wedges
Corn on the Cob (herb rub such as cilantro or basil)
Grilled Fruit Skewers with Lemon Yogurt Dip (lemon yogurt with lemon zest and lemon juice)

Fish Bouillabaisse (chopped and sauteed celery, onions, garlic, and parsley in stewed tomatoes with frozen or canned seafood such as shrimp, clams, bay scallops, and lump crab with fresh mussels simmered for 20 minutes)
Artisan Bread, Butter
Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches (ice cream sandwiched between purchased jumbo cookies)

Beef Stroganoff (beef tips in mushroom-onion gravy with sour cream topper)
Wide Egg Noodles
Buttered Broccoli
Apple Turnovers (canned apple pie filling rolled in canned croissants and baked)

Ravioli Marinara (purchased ravioli with jarred spaghetti sauce and mozzarella and / or Parmesan cheese on top)
(Note: The Ravioli Marinara may be substituted to use any leftover BBQ items such as chicken or seafood salad, hamburger chili or sloppy Joe's, or black and blue salad (sliced steak with blue cheese over greens) depending on what is left)
Toss Salad (bagged salad greens and purchased salad dressing of choice)
Heavenly Angel Food Cake (purchased angel food cake cut horizontally into thirds with whipped cream and sliced strawberries placed between layers and on top)

Oven Fried Chicken Fingers (sliced chicken breasts tossed in chicken coating mix and baked)
Macaroni and Cheese (boxed mix, prepared then poured into baking dish and baked with extra cheese on top)
Green Beans
Fresh Baked Cookies (purchased cookie dough embellished with chocolate chips, nuts, mini-marshmallows, or cracked candies and baked)

Grilled Pizza (purchased crust with jarred spaghetti sauce from Thursday and toppings of choice grilled)
Grilled Veggie Skewers (I like zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and cherry tomatoes with Italian dressing drizzled over them)
Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream (put honey and brown sugar in pit hole of halved fresh peaches with the skin still on and grilled)

Get inspired for your weekly menus at Org Junkie!

I sincerely hope you have fun with your meal planning and preparation,
Elizabeth Randall and Family

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