July Meal Plan #4: a Whole Lot of Hosting

chickenbroccoliquinoacasserole1lightest

Image and Recipe from Sweet Anna’s blog

I’ve been laboring under the delusion that this will be a quiet week because swim lessons ended. But then I realized that we’re hosting overnight guests on Thursday and a dinner party potluck on Friday. Then Saturday, we’re helping my delightful 88-year-old grandma move to her new home. All good things that we plan to fully savor… which means I’ve got to have my cooking and cleaning game thoughtfully planned in advance!

So, yes. What party-pleasing recipes do I have that feel appropriately celebratory without totally taking over my life? And how can I make them while using lots of fresh veggies? After all, I’ve still got leftover CSA cabbage to use. Items in the new box include: potatoes, zucchini, sweet red Italian torpedo onion, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, arugula. We also got garlic and carrots, which get eaten and used without any planning. 🙂

So, for our overnight guests we’ll be going on the casserole route. Why? Because they’ve been traveling all summer and are joining us fresh from a long camping trip. I imagine they’ve had tons of barbecue in the past few weeks, and an oven-baked meal might be a refreshing change. I’ll also be making a slow-cooker breakfast casserole for everyone to enjoy the next morning alongside some cantaloupe. (I love a good slow-cooker breakfast when I’m hosting. It means people can eat whenever they’re hungry and no one’s beholden to wake up at a certain time.)

And for our Friday night dinner party? Kebabs! Food on sticks = pretty. Plus, it involves grill work (Mr. M’s chosen domain, which gives me an all-too-brief and very-much-needed break on the domestic front!)

* * * * *

CSA meal #1 (cabbage and snow peas) – shrimp stir fry (snow peas and chopped onions added to this recipe)

CSA meal #2 (zucchini, potato, onion) – turkey and zucchini meatballs with oven-baked potatoes and grill-charred onions)

vegetarian dinner – Brie and fig jam grilled cheese sandwiches (yes, I have more leftovers to use up!)

hosting overnight guests (CSA arugula) – broccoli quinoa casserole with arugula salad and a fruit tray. For dessert, I’ll serve ice cream and/or some lemon cookies pulled from the freezer.

Kebab-themed potluck dinner party (more CSA zucchini, tomato) – We will grill kielbasa kebabs and piri-piri kebabs. I’ll also serve green bean salad and Caprese salad skewers (note: I’ll be buying balsamic glaze in order to prefer my sanity!)

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