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Do you cater to a vegetarian for a party?

Thanks for the suggestion, but my parents are making them & they are making it from scratch. I think they have already made them & froze them.

Aug 01, 2013
chele in Home Cooking

Do you cater to a vegetarian for a party?

We are throwing a party for about 26 people. We're having caesar salad, fruit salad, lumpia, chicken jerk sandwiches. We'll have a really busy day cleaning up & getting ready for the party since we both work & have 2 young children. We have 1 vegetarian coming. Do you make a vegetarian dish (besides the salads) for that 1 person? What if they don't end up coming? On the other hand, I would feel like I'm not being a good hostess to cater to her diet.

Any thoughts?

Aug 01, 2013
chele in Home Cooking

Tired of ordering pizza!! Ideas for Easy lunch party for 50?

Hi! I noticed the chicken adobo recipe doesn't have soy sauce? Maybe this is a different version of chicken adobo? Wanted to check with you first. :) Thanks!

Jul 15, 2013
chele in Home Cooking

Tired of ordering pizza!! Ideas for Easy lunch party for 50?

I love these recipes. I'm definitely going to try some of these. Thank you for the recipe in portions to serve 50!

Jul 09, 2013
chele in Home Cooking

Tired of ordering pizza!! Ideas for Easy lunch party for 50?

Thanks for the response- I was wondering the same thing. I'll be trying this out this week. My kids will be excited to eat something new this week. :)

Jul 09, 2013
chele in Home Cooking

Tired of ordering pizza!! Ideas for Easy lunch party for 50?

We'll start the party at 11am, but it's a lunch- serving around 11:30. Kids eat early because they get up so darn early... Naptime after lunch (crossing fingers!).

Jul 09, 2013
chele in Home Cooking

Tired of ordering pizza!! Ideas for Easy lunch party for 50?

I'm very impressed with the thoughtful responses. Great responses... Very much appreciated. I'm definitely going to try some of the recipes in a small batch before I cook for our guests.

I know it's a lot of work to take on making the food, but looking forward to the challenge. I was pleasantly surprised with myself the last time I followed chow hound advice.

Ironically, one of the dishes I'm considering is one of the sandwiches... Not the deli meat ones, at least not for this party.

I love the creative party menu ideas and if I don't use all of them this time, I know I'll use the ideas for the next party. Always seems to be a party to plan for our little ones.

So, feel free to throw me your ideas!

Jul 08, 2013
chele in Home Cooking

Tired of ordering pizza!! Ideas for Easy lunch party for 50?

Wow, thanks for the responses so far. Great suggestions- my thoughts... may need some follow up.

Yup, I've thought about pasta, but not sure if it's labor intensive or if I could cook the day before? Suggestions for easy recipes? I do make my own pasta sauce & I think pesto (without nuts) is doable ahead of time? Haven't made pesto though. Has anyone made pasta for a party? How did it go- how long did it take, budget? For the sides, was thinking of Caesar salad & bruchetta, but garlic bread sounds easier so I can focus on the entree.

I do like the philly cheesesteak & chicago-style beef sandwiches since it can be done ahead of time. Isn't beef more expensive? Not sure since i haven't made either but would be willing to try.

Orzo sounds easy, but that's just a salad or side, right?

I live in CA so no where near Primo's.

I do like stew, but would it be too hot in August for stew? Personally, I can eat stew when it's 100 degrees because I like it so much...

Braises- tell me more! What kind of recipe do you have in mind? Would I need a couple of crock pot batches?

For the most part, the kids can eat whatever the adults eat. i usually don't go out of my way. My little ones eat whatever we eat.

Jul 05, 2013
chele in Home Cooking

Tired of ordering pizza!! Ideas for Easy lunch party for 50?

Party menu ideas needed!! We usually order pizza, but we (and our guests) are tired of the pizza party.

I did carnitas tacos a couple of years ago & it was a huge hit thanks to you Chowhounders! Guests were impressed & so was I. Looking for more ideas...

Here are some details about the party:

* I am a novice (and I do mean NOVICE) cook- so easy, fool proof dishes that don't take a lot of time to make. I'm thinking oven cooking might be easiest??

* We're having about 40-50 people to our house. About 30 adults, 20 kids: 9 months - 8 years old).

* I work & have 2 little ones so I don't have much time to prep & cook- just cleaning the house is a huge chore.

* This will be for my 2 year old's birthday, so we'll have cake, lunch and drinks. Starts at 11am so a few appetizers but focused on the entree.

* Prefer inexpensive without seeming cheap. Is that an oxymoron? Preferably not sandwiches since there isn't much "wow" factor- and I'm tired of sandwiches because we eat those a lot at home & so do our guests with little ones.

* It's summer so chili probably won't work - and kids don't like spicy & people will remember the pulled pork from last time (the only time I cooked for a party)

* Prefer to make it the day before & put it in the fridge to reheat in the oven

* We don't have cooking tools for large portions - a small crockpot, we can buy pan liners to cook in the oven.

* No nuts since we have a lot of nut allergies. This includes pesto, and in salads too.

* will probably have a salad, but the last time I brought a green salad to a party (cucumbers, tomatoes, craisins, & romaine lettuce) no one touched it! My husband thought it was because we got there late, but I have my doubts. They liked the orzo & kale salad (something different- most had never had it including me). Is orzo inexpensive, easy to make? Kale seems like a lot of work to prep?

I know it sounds like a tough order to fill but I welcome any and all suggestions even if they don't fit everything I wanted. Just my "wish list".

Thank you!!

Jul 05, 2013
chele in Home Cooking

What to order at Cut without breaking the bank?

Great!! Thank you for your replies. I appreciate the input. Looking forward to our dinner at Cut without worrying about paying for it!

May 29, 2012
chele in Las Vegas

What to order at Cut without breaking the bank?

For those of you who have dined at CUT...

We are going to Vegas with a group & they have decided to go to Cut. We want to go also, but we don't want to go way overboard on our budget - gotta pay the mortgage! What can you order to stay within $100 bill for a couple? I know... sounds like an oxymoron to say Cut & Budget in the same sentence...
but here are some thoughts:

* We will get something before the dinner so we're not going on an empty stomach
* Can we split the 20oz bone in steaks? Would it be enough or are the portions way too small to split? Would you split it?
* We would love to try some of the steaks since we are big steak fans....rather have the cheapest Steak over chicken...
* On that note, would you recommend the cheapest Steak at Cut- or would it just be a waste?
* Are there apps/sides/desserts that we just cannot pass up? (If we have to choose, dessert would be my priority)
* We won't order drinks to cut down on the cost.

I know it's a lot to ask...

Sidenote: *not* going to Cut isn't really an option- or picking somewhere else (not an option for that night). we'd like to try Cut but without breaking the bank.

Thanks for all your help!!

BTW, here's the menu:

May 24, 2012
chele in Las Vegas

Novice Needs help cooking for my 3 year old's birthday party

UPDATE: *****************************************************************************

THANKS!! All of those who replied... We had the party for my 3 year old & it was a great success. Made carnitas tacos & all the sides. Was so much better than ordering pizza. this was the first time i cooked for 50 people & owe it all to you guys!! My daughter was so ecstatic- she screamed & laughed the whole time. Thank you so much!!!

Apr 25, 2012
chele in Home Cooking

Novice Needs help cooking for my 3 year old's birthday party

So, I tried a small batch in the oven& finally got it to be tender, but there wasn't that much flavor to it. Is that how it's supposed to be & the flavor is added with salsa, guac, etc.? I had to add a lot of water to cover the pork so maybe it diluted the orange & lime juices? It was still good, but not sure if I made it right. By the way, it was really easy to make- does seem to be the best option for cooking for a lot of people. Thanks for the great idea!! The soon-to-be birthday girl loved it & she's a picky eater! she actually finished her plate! :)

Mar 20, 2012
chele in Home Cooking

Novice Needs help cooking for my 3 year old's birthday party

ok. that looks simple enough for me to handle- i like the oven idea...

And I agree, carnitas would seem more impressive for a party.

I found this recipe to put it in the oven... would this work for SAH Cooks recipe?

Oven directions:

SAHCook's recipe:

Also, my mom suggested I cook a week ahead and freeze it - cool it & put in ziplock bag (she's nervous for me!). Would it taste any different? Anyone tried this?

What do you think of Quesadillas for the kids- flour tortilla with butter & cheese? Would this be better than tacos?

Really appreciating your suggestions on preparing things for a party this big - what seems easy cooking for 3 is not so easy for 70 people, as I'm finding out from all of you.


Mar 16, 2012
chele in Home Cooking

Novice Needs help cooking for my 3 year old's birthday party

Hmm... really making me rethink the menu. I've never cooked pork carnitas. I chose ground beef because i thought it would be fast & cheap. Would pork carnitas really be easier?

thanks for the suggestion on the kids menu- yup, i think finger friendly foods are better for the kids- picturing my 3 year old now!!

Mar 15, 2012
chele in Home Cooking

Novice Needs help cooking for my 3 year old's birthday party

Wow, I like that idea to make rice. Really simple- has anyone tried it? Thanks!!

Mar 14, 2012
chele in Home Cooking

Novice Needs help cooking for my 3 year old's birthday party

Wow!!! Great suggestions & recipes... and thanks for not chiding me for getting pre-bought easy stuff instead of making from scratch! Tired of buying pizza for my little one's bdays & you've given me the support to try something new.

Any more suggestions - greatly appreciated!!!

Mar 14, 2012
chele in Home Cooking

Novice Needs help cooking for my 3 year old's birthday party

We're having about 40-50 adults & 20 kids over for lunch to celebrate my "baby's" 3rd birthday. 70 people sounds like a lot of people!! We haven't done a lot of parties & never cooked for our parties (always done take out). So, we wanted to make it ULTRA-SIMPLE. We're cooking on a budget too.
Not trying to impress anyone with gourmet skills I don't have! We don't have a lot of time to prepare- I also have a baby so we're running on little sleep as it is.

The menu will be a taco bar with beans, rice, appetizers & cake for dessert. Some of you will laugh at these questions, but I've gotta ask...

* If I cook 10-15 lbs of ground beef for the tacos, what size batches should i be cooking the meat in? (5 lbs at a time)?
* Where can I buy 10-15 lbs of inexpensive ground beef for tacos(already checked Costco but they sell lowfat ground beef & I want it to taste good)?
* I want to just cook rice in a rice cooker- what kind of rice goes with tacos? long grain? Short grain white rice? i heard i can just add cilantro to the rice- has anyone tried this?
* Where can i get large cans of refried beans- already checked Costco, Walmart, Safeway- I'm in No. Cal/East Bay.
* What are easy appetizers for a Mexican menu?

Thanks for any help!!

Mar 13, 2012
chele in Home Cooking

Favorite Food gifts (omiyage) to bring home from Oahu

We'll be in Oahu & would like to bring back food gifts for family (and ourselves, of course). Nothing liquid or really bulky- traveling with tons of baby gear is tough enough! Love to bring gifts that we can't get at home (California). We're making a stop at Don Quixote & the Swapmeet- anything we can get there?

What's your favorite... (stuff you love to pick up at the grocery/snack stores)

* Snack stuff- Cookies, crackers, li hing mui (which brands?), chips... My fav so far is Betty's Best cornflake cookies.
* Salad dressing - dried packages
* Marinades, herb mixes, seasonings
* Hawaiian bread- that's for us while we're there. There are a ton of different brands... is there a favorite?
* Candy - We're definitely getting caramacs- any other favorites?
* Drink mixes?
* Dried fruit- any Hawaiian fruits dried? (We have dried mangos, papaya, pineapple at home)
* Tea- which brands/ flavors are your favorite?
* Microwave popcorn- wasn't a fan of the hurricane popcorn- possibly the wrong brand?

Open to any other ideas you have!


Apr 26, 2011
chele in Hawaii

Inexpensive, casual prime rib on Oahu?

Thank you so much for your assessment. I guess you get what you pay for- no matter where you are. Thanks for helping us decide!!

Apr 15, 2011
chele in Hawaii

Inexpensive, casual prime rib on Oahu?

I saw that Kaka'ako Kitchen has a prime rib dinner on Tuesdays for about $12. Unfortunately, we have tickets to PCC that day. Are there any other prime rib dinners in that price range for a casual place to eat? We thought about changing our PCC tickets but not sure if Kaka'ako Kitchen is worth it.

Saw Ray's has a prime rib dinner & so does Good To Grill - are these better than Kaka'ako Kitchen? Any other suggestions?


Good To Grill
870 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Apr 13, 2011
chele in Hawaii

Preggie cravings for Japanese in or near Anaheim

Help fill my preggie cravings...

I'm pregnant & craving Japanese food- either teriyaki or sushi rolls that are cooked (scallop rolls are my fav' right now). Hubby loves unagi.

We'll be in Anaheim for Disneyland and need a place for lunch or dinner. Would love to find a Japanese place within 10-15 minutes of Disneyland. Preferrably inexpensive to moderately priced.

Anyone with suggestions?


Mar 10, 2011
chele in Los Angeles Area

Pre theater inexpensive/mid priced dinner in SOMA?

We have a babysitter & are going to see Wicked. We'd like restaurant recs that are inexpensive/ mid priced (up to $20-25 an entree). We are thinking SOMA since it's a better neighborhood than the area around the Orpheum.

Any kind of food works- Asian, Italian, American- just really good food.

Would be great if there was not difficult parking (asking for EASY parking may not be realistic).

Aug 23, 2010
chele in San Francisco Bay Area

Party trays near Tri Valley for baby's birthday party?

I am planning my baby's 1 year birthday party. We will invite about 90 guests & I am looking for places to pick up trays of food- inexpensive... less than $10 per person. Something simple and in the trivalley area. We live in Dublin so of course, the closer the better!

Anyone have any experience doing this? We haven't thrown many parties, but I guess we'd better learn fast!! Also, how much food should be get (75 adults, 20 kids- invited... not sure how many will be able to come)

Thanks for any tips!!

Jan 21, 2010
chele in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay Restaurants (Tri-Valley) before Baby

My birthday is coming up & we're looking for some dinner spots. We're pregnant so this is our last chance to go to some nice restaurants before baby comes. Yes, I know, some people are able to bring their baby to the most sophisticated restaurants, but just in case we're not that lucky...

Are there favorite restaurants that you would love to go to without the kids?

* We would like something nice & casual - somewhat quiet, but not pricey (around $15/ entree). We're also on a "get ready for baby" budget. :)

* Non-chain restaurants in the tri-valley area (Oakland would be a 2nd choice).

* Most of all, delicious food- any kind of food... Italian, American, Californian, Japanese (no sushi, per DR. orders), Asian...

Nov 11, 2008
chele in San Francisco Bay Area

Tri Valley Moderate priced Anniversary restaurant?

We're looking for a moderate priced (entrees around $15-20) restaurant for our 2nd anniversary. Want something in the tri valley area- San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton. A restaurant that we feel comfortable in - not too dressy, but a nice atmosphere. The food quality is the most important to us. We've enjoyed Izzy's, Patrick David's, Peasant & the Pear, A St Cafe (Hayward), but want something we haven't tried yet. Any favorite restaurants you could recommend?

Aug 29, 2008
chele in San Francisco Bay Area

Dinner for One in Downtown Minneapolis

Going to be in Minneapolis for the first time on a business trip. Would love to experience the great food Minneapolis has to offer. Hoping some of you foodies out there can recommend good restaurants for dinner near the Marquette Hotel In Downtown Minneapolis. I'll be dining solo & my expense account is limited so I prefer a casual setting, reasonably priced ($25-30 per person) with really good food. I don't have a car, so somewhere within taxi distance or short walking distance from 6th & Marquette.


Mar 14, 2008
chele in General Midwest Archive

Best Steak or Prime Rib in East Bay?

Thank you for the great suggestions!! Lots of great options. My hubbie will be happily surprised...

Dec 19, 2007
chele in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Steak or Prime Rib in East Bay?

My husband loves steak & prime rib. I'd like to take him to a restaurant we haven't been before - preferrably in the East Bay-- Tri Valley area. He likes House of Prime Rib, Ruth's Chris. Saw reviews for Hap's, McNamara's, Forbes Mill. How do these compare (taste, price, atmosphere)? Where would you want to go for your birthday?

Thanks for your help!

Dec 18, 2007
chele in San Francisco Bay Area

Dim Sum or Brunch in Union City?

Looking for a dim sum place in Union City that a friend recommended, but don't know the name... What are some of the best places for dim sum in Union City- I saw Mayflower posted, but we've been to Mayflower & thought it was a little overpriced. The place I heard about was "a hole in the wall"???

Otherwise, I'd love to hear about great places for brunch in the area- any kind of food. We're looking for something in Union City because it's half way for us.


Dec 03, 2007
chele in San Francisco Bay Area