Help with cooking for eight guests!??!

Question: Im having a diner party for 8 people in a few weeks, but I work until 6pm does anyone have any good ideas for a menu I can use that will be quick but effective (I can prepare the night before if need be) I need help with 3 courses!
Thank You.

Answers: Im having a diner party for 8 people in a few weeks, but I work until 6pm does anyone have any good ideas for a menu I can use that will be quick but effective (I can prepare the night before if need be) I need help with 3 courses!
Thank You.

OK, I like this question.

Make your dinner party a theme meal such as Italian, Mexican or Chinese.

Start off with appetizers for example if you do Italian then serve bread sticks and a relish tray that consists of olives, artichoke hearts and what ever else you think as Italian related. These things can be bought in a can or jar, drained and arranged on a tray in no time at all. Also if you do Italian serve wine and drink a bottle the night before so you can poke a candle in it and have a center piece.

If you do Mexican then serve chips, salsa, queso and guacamole or a seven layer dip. These things can be prepped the night before and heat the queso on a warming tray before your guest arrive. If you serve mexican then your drink should be Sangria or margaritas.

For the main course if you do Italian then prepare a lasagna the day before and then all you have to do is pop it in the oven before your guests arrive and serve with a salad and garlic bread also prepped the day before, so very easy and will allow you to visit with your guests.

If you do mexican then prep enchiladas the night before so you can pop them in the oven as well and serve with a salad and refried beans.

For dessert you can bake the cake below a day or two before and ice it the night before but make sure you store it in the ice box covered.

Italian Spumoni Cake
1 yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1-cup sour cream
3/4-cup oil
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding

1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 8 oz. Chopped cherries
2 oz. Unsweetened chocolate melted
4 drops each red & green food color
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Beat first 5 ingredients on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Divide into 3 bowls.
Bowl #1 - add nuts & green food color
Bowl #2 - add cherries & red food color
Bowl #3 - add chocolate & almond extract
Grease and flour 3 round cake pans and fill each with a different mixture.
Bake at 250 till center is set, let cool.
Ice cake with cream cheese icing.

or just arrange fruit on a tray for dessert.

For a mexican dessert serve Flan. Its easy to make and you can search a recipe off the internet.

I hope your party is a success...

I'm done now.

Get caterers in. Or buy a ready made one and take it out of the packaging before your guests arrive. Or haven't you got a man who can do that sort of thing for you?

Tshh, men eh? Can't live without 'em, can't get em to cook dinner.

Can you do a big stew, something you can put in a slow cooker before you go out in the monring then it will be ready and tender by tea time?

Homemade pies are always the answer!!

Everyone loves a pie and you can make it a day or 2 before, then all you have to do it shove it in the oven for an hour or so with some msahed potatoes and simple veg.

If you want to be flash, make 2 pies (one a veg if necessary) else a chicken/mushroom and a meat pie.

Starter - soup! Prepare in advance, you could even make it one weekend and freeze it!

Main course - casserole or stew, like beef bouginon. Again, can be made in advance and reheated (often tastes better this way, too), or cooked in a slow cooker while you are out at work

Desert - pavlova. Make the meringue in advance, whip the cream in the morning, then all you have to do is assemble it before your guests arrive. Or you could do a lovely cheesecake!

Have a starter and dessert that can be prepared ahead. For example, soup, apple pie - all that kind of stuff you can make in advance.

The main course could be one of those slow cooked things - beouf bourgignon for example - which you prepared the night before and just put in a very, very low oven - or a slow cooker if you have one. Good Luck

Make it easy for yourself. Order an Indian take-away.

I would suggest something like Lasagna (you could make it the day before and just bake that night) with bread salad and dessert. Or you could make something in the crockpot. Make the dessert (cheesecake) the night before and then just throw a salad together and enjoy the guests.
I don't know how handy you are in the kitchen but if you know how to stirfy you can prepare all the ingredients the night before (vegetable and marinate the sliced meat) and then do a quick stir fry to impress you guests. Maybe some icecream or cake, or eclairs for dessert.

Ok, how about an Italian starter like antipasti... a platter of various different meats with nice, lightly toasted ciabatta or maybe bruschetta (toasted bread - like ciabatta - with chopped tomatoes, salt, olive oil and basil). If following the Italian theme, how about a nice pasta dish like chicken arriabiata (chicken in a spicy tomato sauce and veggies such as peppers/onions etc.) or alternatively I like to cook cheesy chicken for my man sometimes and he loves it... it's very basic, but very tasty - dip chicken breasts in egg and cover in breadcrumbs which have been mixed with good, strong grated chedder cheese. Fry on either side until golden and then put in the oven at 200oC for about 20 mins. Serve with mash potato and some green veggies like broccoli and it'll be lovely.

For dessert, if it has to be quick, how about a nice chocolate mousse you can prepare the day before? You could serve this with cream and strawberries on the side maybe. Or a lovely fruit salad with tons of different types of fruit - mango, strawberries, pineapple, papaya, pear, kiwi etc. served with cream/ice-cream. I know you need to have a menu that you can prepare quickly and I think this one will allow that. If you want to keep going with the Italian theme you could maybe have a tiramisu as dessert (you could prepare this the night before too - actually nicer when it's a day old) or just buy it already made.

Spinach and bacon salad (can make the bacon and chop everything days in advance)

Shish Kebab--can pre-cook the meat, then thread everything. Put it on the grill to finish cooking the meat and cook the veggies at the same time (big cook out classic at our house and I make it for 20 people)

Make mushroom rice (Link-- My own recipe!

For dessert make Emeril's Stuffed angel food cake (Link--

I have made ALL of these recipes--they are easy and can be made ahead of time. If you're doing steak kebabs, make some sangria to go along with it!

Go for the crockpot! There are a million things you can do for any amount of people. I always rely on mine.

Some of the things I've done in mine:


2 lbs meat (steak, pork, chicken - your preference)
1 onion
1 pepper
1 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons groung ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic

Cut meat and veggies into bitesize pieces and layer in crockpot, meat on bottom. Whisk all over ingredients in separate bowl and poer over in crockpot. Cook on low for 4 - 6 hours. Serve over rice.


Another chicken recipe:

3 - 4 chicken breasts (can be frozen)
1 can Rotel or salsa about 15 oz (drained if Rotel)
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1/2 packet of taco seasoning
8 oz. cream cheese

Place all in crockpot, cook on low for 5 - 7 hours, until no longer pink. I put mine on in the morning when I leave for work about 9, done by 5.
30 - 45 minutes before serving, put cream cheese on top, turn crockpot on high. Let cream cheese melt, then stir right before serving.

Search THey have a crockpot section, there are tons of things to whip up. This way, your main dish is taken care of, you can have more time to take care of side dishes and such.

Starter - Soup, will improve hugely being left a day or even 2 so make in advance. Either Roast tomato and basil or Curried vegetable (parsnip or mixed with chick peas) depending what you choose for mains below. Obviously tomato with lasagne etc..

Main - Lasagne or Curry - again will improve dramatically if made day or 2 before, stews and casserole are too boring. I recommend either of these because you can have a tear and share garlic bread with Lasagne or Nan and Poppadoms with the Curry - very social, everyone involved makes for easy conversation and a better night.

Dessert - Key Lime pie, completely cleanses and refreshes the pallet, very light to eat and will sit beautifully with whatever you have had for main, just serve with cream or some incredibly good quality vanilla ice cream.

Finish off with the best tea or coffee money can buy, dont even think about tetley or nescafe and a very small piece of homemade tablet or fudge on the side.

You are now sorted - yes I am a fine dining chef, all above dead easy though and very sociable.

Have a great night, good luck!

Starter - cook the day before - chicken liver pate

Buy a packet of frozen chicken livers, defrost them and they fry them in a LOT of butter with salt pepper and herbs, add a dash of brandy if you like. Put in a liquidiser and blast until it is a mush then pour into a dish and cool. refrigerate overnight.

Main - roast duck with cherry sauce and veg.

Prep your veg the night before.

You can prep the duck the night before, all your other half has to do is put it in the oven.

Dry the duck off and prick all over with a fork. Place in a baking dish on scrumpled foil (duck produces a lot of fat) put in the oven and leave for 2 hours. (for 8 you will probably need two birds)

for the source buy 1 jar of cherry jam and some red wine. Pour half a bottle of the wine into a pan and add half the jar of jam. - Warm through and stir until it thickens (about 10 mins)

forget pud - serve cheese and crust bread instead or else ice cream - the duck is so rich your guests won't want a big pud.

I think Chinese don't order it make chinese noodles like spghetti only without sauce and salt.Then make frien rice let rice boil and add black pepper salt and mixed vegatables.

Amy If you want to you could order it.

well for starters make a prawn cocktail and for second course make casseroles liver with veggies and onions and dumplings and for dessert make a trifle followed by tea or coffee with cheese and biscuits

Make up a large lasagne the day before , cook it then refridgerate over night and re heat in the oven the next day!!! Serve with garlic bread, buy some of those bags of mixed salad , add a sliced red onion and some cherry toms!! (And a nice salad dressing to put on the table!!)
Buy a pudding ie: Cheesecakes??? (These just need defrosting for a couple of hours or do it in the fridge whilst out for the day!!

I'm a guy. Let me see if I can redeem men here ;-)

Starter: Shrimp Cocktail
Some quickly boiled shrimp 'Garlic and Ginger' in the water please when boiling.
Let the Shrimp go cold.
Mix Mayonnaise with a little ketchup, a squeeze of fresh lemon.
These can be done the night before;
Line a large wine glass with fresh crisp lettuce. Spoon in some of the sauce you prepared and hang the shrimp around the glass.

Main Course; Boiled whole Salmon
Buy one Salmon, either scale it of have the fish monger do it for you.
Place your Salmon in the sink (washbasin) make sure the stopper has a good seal.
Fill the sink with boiling water, enough to cover the fish. Cover the sink with a serving tray with Foil on the bottom. to keep the heat.
Allow it to cook. Change the hot water if you not sure. Cooking time will depend on the size of the fish.
When the fish if cooked it will look like its in full movement.
The fish can be cooked the night before. Be careful not to damage the skin when you lift it out.
Pop out the eyes and insert either plain green olives or olives with pimentos.
Line a serving tray with wrinkled tin foil; cover it with fresh lettuce, sliced tomatoes, Cucumber, wedges of lemon, Olives, feta cheese,
Cold potatoes to accompany, or rice with corn. Brown bread it that floats your boat. Season to taste
Wine: preferable white, but not too sweet, light but fruity. Maybe try a Rose Grenache.
Maybe a citrus salad, or a fruit mix, with a little cuantro (can't remember the spelling, with a scoop of Ice Cream
Tea/Coffee to complete the night, Digestives as you like.

In honour of all men around the world ;-)
Hope you like the menu Have a nice evening

depending on what you know your guest like you may not need to serve starter and serve them alcoholic drink and some shop bought biscuits the more expensive ones you could do a lasange and chips for main meal you could put your man in charge of chips not much he can do wrong you
could do a fruit flan cheesecake fruitsalad for desert you can get flan case and cheesecake already prepared in shops fruit salad and cream is easy to make

The consumer Foods information on is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions.
The answer content post by the user, if contains the copyright content please contact us, we will immediately remove it.
Copyright © 2007 FoodAQ - Terms of Use - Contact us - Privacy Policy

Food's Q&A Resources