Dinner party for 4. I want to impress, not break the budget or bust anyone's diet!?!

Question: Dinner party for 4!. I want to impress, not break the budget or bust anyone's diet!!?
I'm open to any and all suggestions, **except fish**!. I'd say I'm an intermediate level cook, no training other than life :-) The couple we are entertaining are health conscious but are not fanatics!. My 2 yr old daughter will be awake for the beginning part of the evening; I'd like to serve some kind of app but would need to be kid-friendly for this reason!.

I have a light, woody red wine to serve with the meal - so beef/pork entrees especially welcome, but again open to any & all suggestions!


You could make beef or pork kabobs/skewers with onion, zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms on the grill!. Serve with pasta or pasta salad, a mixed green salad, and stuffed tomatoes!. For an appetizer, a cheese ball or dip with crackers and cut veggies would be good!. For dessert, drizzle store bought pound cake with melted chocolate, sliced strawberries and vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!. It tastes just like chocolate covered strawberries!. YUM!Www@FoodAQ@Com

I actually would serve seafood myself!. I would cook some shrimp and pasta!. But for you I would go with a nice pork loin seasoned with thyme, salt & pepper!. Brown on all sides for about 2 minutes each side and place it into a preheated 350 degree oven cook for about 20 minutes!. Take out of the oven and place on a cutting board to rest (at least 15 min)!. Serve cous cous on the side (far east makes a great rosemary garlic one and it takes literally 5 minutes to cook) Serve with some roasted brussel sprouts with garlic bacon & olive oil or some steamed broccoli tossed in garlic, olive oil, butter, salt pepper and lemon juice!. Tossed salad with bread and a light vinagrette for a pre meal and appetizer of stuffed mushrooms with stovetop or sage stuffing insideWww@FoodAQ@Com

I'd make a pork roast in the large crock pot!. You only need to dump a can of chopped tomatoes on top and turn it on!. Then you can concentrate on the rest of the meal!. Maybe some small red potatoes thrown in with an hour left to go!. Steam some fresh green beans and/or asparagus just before the meal is ready!. Make a mixed green salad with some pecans, red grapes, crumbled bleu cheese and rasberry vinagrette dressing!. For an appetizer, you don't want anything too heavy because you're serving pork roast!. Maybe some mini cream puffs with mushroom or crab stuffing!. Dessert!? A scoop of sinful vanilla with fresh raspberries and juice drizzled on top!. Put an edible flower on the side of the scoop for decoration!.Www@FoodAQ@Com

You can't go wrong with steak!. Baked (or twice baked) potatoes and mixed vegetables for a side dish!. Fry up some sliced mushrooms for topping the steak!. For desert, brownies topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, chopped nuts and a cherry!. Just remember, presentation is everything!. People eat with their eyes before they eat with their mouth!. If you need some more help, feel free to e-mail me!. root_racing@yahoo!.comWww@FoodAQ@Com

how about a type of fresh salsa with mango in it for an appetizer, and a large family-style salad with grilled chiken on the side!. just ideas!. it is really simple to look up recipies online once you know what you want to make :)
if your daughter doesnt like the salsa itself, she can just munch on the tortilla chips or crackers!.Www@FoodAQ@Com

How about a Lamb kabob with veggies (ie cherry tomatoes, zuchinni, onion, and corn on the cob)!. Put the kabob on top of a bed of white Jasmine rice (jasmine rice is sweet)!. You could add some safron rice too!. The veggies are kid friendly!. And so is the rice!. On the side of the plate, a little lemon wedge!.Www@FoodAQ@Com

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