Need picnic-style menus

likesivyJune 11, 2007

For the past five months My DH and I have been refurbishing a 41-foot 1968 motor yacht we bought. Now, it's almost ready for cruising and entertaining. There is a small galley onboard, with a refrigerator, 3-burner electric range and small oven, and a microwave. There's also a separate ice maker/wet bar in the main salon, an area where four can eat comfortably at a sit down meal, or maybe eight for a buffet. I mean, the thing is made for entertaining. I'm even gathering some CD's of 1968 music (Hey Jude, Mrs. Robinson, Jumping Jack Flash, MacArthur Park, I Heard It Throught the Grapevine...)

I need some summer menu ideas that would make it easy for me to have another couple or two on board for dinner or lunch. We could cruise down the river, anchor and eat. I'd like to be able to do most of the cooking at home, at least until I'm accustomed to my new/old galley and appliances. I love to cook from scratch, so I don't plan to purchase deli or take-out food. There's no grill, so burgers and steaks and kebabs are out, but there is a freezer so ice cream is a possibility. Desserts are no problem (cake, cookies, pie).

Here are the only ideas I've come up with so far:

Cold boiled shrimp and dip. Green salad. Garlic bread or bruschette.

Crock-pot bbq. Cornbread. Cole slaw. Potato salad.

Now, that's a pretty pathetic listing for someone who loves to cook. Part of why I'm stuck is that we usually eat a healthful diet at home, and a typical meal might be baked yams, garden salad, homemade whole wheat bead; or bean enchilladas, brown rice, salad; or beef and vegetable stir fry. Also, we don't entertain much because my DH just doesn't enjoy it. He just never learned to be a host, isn't a sparkling conversationalist, and well, he's just not that outgoing. Also, we don't drink, although we are not adverse to serving alcohol. And oh, yeah...DH has a list of foods he won't eat: chicken (turkey's ok), sausage, eggplant, creamed sauces, tofu, eggs (where it's obvious they are eggs like omlettes or devilled eggs), yogurt, sour cream, cheesecake and white cheeses in general. Don't ask me. He's really a great guy. On his boat, he'll be in his element, and entertaining should present no problems. I, on the other hand like to have friends over for dinner, but don't as often as I'd like to. See where I'm going with this boat thing?

I am hoping you experienced entertainers can suggest some winning menus.

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I would make chicken breasts ahead of time. Maybe bread them in italian breadcrumbs after placing in a marinade of Italian dressing for 2 to 4 hours. Then bake. Then you slice each one on an angle.

You could serve cold. If you had an oven just place them in there to reheat. Marinara on top is optional with a little parmesan.

Then do a salad, bread, and a penne pasta. Viola. There is a meal.

I would do roast beef in au jous (is that how to spell) serve with buns and fixings. That can go in a pan and stay heated in a crock pot.
Serve with salads and chips.

I love doing a good chicken salad. Green salad. Then little potatoes roasted. All can be served cold.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 11:34AM
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My idea of picnic foods would be cold fried chicken (which your husband doesn't like), some cold salads such as macaroni salad & slaw, baked beans (can be served cold too), sweet iced tea served in Mason jars if you can find some. A fresh apple or cherry pie for dessert topped with vanilla ice cream.

Sounds like a lot of fun!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 3:53PM
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I was going to suggest chicken salad too, but since your husband doesn't like it, maybe a tuna salad (or a some of each in case your guests don't like tuna).

How about some homemade soups that you can just warm up (can you easily eat that on a boat?) and some tea type sandwiches with cheese and fruits? Or how about a green salad with all the fixings including meat like cold steak slices.

I'm trying to think of things that hold up well and are ok warmed about stuffed peppers, lasagna, or even a good stew?

I know you said picnic but since you're missing the grill and your husband won't do chicken, I'd focus more on a "luncheon" type menu.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 8:43PM
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