Receiving 20 guests for Christmas dinner, advice needed pls
I didn't really think that my post belongs in recipes since I need practical advice as well.
We were volunteered by my neice to do christmas dinner this year which makes sense because we're the only ones in town that has a home big enough to hold 20 guests. Her mom and dad (my sis in law) and her sister and fiance are coming from out of town which makes it kind of special too. My fear is two-fold though.... first is giving an impressive dinner that's easy (my out of town sis in law is a fantastic cook! Let's call her Mo) and then not killing my young neice and nephew (they are very alergic to milk products).
First of all Mo is a great entertainer when we visit. She has always been conscious of timing and just has a knack that I don't have. She cooks up special dishes that are delicious and pulls everything off easily.
Then there's the matter of my niece and her 2 children who live in our town. Her daughter is 7 yrs old and her son is 5. Both of them are extremely allergic to milk products. Their food can touch foods that have milk in them, but can't possibly contain any. We have to check ingredients lists and rule out "whey" and anything that says "lactose". I want to have some yummy foods for these sweet kids, but I'm so afraid of "killing" them!
Then there's the matter of even having time to cook... meaning not being a slave to the stove at Christmas. I'd like to be able to make quite a few dishes ahead of time (I have an extra fridge, and a chest freezer) so I can shorten the prep time of my meal.
We're definitely having the traditional turkey and dressing. My sis in law who also lives in town here will be bringing the pies.
I don't have to make everything lactose free, but since 3 of them are allergic (did I mention that their mom has to be careful too?), I'd like to have things in my menu that they can enjoy and feels special to everyone.
If you've managed to stay awake during this long post, and you know some tricks I can use and yummy make ahead recipes I'd really appreciate it.