Meal Ideas for Family Gatherings:


Grilled Sandwiches:

Cold Sandwiches:

Broasted Chicken:



Salad Bar:

Staples for Family Gatherings:


Xmas Brunch - 2011

Brunch: (served Sept, 2013)

Brunch: served Christmas, 2013

(similar to above) Scrambled Eggs. Baked French Toast (by Shannon. It takes longer to bake than expected.) Tater Tots. Ham slices on griddle. Toast. Berry Yogurt Parfait - a nice addition! 

Xmas 2010 Brunch:

Easter Brunch, 2014

* Marinade: 1 1/2 c pineapple juice, 1/4 c br. sug packed, 2 Tb melted butter, 1 Tb gr mustard, 1/2 ts minced garlic, 1/4 ts paprika. Mix, marinate 2 hours or overnight. Broil 4" from heat 4-5 mins ea side, basting frequently. 2 thick slices = 4.4 pounds; two slices fit on pan. A good amount of ham.
**3-4 pounds cut strawberries + 3 half-pints blueberries + 1 cored pineapple cut in chunks.

Lunch Menu


To Cook a Tender Free-Range Turkey:

Preparation: washed, dried, skin buttered and salted.
Wrapped in large, heavy-duty foil, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, with a can  or two of veggie broth on the bottom inside the foil.
Brown uncovered (foil open) at 350 degrees for 45 mins
Seal foil, lower heat to 300 degrees
Cook slightly less time than charts say; don't overcook.  Bake to165 degrees in breast, 175 degrees in deep part of thigh. 
Let sit for an hour after removing from oven before cutting to keep the juices in

TO REHEAT (Iverson Method):

Slice and put in large oval crockpot in turkey broth.  Put white meat on one side and dark meat on the other side.  Refrigerate overnight.
Remove from frig 4 1/2 hours before meal; let it warm on the counter 30-40 minutes before reheating. 
Reheat on low for 4-5 hours, basting with broth occasionally.

2010  Notes:
A 14# turkey was a bit too small for enough leftovers. Baking it 45 minutes uncovered didn't brown it overly, but then cooking it 3 hours wrapped in foil was perfect.
No need to double the corn casserole recipe.
10# of potatoes was a lot of leftovers, but the bags come in 5#, so good to repeat.
4 small boxes of stovetop stuffing, about right.
Le Gout brand turkey gravy from the Marketplace is good, 2 cans (3# each) if not making any gravy from the roasted turkey.
baked pumpkin with wild rice stuffing was good, but only bake 2 or 3 six inch pumpkins to use for serving.

2011 Notes:
Never-frozen turkey from Whole Foods, butcher said to keep it at 32-35 degrees til using it. 16# turkey was good size.

2013 Notes:
15.3# turkey fine for 12 of us. La Gout gravy not good this year (?); Shannon's scratch gravy much better. Doing the turkey the day before and reheated in the crockpot - great solution.

2015 Turkey Meal:

Turkey, two 5# Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breasts (each with a drumstick attached) from Lunds. Delicious, but too much meat for 12  people. Only took 90 minutes to cook, cooked the day ahead and reheated using Iverson method. Next time aim for 1/2# per person, so 6# for 12 people.

Stuffing, 3 boxes Chicken Stove Top with celery and shallots cooked the day before.

Mashed Potatoes, 8# of baking potatoes using Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes recipe. Delicious, but too much. 1/2# per person would have been plenty, so 6# for 12 people.

Corn Casserole - brought by Joelle, always good. 

Green Beans, the only disappointment of the meal. Fresh would have been better than frozen.

Glazed Carrots. Excellent new recipe, worth doing again.

Cranberries - forgotten, frankly. Missed....?

White bread machine bread and 1 doz. corn muffins.

Salad by Sara, excellent.  Relish plate, hardly touched, but left out for afterwards, so worthwhile.

Gravy by Sara. Good.

Dessert: Brownies (Betty Crocker Fudge, consider nothing else!) and ice cream. Need to remember to store ice cream in basement freezer as kitchen freezer is too cold. Also Ethelyn's delicious apple bars from Joelle.

Later Food: turkey and tuna salad sandwiches, chips, fruit, sweets.

2016 Turkey Meal:
All 16 of us present.

Later Food: turkey and tuna salad sandwiches, chips, fruit, sweets - it was on hand but never put out; should have been.

2016 Brunch
brunch served at 11:00 a.m., turkey at 3:00 p.m.

Baked French Toast + Scrambled Eggs + English Muffins + Berry Yogurt Parfait (served in footed clear bowl). Good!

2016 Christmas
16 of us, no Lengkeeks, dinner at 6:00 p.m. Dining table + 48" round table topper on card table, connected by 4'x4' plexi, long tablecloth over all. First time dishes passed instead of bufffet style.

Ham, 4.23#, just enough. Thought it was sliced, it wasn't. John said Sara's on Xmas Eve was better, it was bone-in, pre-sliced. Need to have mustard too with ham. Crock Pot Hash Browns, far too much.  White bread machine bread, always a hit. Fresh green beans, 2 x 12 oz packages, good; kids didn't like the almonds on it at all. Squash, frozen cubes, not good. Spinach Balls, tasty but not hard enough, maybe not cooked enough cuz oven turned off. Relish plate, good. Dessert of choc chip mint ice cream & wh cr & sprinkles & brownies & neighbors' treats to pass. Liz's caramels were a hit. 

Easter 2017
12 of us, dinner at 6:00 p.m. Dining table like Xmas 2016, 2 tables connected to make one 10' long. Three lavender vinyl tablecloths fit well. Dishes passed, not buffet.

Ham, 3.74#, could have been a bit more, not much more, already cooked, no bone, 6 hours in crock pot with pineapple juice mixture on it, and more pineapple juice mix to pour over. Two breads, white and Anadama. Crock Pot Potatoes. Steamed carrots and steamed green beans. Cauliflower "potato" salad, barely touched, but I liked it. Salad from Sara, very good. Relishes not touched at all. Dessert of brownies and ice cream plus strawberries and bananas with whipped cream from Joelle, very good. Overall, good meal.

2017 Thanksgiving - Walleye from Cottage Gourmets
All 16 of us.
From Barb: walleye (19 filets), tartar, wild rice, sweet potato, relish.
The fish was fantastic, the tartar very good, wild rice just fine, sweet potato needed salt and butter and got it the next day, relish not popular.
Next time we have walleye from Barb, skip the relish, do have wild rice, sweet potato ...maybe. Next time maybe ask for even more walleye for more leftovers; reheated leftover walleye was great.
Also with the meal we had: steamed broccoli (very good), machine bread (always a hit with kids), salad from Sara (always good), stovetop stuffing (very good). Sara brought mini-bundt cakes, very good. It was on the 24th, Noah's bday, so we did candles and gifts too.

2017 Thanksgiving lunch-Sandwich Meal - Noon casual meal before evening walleye meal

Sandwiches: had leftover turkey from Shannon's bird the day before, 12-egg egg salad almost gone, tuna salad. Would have used deli meat if didn't have leftover turkey.
Also: bread, pickles (need lots), mayo, mustard. Sides: chips, fruit, veggies (should have had more) & hummus & ranch. Cole slaw, potato salad. Brownies. Pumpkin pie from Shannon's meal the day before, with whip cream. Had some vanilla bean ice cream, not enough; need lots of that on hand for desserts.

2017 Christmas Meal - Turkey breast with the usual. Learned that Poultry Gravy from Byerly's is pretty good. Good to have on hand to add to homemade gravy.

2018 Thanksgiving Turkey Meal, all 16 of us present.

Later Food: had on hand ham, egg salad, PBJ, and tuna salad plus the turkey for sandwiches, chips, fruit, crudites, sweets. Only some ate sandwiches (none ate turkey) because we had dessert a couple hours after the big meal so people weren't hungry. Recc for 2019, have dessert immediately after the big meal and again after sandwiches.

Table: All 16 of us at the same table for the first time. Joined the big table with the 48" round card table topper plus a second card table and two 4'x4' plexi pieces. Two white twin sheets fit over the long table nicely.

2018 Christmas Brunch - Cinnamon Baked French Toast, Crescent Roll Sausage Bake, bacon, scrambled eggs (18 eggs, not nearly enough), Duncan Hines Blueberry Streusel Muffins, English Muffins, cut fruit, oatmeal for Sara, OJ.

2018 Christmas Dinner - Honey Baked Ham 7# & Honey Baked Turkey 3# (both delicious, lots left over), Crock Pot Hash Brown Pototoes (2-20oz was plenty), Corn Casserole, Sweet Potato Apple Casserole (so-so), Pineapple Casserole (so-so), broccoli (overcooked ...again), salad from Sara (excellent), white machine bread, Danish Rye Bread (from Rasmus).