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SPOONS wrote:

> I was just wondering what are some of your meals that you cook when you
> have guests for dinner. I could use some ideas.

It depends on the number of guests, the occasion, and the time of year. Here
are some menus I've used (and kept, for some reason).

(For seven guests last Christmas Eve)
Persimmon Salad
Crabmeat Cheesecake
Scampi Rockefeller
Saffron rice
Steamed snow peas with lemon butter
Sea Bass poached in lemon and soy sauce
(Chardonnay with that stuff)
French Silk Pie
Lemon Tart
Shortbread Cookies
B-52 coffees

(For four guests last Christmas)
(Sazenatch cocktails before dinner)
Pumpkin Soup
Spiced Ham
Apple and Pecan Spoonbread
Spiced Persimmon Chutney
White Winter Vegetables Baked in Cream
Slow-cooked Collard Greens with Mustard Seeds, Garlic and Chiles
Anadama Bread
(Riesling and sparkling cider)
Hazelnut Pie with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream & Chocolate Sauce
Caramel Bread Pudding

(For three guests last February)
Bruschetta with Bagna Cauda and Olives
(dry vermouth)
Chestnut Polenta
Pork Braised in Milk
Caramelized Fennel with Celery Root
Wilted Rapini with Garlic and Nutmeg
Cherry-Mascarpone Puff Pastry "Calzones" with Orange and Chocolate Sauces

(For four guests last October)
Baba Ghanoush and Hummus with Pita Bread
Greek Salad
(Iced Tea)

(For five guests last June)
Chilled Yogurt-Cucumber Soup
Greek Salad
Lamb Kabobs
Grilled Pita Bread
Orzo with Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
(Lemon Iced Tea)
Apricot Honey Cake

(For four guests last August)
Caprese Salad
Roasted Vegetables
(Cranberry Iced Tea and Chianti)
Cesar salad with olives
Angel-Hair Pasta with Artichoke-Lemon Sauce
Grilled Marinated Chicken with Prosciutto and Provolone
Peach-and-Plum Crostata

(Four three guests July of last year)
Watercress salad with Asian pears and honey-ginger dressing
Beef short ribs braised in red wine, star anise, and sweet soy sauce
Curried sweet peas and Maui onions
Steamed jasmine rice
(Lemon-Ginger Iced Tea)
Thai-iced-tea Crème Brûlée

(For three guests July of last year)
Grilled Pork Chops with Plum Salsa
Steamed Snow Peas
Spaghetti Squash
(Mango Iced Tea)
Watermelon Sorbet

(For two guests last January)
Green Salad
Roast Chicken Marinated in Saffron, Orange and Garlic
Toasted Wild Mushroom Polenta
Quartered Brussels Sprouts Sautéed with Cumin
Moroccan Harost Balls
(Mint Tea)

(For one guest May of last year)
Marinated Shrimp Canapés
Mixed Green Salad
French Bread
Crabmeat Cheesecake with Wine Sauce
Quinoa Timbale with Peas and Lemon Thyme
(Chardonnay-Semillon blend)
Toffeed Strawberries and Assorted Cheeses (Pont L'Eveque, Gruyere,
Brie, and Edam)
(Moscato d'Asti)

(For five guests last Thanksgiving)
Peppery Candied Pecans
(Dry Sherry)
Roast Capon
Gravy (Martha Stewart's "Gravy 101")
Stuffing with sausage, apples, pecans, currants, and mushrooms
Cranberry-Pistachio chutney
Field Greens with toasted hazelnuts, jicama, and huckleberry dressing
Broccoli and Cauliflower au gratin
Mashed winter vegetables with Herb Butter
Dinner Rolls
(Sparkling Cider and guest-provided White Zinfandel)
Rum cake
Caramel cheesecake with caramelized cinnamon pears

(What I'm planning for this Thanksgiving, with five guests)
Stuffed Mushrooms
(Dry Sherry)
Barb's Green Bean Soup
Standing Beef Rib Roast
Garlic Bread Pudding
Baked Potatoes (sour cream, butter, and chives)
Tossed Salad (lettuce, jicama, cucumber, scallions)
Dorothy Lynch Dressing
Homemade Ranch Dressing
Spinach Casserole
Broccoli & Cauliflower Au Gratin
Dinner Rolls
Black Forest Cake
Banana Pudding
Sour Cream Apple Pie