In a couple of weeks, I am going to be hosting my monthly book group meeting here.

Typically, we have a light supper, wine, and a dessert. Wine and dessert are easy. But I'm having a bit of a struggle with what to serve. The last hostess, my good friend J, made a green salad, baked ziti with mozzarela cheese with brownies and grapes for dessert.

In the past, I've made pizza, polenta with cheese and chunky tomato sauce, tortellini en brodo, baked ziti with mozzarella and ricotta, roasted veggies with pesto and whole-wheat pasta. I've also made chana masala and rice (which is a chick-pea curry) and once curried pumpkin soup. The soup was a disaster. I had a horrible cold and couldn't taste a thing - it was so spicy no one could eat it.

But I diverge.
This year, I am thinking, perhaps of trying to make the soup again. I've gotten much better at it, and it's easy. I can either make it over the weekend and keep it in the freezer until it's time, or get it together when Claire is napping that day. I also want to serve a bunch of Indian appetizers and desserts, since we live in an Indian neighborhood. (It's also easy...) But I need something else to round out the meal.

I was thinking a rice salad - my mother-in-law makes a fantastic one with toasted almonds, mandarin oranges, green beans, cranberries, green onion and a dressing of sesame oil, soy and orange juice. She made it for lunch today, two huge bowls and it was all gone.

There are a couple of reservations I do have to follow. One girl in the group is a vegetarian, however she is pretty easy going and eats a varied diet. I just have to remember to use vegetarian stock for the soup and I'm good. Another girl keeps kosher. (ditto on the veggie stock) A third girl has recently developed a nut allergy. There I have the problem...I know I'll have to at the very least keep the toasted almonds on the side, but what about sesame? Anyone know?

And while I'm at it, anyone have a good recipe for a salad? 


Suzi said…
for the party i made a yummy pasta salad, but it wouldn't fit your ethnic menu. or your vegetarians diets. Pasta, sweet onions, broccoli, grape tomatoes and canned chicken, mixed together with bacon ranch dressing and topped with crumbled bacon. It was a total crowd pleaser...granted my crowd was teenagers! Not very sophisticated palates there
Painless Mama said…
Good lord. I have to make that!

Have decided on the rice salad my MIL made yesterday, with the nuts on the side.
Anonymous said…

Can you please, pretty please post your MIL's salad recipe? It sounds delicious and I am always on the hunt for new and yummy salad recipes.


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