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House Blessing-Need Menu Help

m2violin's picture

I'm planning a house blessing on a Sunday afternoon after church.  One of the priests from my church will bless the house, and we'll spend the rest of the afternoon eating.  I'm guessing probablly about 30 people will show up.  At this time I'm thinking I'll prepare a spinach/gruyere strata and vodka-spiked cherry tomatoes (which are a favorite in my parish).  The rest of my menu is, shall we say, flexible.

Within this flexibility I'm conscious of having food that will not need a knife, since guests will be juggling plates.  Also, since this is after church everything will need to be prepared the night before, with some things (such as the strata) going into the oven right before guests arrive.

Does anyone have any ideas for other items to go with this menu?  I'm thinking mainly finger foods.  Should I serve a green salad with this meal?

Also, how many bottles of wine should I buy?  How many bottles of white wine, how many bottles of red?

Thank you for your input!

ICDOCEAN1's picture

House blessing (post #71002, reply #1 of 6)

I used to make those tomatoes all the time when we were boating on Lake Michigan, thanks for the reminder. 

As for your menu, the strata sounds good and a salad would be great to go with it.  I think a nice fruit and cheese assortment would go well with the wines that you will serve so I have attached a short guide to help you decide.

A fresh tomato bruschetta would be nice and I found a video to peek at , set it out and each person makes their own click on Watch John"s video.

Middle of the day food, light enough and at that time of day most will know that it won't be dinner. I love antipasto platters myself.

Find a local bakery for an assortment of sweets (Costco and Sam's all have mini desserts in the frozen cases that are perfectly fine) and they have great "cold cuts" and cheeses ready for an antipasto platter.  Being Italian this makes perfect sense for me for after church.

I am attaching an elaborate antipasto salad that we make on holidays just to give you an idea, while it is unfinished in the picture it gives you an idea if you only want to do "a salad" instead of a more traditional cold cut platter to go with the strata. 

The other photo is of a vegetable Parmesan that I made for Christmas dinner, loved it, but just a little work for a 30 person version, that pan could easily serve 9 or twelve.  It is the grilling of the vegetables that takes the time, but it can be done way ahead of time.

How much wine, gosh for that time of day and for safe driving, I can't answer that as most people should know their limit if they have to drive.  Wild guess not more than two glasses???

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m2violin's picture

House Blessing Menu (post #71002, reply #3 of 6)

Thank you for the advice!  What do you think of this menu:

Breakfast Strata wit Spiniach and Gruyere
Mixed Antipasto Platter
Vodka-Spiked Cherry Tomatoes with Pepper Salt
Tiny Twice-Baked Potatoes
Crusty Bread with butter, possibly other spreads
Non-alcoholic drink (maybe sparkling cider)
Lemon Bars

Do you think I need to have a cheese board?  Or some sort of vegan spread with crostini?

Thank you again!  This is really coming together, thanks to your advice!

ICDOCEAN1's picture

House blessing menu (post #71002, reply #4 of 6)

That looks pretty good and as far as a vegetarian spread goes, if you want to make one or two that will appeal to all guests, an artichoke spread or a fresh pea pesto would be a nice choice for a change as well as caponata these of course need to be on grilled or toasted bread as in bruschetta or crostini, both can be made ahead of time.

You can add a few cheeses to the antipasto platter, bocconcini or sliced mozzarella, a non smoked provolone, and chunks of Parmigiano.  Also pinzimonio (raw vegetable platter) can be a side to the antipasto, but I think you have enough vegetables going on, an addition of a few cheeses should do it. 

Sounds wonderful!  Be sure to take pictures of your amazing buffet!

GretchenTHE FIRST's picture

I think it sounds delicious.. (post #71002, reply #5 of 6)

I think it sounds delicious.. I suggested "my" menu more in response to your characterization of "we'll spend the rest of the afternoon eating".  For that sort of gathering I usually have something I can pick up and eat--some cheese or a little bun-- while having a glass of wine, and then progably go back and snack on something else.
But you know your crowd and the time people will spend eating. I have the feeling of needing a little more of "snacks". Your dishes are pretty "definite" in serving sizes--like the number of potatoes you will need, etc. 

 Have fun. A nice occasion.

m2violin's picture

So ... I'll do the cheese (post #71002, reply #6 of 6)

So ... I'll do the cheese board and a vegan spread/dip with crostini.  Maybe a couple of spreads.  Perhaps I'll find a great recipe for a flavored butter for the bread as well.

The beauty of the anticpasto platter and cheese board is I can mix it up as I go shopping, and pick stuff that looks particularly good that day.

Thanks again for the help and insipiration!

GretchenTHE FIRST's picture

Wine is 5 glasses to a fifth. (post #71002, reply #2 of 6)

Wine is 5 glasses to a fifth. Probably more white than red. Need sodas, juices and water. Maybe iced tea. You can decide if you want to serve any beer. Personally I don't care for people walking around with beer bottles, so glasses might be needed.

I think salads slide around on a plate when served at a buffet. If you do serve a "salad" I'd make it of broccoli, or green beans, or such--not lettuce.

Personally for buffets I prefer to serve a meat (I usally do a beef tenderloin--ham or pork tenderloins would work) with some small rolls and condiments to make small sandwiches. Then have a cheese board, some fruit, marinated asparagus or such, etc.  The meat can all be ready ahead of time.  Maybe a pasta dish for something hot.  Desserts--lemon bars, brownies, good chocolate cake cut into small pieces.