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August 23, 2010 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Ideas for supper for me, my sister, and her husband?

My sister and her husband live right down the road and we often get together to share supper / play Rock Band / drink beer. We've got the last two down pretty well pat, but I'm looking for fun supper ideas that we can all get involved with and have a hand in. We'll eat about anything once, and more than once if it tastes good. We just have a few dishes (red beans and rice, grilling hamburgers/hot dogs) we stick to, but want to broaden the horizon. What are some ideas for fixing supper together that are awesome that we haven't thought about? Bonus points for being able to do it on the cheap and/or on the quick, or being something where we can make a base dish, and customize it a little bit to each of our separate tastes once it hits the individual plates.
posted by deezil to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Tacos!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:04 PM on August 23, 2010

Best answer: Spaghetti!
posted by gyusan at 2:06 PM on August 23, 2010

Best answer: Pizza! Well, you customize it before it hits the OVEN, but, that's the right idea.
posted by teragram at 2:09 PM on August 23, 2010

Take the spaghetti gyusan mentioned and instead of sauce put bacon and eggs on it. It's a lot better than it sounds, and I think it sounds amazing to begin with.
posted by theichibun at 2:09 PM on August 23, 2010

teragram's pizza, but grill it.

Chef salad.

posted by Bardolph at 2:13 PM on August 23, 2010

I cook basmati rice in bouillon and throw in vegetables (carrots, peas, corn, whatever) at the start. \Yummy and then each person can add a bit of different flavoring to their serving if they want - I like horseradish myself. Or throw a fried egg on top, etc.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 2:13 PM on August 23, 2010

Serve "breakfast" for dinner. This gives you an excuse to cook all the hearty breakfast dishes you like but don't usually have time for in the morning: eggs how you like them; bacon; biscuits; etc. Eat fruit for dessert. Quick to make and fun to eat.
posted by Jenna Brown at 2:15 PM on August 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

You should post this question on chowhound.com- a much more food-centric/oriented forum with fantastic ideas and suggestions.
posted by TheBones at 2:20 PM on August 23, 2010

Best answer: Here's a link to an "easy new moms recipes" link I found searching for "easy dinners" that looks like a pretty good start that seems to be what you are looking for. Obviously just a start.
posted by TheBones at 2:23 PM on August 23, 2010

Best answer: Baked potatoes with various fillings.
Individual quiches with different things in.
A big pile of different kinds of roasted vegetables.
Caramelise a big pile of onions. Mix with brown rice cooked in stock. Put cheese on top and bake until it looks bubbly.
posted by emilyw at 2:29 PM on August 23, 2010

Best answer: I made something several days ago that I've decided to call "My CSA Sent Too Much Food This Week Surprise." It was DELICIOUS, quick, easy, and very customizable (and healthy!). We had a bunch of peppers, a lot of sweet corn, and some tomatoes, chicken breasts in the freezer, and basic pantry staples, so I kind of just went from there. The cooking goes really fast, and everyone can help to chop. Here's the recipe as best as I can remember:


2 ears of corn, cut off the cob (or probably equivalent to half a bag of frozen)
4 bell peppers of various colors, cut into strips
hot peppers (jalepeno, cayenne, etc) to taste
3 tomatoes, diced large (or roughly a can)
1 can black beans
2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes (shrimp would also be delicious in this, as would beef, just don't flour them first)
enough basmati rice for everyone
(I feel like I'm leaving something out, but it doesn't really matter--you can pretty much add anything you like. I probably would have tossed in an onion for good measure, but we were out of onions.)


Toss the chicken with flour, salt, and pepper until it's lightly coated, then fry in a (large) pan on high with a small amount (a tablespoon or so) of olive oil until browned.
Reduce heat, add peppers and cook until softened.
Add corn, beans, and tomatoes (and whatever else).
Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until it tastes "right".
Let cook until hot and the chicken is cooked through.
Serve on top of rice.

posted by phunniemee at 2:34 PM on August 23, 2010

Make chinese dumplings like these. Fillings are infinitely variable.
posted by mollymayhem at 3:04 PM on August 23, 2010

Best answer: There are 4-6 of us that gather chez moi for beer and sci-fi TV on a weekly basis, and we generally have dinners that meet your criteria. I do all the cooking, but they're all dishes that could be fun for the whole family. The rotation:

Build-your-own tacos
Chili (with cheese, onions, sour cream, and crackers to go on top) and cornbread muffins
Pizza (I make 3 different smallish ones so there's something for everyone)
Lasagna and salad
Chicken pot pie (Actually more like a casserole with a puff pastry topping)
Chicken pastry (For the folks who didn't grow up where I did, this is chicken and dumplings with tlong, thick, flat noodles instead of fat, round dumplings)
posted by rhiannonstone at 3:17 PM on August 23, 2010

posted by cherrybounce at 3:34 PM on August 23, 2010

Best answer: This penne dish looks nice. Lots of slicing so you can all do it together.
posted by leigh1 at 3:42 PM on August 23, 2010

Mini pizzas made on flattened-out refrigerator biscuit dough (like Grands) are pretty amazing. Put them on a cookie sheet with one in each corner and one in the middle, and smoosh each one out with your fingers or the top of a peanut-butter jar until they're maybe 4 inches across. Swirl on some pizza sauce, then everyone gets to pick their own toppings for their pizzas.
posted by vytae at 3:45 PM on August 23, 2010

Admittedly terrible for you, but you could fire up the deep fryer (or put a bunch of oil in a deep pot) and fry up a while bunch of stuff, from french fries to make-your-own cream cheese wontons to egg rolls (and beyond, I am sure).
posted by cabingirl at 4:20 PM on August 23, 2010

rhiannonstone, please provide your address and the date of your next gig. ;-)

Communal eating is enhanced by communal preparation. It really doesn't matter what you're making, the point is to involve people, whether that's in food prep or, even, taking out the garbage.

Food tastes better when one has had a hand in the preparation. Moreso when it's made as an activity among friends.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 6:11 PM on August 23, 2010

Best answer: I like to make a pretty basic pesto pasta which people can then add tomatoes and/or goat cheese to as their tastes dictate. You could think of more pesto-loving toppings. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:08 PM on August 23, 2010

Best answer: Macaroni and cheese. It's easy, and the homemade stuff is *so much better* than the stuff from a box--and I like box macaroni! You can customize with spices: make a spicy version with chili powder, etc.

To breakfast-for-dinner, I'd like to add pancakes and French toast. Both are cheap and quick, and from-scratch pancakes are so delicious!

Hmmm...I haven't eaten dinner yet. *rummages in kitchen*
posted by epj at 7:18 PM on August 23, 2010

Best answer: Paella? Lots of different ingredients that can be prepared in parallel by different people but that all come together to make awesome in the final dish.
posted by roystgnr at 7:35 PM on August 23, 2010

I just tried out a recipe for egg drop soup tonight that turned out to be absolutely delicious! It seems like a pretty fool-proof recipe that can involve some communal slicing/whisking, but doesn't take a lot of time or attention.

Recipe for 3-4 servings:

4 cups chicken broth
1/8 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp chopped green onions or chives
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cornstarch (to thicken)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sliced portabello mushrooms

1) Reserve 3/4 cup of broth, and pour the rest into a saucepan. Stir in salt, ginger, onions, and mushrooms, and bring to a rolling boil.
2) In a small bowl, stir remaining broth and cornstarch, then stir into saucepan.
3) In a small bowl, whisk eggs together. Remove saucepan from heat, and add egg by drizzling a little at a time to soup mixture using a fork. Let eggs cook ~1min before stirring again.

Good luck and enjoy!
posted by genekelly'srollerskates at 7:54 PM on August 23, 2010

Response by poster: GREAT Ideas!

I should have mentioned I'm allergic to eggs, which leaves out some of the yummy stuff in the thread, but this has given me inspiration.

vytae: sis and I haven't made those since a much younger age helping mom in the kitchen. Thanks for the memories.

rhiannonstone: lots of good stuff there, thanks!

roystgnr: I had never seen Paella before. I will have to have it now.
posted by deezil at 6:13 AM on August 24, 2010

A toasty take on the taco idea would be Nachos.

Get pie tins and cover them in aluminum foil, one for each person. Then each would build their nachos with chips cheese and meat/fish (cooked ahead of time) and put them under your broiler until toasty and bubbly. Then top with fresh cool ingredients like salsa, shredded lettuce or cabbage, pico de gallo, sour cream, lime juice etc.

Endless variations! And you can just take off the aluminum foil and throw it away for easy cleanup of the baked-on residue.

My family did this a lot when I was a kid. One of my favorite meals.
posted by cross_impact at 8:42 AM on August 24, 2010

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