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Mary Beth's Blog

I want to eat real food. I want my family to eat real food. Armed with this plan, I know I can do it. I am a real person, with real kids in a regular ol' kitchen cranking out dinner. Find out my inspiration for the menus, what's happening in my kitchen, and the achievements on the kid-friendly front.

Cooking for A Crowd

2014-05-09 | 0 comments
We are getting ready for summer. The cushions are out, the pool is ready, the flowers are planted, bike tires are pumped, and now we need some ideas for summertime dinners.
Very often, Real Family Real Food is asked for entertaining suggestions. Whether we are having friends over or picnicking in the park, we need dishes that are both easily prepared and great for a crowd. I’ve chosen 4 dinners that you can download and roll out at anytime. So let’s get to it.
First up on Monday it’s Spiced Shrimp & Scallop Skewers over Couscous. Easily prepped ahead, the skewers can be made ahead or grilled at dinnertime. I suggest that you prepared the skewers with one item only – all shrimp, all scallop and all veggies. While they look cool mixed together, they don’t cook at the same time. Raw or burnt food is a waste of our effort and time – and food! Plate the skewers over the couscous – gorgeous.
Tuesday is our doubler and a hearty, delicious one at that – Bloody Mary Tri Tip and Corn Salad. Tri tip is one beef cut that is great hot or at room temp. After grilling/roasting, rest it and do not slice until just before you need it. If you are packing to travel, slice and place it in a sealable, airtight container. Plate both the beef and salad when you are ready to serve.  Watch out – the kids just might pinch all of it before you can present it!
Pizza Party! A few years back, we hosted a Make You Own Pizza Party with a few families. Everyone brought his or her favorite toppings and we all made pizzas on the grill. We tried all kinds of new combos – grapes and Gorgonzola, artichoke and feta, crisped prosciutto and fig (my pal picked one right off our tree!). I’ll admit that it did become a bit competitive – albeit in a good way. As I recall, the “winner” was some sort of Meat Mountain. But the best part? The kids really got into it and tried all kinds of new flavors. They were running through the garden, foraging for ideas. I would say we were all winners. Wednesday’s Greek Pizzas are a nod to that night.
This winter, I asked for some Super Bowl food suggestions and Thursday’s Pesto Tri Tip Sub was one of them I tucked it away in my recipe box until this week. It is a fantastic use for leftover tri tip – that’s if you actually have “leftover” tri tip?!?  It’s ready in minutes and really fun when served on a long French or Italian loaf. Presentation factor – HIGH!
I hope you and your crew will try a few of these dinners and get them ready for replay this summer – it’s almost here!


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