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  1. #21
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    Have you looked at any of Sandra Lee's semi-homemade recipe

    I would just take a tub of store bought humus and pipe/dump it into a nice bowl. Sprinkle some decorative bits on top and there you go.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    I think that if you have some pre-set things to say, it will help you a lot. That way you don't have to grit your teeth and think of something on the spot. But you can insert a word or two that fits the situation.

    Friend with new house: this is a lovely house, how did you pick out the colors for the (insert room name here). I would never thought to put that color combination together, but for this house it works great.

    Friends who make money: Tell me more about your job (perhaps that diverts them from the salary to the job - even if you think that they have the most stressful job or the most inane job, they will most likely like to talk about how much they do in their job)

    When friends ask about your house: You know, we are just starting out as a married couple and need to determine what our preferences are in housing. I know that there are so many options: ranch, split level, two story, finished basement, etc. and we really need to figure out what will work best for us.

    When friends ask about your job or income (which they should not ask about income, that is a big no/no): I have always wanted to go to graduate school and we have the opportunity for me to pursue that desire at this time. You know how school is - it takes up so much time to do it right. We think that this is the best time for me to do it.

    Those pre-thought out responses always help when you are in an uncomfortable situation.

    The artichoke dip sounds wonderful. Twice baked potatoes are wonderful. IIRC - your sister in law has a coffee shop,perhaps some small flavored coffee packets for each of them would be a fun thing to do (they probably won't think about bringing something for each guest to take home - a big coup for you )
    Couldn't have said it better myself - excellent suggestions.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupid View Post
    $25 is not a cheap dish!
    Find some coupons.

    Last edited by Fergus; 09-15-2011 at 09:17 PM.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    I think that if you have some pre-set things to say, it will help you a lot. That way you don't have to grit your teeth and think of something on the spot. But you can insert a word or two that fits the situation.

    Friend with new house: this is a lovely house, how did you pick out the colors for the (insert room name here). I would never thought to put that color combination together, but for this house it works great.

    Friends who make money: Tell me more about your job (perhaps that diverts them from the salary to the job - even if you think that they have the most stressful job or the most inane job, they will most likely like to talk about how much they do in their job)

    When friends ask about your house: You know, we are just starting out as a married couple and need to determine what our preferences are in housing. I know that there are so many options: ranch, split level, two story, finished basement, etc. and we really need to figure out what will work best for us.

    When friends ask about your job or income (which they should not ask about income, that is a big no/no): I have always wanted to go to graduate school and we have the opportunity for me to pursue that desire at this time. You know how school is - it takes up so much time to do it right. We think that this is the best time for me to do it.

    Those pre-thought out responses always help when you are in an uncomfortable situation.

    The artichoke dip sounds wonderful. Twice baked potatoes are wonderful. IIRC - your sister in law has a coffee shop,perhaps some small flavored coffee packets for each of them would be a fun thing to do (they probably won't think about bringing something for each guest to take home - a big coup for you )
    Thanks for this, Numbers123. I hadn't thought about what to say. And all of your suggestions are great. And the grad school thing is the truth--this has been my dream since I walked out of undergrad with too many student loans to keep going until they were paid. And in spite of our money struggles, the bills are all paid and my husband is amazing for not just letting me do it, but telling me a year ago that I had to because I had been given the gift of time for it. Probably wouldn't hurt to include that since the married ones among them seem to have, shall we say, tense marriages.

  5. #25

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    Hummus or the hot artichoke dip are nice to take in case the hostess hasn't considered any vegetarians in the group.
    You could do something similar with eggplant, also.

  6. #26
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    My dad makes this very simple wonderful dish:

    Take a few sheets of filo dough. Lay out. Mix together ricotta, cottage cheese, spinach, eggs, salt, and pepper in obvious quantities (if you cook). Spread on the filo dough. Roll up filo dough. Repeat with another selection of filo dough (3-4 sheet at a time). Bake at 350 for 40-ish minutes (when it's golden). Cut and serve! It's awesome.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajax View Post
    Bean dip! Just blend a can of white beans with olive oil, garlic and some fresh rosemary. Serve with crackers. Presto!
    That sounds really good! How much olive oil?
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  8. #28
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    To me, the artichoke dip or the antipasto suggestions win over the hummus.
    I don't like hummus or tahini for that matter, but I do like pita chips.

    A seasonal fruit salad would be good - some sliced melon and berries, maybe with a container of vanilla yogurt. Easy and not expensive if you buy in-season fruits. That can be an appetizer or a dessert or a course on its own.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins View Post
    A seasonal fruit salad would be good - some sliced melon and berries, maybe with a container of vanilla yogurt. Easy and not expensive if you buy in-season fruits. That can be an appetizer or a dessert or a course on its own.
    Ooh, yogurt fruit dip is so good -- and so easy! I usually make it by thickening some yogurt (drain in a collander for 12 hours or so), and flavouring with a fruit liqueur like Triple Sec. Yummy!

  10. #30

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    I noticed there's no dessert on the list--cheesecake is relatively inexpensive, except the vanilla.

    Put a vanilla wafer in the bottom of a cupcake wrapper. Take a softened 8oz package of cream cheese, three eggs, one cup of sugar, and a cap of vanilla. Pour batter in wrapper until the wafer is covered. Bake 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Put about three cherries from a can of cherry pie filling, or leave 'em plain. Cheesecake and steak go really well together.
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

  11. #31

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    When I am in a pinch I buy store bought spinach dip. I'll hollow out a Hawaiian bread bowl and put the dip in the middle and tear up the middle to place on the outside for dipping. Or just bring the pita chips. Feel your pain, ugh. Or a block of cream cheese with hot pepper jelly or baby shrimp and cocktail sauce & crackers always goes over well.
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    I noticed there's no dessert on the list--cheesecake is relatively inexpensive, except the vanilla.
    The bitchiest of the four extra mean girls is bringing dessert. She's got the last toes I want to step on if my obligatory two hours of this party are going to be tolerable.

    I think I'm going to go with one of the dips. And I'm never going to say I am available for gatherings again!

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Hostess: steak, salad, red & white wine

    Others: rice dish, bread, dessert, fruit, cheese plate and crackers, steamed vegetables

    Now I feel obligated to bring something. I had volunteered to bring white wine (I often tote it to parties as I am allergic to red and most people only serve red). The hostess informed me that she only likes certain whites and doesn't "want something undrinkable" and would buy it herself (can you all see why I'm not wanting to spend an evening with these people?).

    If I show up with nothing--since the list is looking like a complete meal--I know several of them will bitch at me. But I have no money (substitute teaching does not pay well in the summer) and already have to drive 75 miles one way....
    It sounds like there will be more than enough food. If it were me I'd check in with the hostess as to whether there was anything she'd like you to bring. If she says no, don't bring anything and let them bitch at you. Why waste your money? You've offered to bring wine and been refused, there is no point bringing food that is just going to be wasted.

    However, you could bring some flowers if you can find something in your price range - everybody likes to get flowers and they always brighten up a room or table.

  14. #34

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    Cream cheese (lowfat or regular, not non-fat), jalapeno jelly (or even seedless raspberry jam or chipotle raspberry sauce if you've got some in the fridge), and a box of crackers - under $7 total if you use the store brand cream cheese and look for crackers that are on sale. People eat it up; I don't think I've ever seen any left. If you want to be fancy you can shape the cream cheese. I don't.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by my little pony View Post
    vodka and lots of it, you might need it
    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Have you looked at any of Sandra Lee's semi-homemade recipe

    I would just take a tub of store bought humus and pipe/dump it into a nice bowl. Sprinkle some decorative bits on top and there you go.
    I felt that these two posts belonged together for obvious reasons!

  16. #36
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    ear plugs?
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  17. #37

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    I often make Tabouli salad for potlucks because I am a vegetarian and I know that there are very few veggie dishes at potlucks. I buy the Tabouli mix at grocery stores, some tomatoes and green onions, lemons, olive oil, and follow the instructions to make this delicious salad. You can take some pita bread along, if you wish but it's not necessary.

  18. #38

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    You know what? Life is short! And driving 150 miles (round trip) to spend two hours with people one doesn't even like is maybe not something one needs to do. Driving 150 miles to go to a 2 hr dinner party is something you reserve for people you REALLY like ALOT!

    If it were me, I'd cancel. It would not be an easy (flip) decision, but I know that I would call and send my regrets. I look at it this way, You accepted the invitation when you were told it was a dinner party for 4 people whom you really wanted to see; then it changed (without consulting you) and now it's no longer the event you agreed to attend - in fact now it has turned into something you are dreading! You don't have to go!

    Wouldn't it be more fun to just stay home with your hubby and have a nice dinner and evening together than to drive 150 miles for an evening of dodging the slings and arrows of 4 nasty people? Why choose to spend an evening with people who are abusive and make you feel bad when you can spend it with someone who loves you and makes you feel good?

    ETA: The hostess's comment that insinuated that you'd bring something "undrinkable" - and you say that she's one of the nice ones? Lordy!
    Last edited by Marlowe; 09-16-2011 at 07:44 AM.

  19. #39
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    I'm with Marlowe on this one!

  20. #40
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    Dinner party suggestions: chocolate-covered strawberries. Easy to make and all you need is chocolate chip and strawberries. A big batch can cost $20-30 in a candy store while homemade ones are like $5-7

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