So you have a new neighbor, a new baby in the Family or someone who just could use help with a dinner.  You probably have your own ”Go To Dinner” in mind that works for you that you could probably make in your sleep, go with that one, as it’s a recipe you are familiar. During the fall, winter or early spring, my go to meal is one of two, either MY Goulash or My Bolognese, both in my book, “It’s a Great Day To...Gather Around a Table.”   However, on a hot summer day, the plan, the menu changes because I like more simple food in the summer. Here are my tips when thinking of taking a dinner over…

The Hubby and I ready to take dinner over to a friend who was recovering from surgery a few weeks ago

-Take in disposable containers, so returning dishes is not a hassle.

-Or consider taking over in labeled zip lock bags so that storing in the fridge takes up less space than plastic or aluminum foil containers.—

-Call to make arrangements to take dinner over in advance. Tell the recipient what you have in mind to bring. Sense if dinner is the best thing to bring or if a gift card or a service is a better way to help. Ask if they need any errands done, child care or transportation to an appointment. The whole goal is to be of service to someone who could use help, which ever way is best for them. It’s about them, not about you.

-Ask if there are any food allergies or intolerances.

-When you take dinner and stay for dinner, don’t linger. Clean up the kitchen and leave so they can get on with their evening .

-When dropping off only, keep your visit short and allow the family to have a pleasant dinner without having to entertain you. They are the ones who you are serving

-Don’t show up unannounced call and plan in advance.

 -Be there to help do not let the recipient wait on you.

 -If the flowers look nice at the grocery store, a bunch of something 

   pretty is a nice touch for the dinner table.  Daisy’s are usually my 

   first choice or a variety that ‘has a long shelf life.”

Here are a few of my favorites to share; Pumpkin Pie, Maple Orange Pork Tenderloin (on my website), Meat Loaf (from Colony Market in Grand Blanc, your favorite butcher may have their own), Custard, Apple Crostata and Goulash. I am sure you have plenty of your favorite recipes that would be great choices to share.

Dinner Ideas

Your favorite pasta with sauce

Your own goulash recipe

Rotisserie Chicken (recipe below)

Corn on the Cob or your favorite vegetable

Guacamole &  Corn Chips

Fresh Berries

1 Baguette to be cooked, as directed, when you arrive.

A Sanders Cake for dessert (or your FAV grocery store cake)

Rotisserie Chicken Salad-Pick up  a basic rotisserie chicken at the grocery store.  Chill it when you return home.  Keep it in the fridg while preparing everything else. Slice into strips 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper and a put a pound of blanched asparagus.  To blanch asparagus, steam in a stock pot for about 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of your stalks.  When done, immediately place in to a cold water and ice bath to stop cooking process.  You want asparagus to be a tad crunchy.  Chicken.  Not using skin, remove meat from the chicken.  Cut into about 1 inch pieces.  I like to use the breast only.  Mix up a dressing of 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon course sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.  Pour a little dressing at a time over chicken and vegetables, you may not need it all.  Toss in a few slices of fresh lemon. Dress as desired.

Guacamole- 3 ripe Avocados, 1 tablespoon freshly chopped Cilantro, 1/4 cup mini colorful tomatoes, 1 teaspoon finely chopped purple onion, 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 packet of Guacamole mix found in the produce section at Kroger, Walmart or most grocery stores.  Blend together and serve with your FAV corn chips. 

Baguette-pick up one to be baked at home, usually available in the bakery section at the grocery store or in the freezer section.  You’ll bake as directed, usually about 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees.  Set oven as you arrive, serve guacamole and chips while you set everything up, and bake baguette.

Fresh Berries-See what looks good at the grocery store.  I usually go blueberries, raspberries and black berries,  it the blackberries didn’t look great yesterday.  Strawberries are good as well to add.  Wash.  I then pour into a bowl, lined with a paper towel to absorb water and cover as well.  Remove paper towels before you leave your house and cover the bowl with plastic wrap for the trip in the car.

Corn on the Cob (or your favorite vegetable)-prepare at your house, place in a stock pot and add water when you arrive and steam to desired doneness.

Sanders makes the best boxed cakes, in my opinion.  My FAV is the Bumpy Road Cake.  It is a yellow cake with a delicious while buttercream frosting.  The do have other choices.  I grocery shopped at Kroger,  however, most grocery stores have a good boxed cake, at least in chocolate....There you have it... 

It’s a Great Day 🌼 

My book, It’s a Great Day To...Gather Around a Table, is  available through, or signed through my website.