Dinner Guest Menu Dilemma

Joined Apr 24, 2011
Ok everyone, here’s my dilemma:

My Mother has made friends with a couple that are closer to her age.  They still drive and take her along with them when they take trips either to different locales or to family functions.  My husband and I have never met them. 

I called my Mom this afternoon and asked her to come to our house for dinner on Thursday. 

She called me this evening and asked me if it would be ok if she invited her friends too. 

I was going to make what we like to eat, Surf and Turf, along with some other goodies. 

Her friends are VERY picky and non-adventurous as she puts it.  No chicken, no seafood, nothing creamy, no Italian (WHAT??), low fat, low salt; basically they are heart attack survivors.

I planned on starting with an antipasto of olives, roasted peppers, marinated mushrooms, assorted cheeses and cured meats. 

Next, grilled flank steak served with baked potatoes, grilled veggies and a salad on the side. 

For dessert, my husband suggested Rainbow Sherbet (they don’t really eat desserts my Mom said).

I have searched the “Net” for some sort of menu suggestions and really couldn’t find a lot.

I was hoping you all could help me out.
Joined Feb 17, 2010
Anything cured or marinated is going to have too much salt for them, cheese probably wont be on their diet also. Maybe offer some raw veggies and non fat dip too.

Flank steak is pretty lean, if your going to marinate, don't marinate their portion, just season lightly, no salt or use salt substitute. If they are not adventurous, I would skip the grilled veggies, steam instead, you already have one grilled item. baker good, sherbet or non fat frozen yogurt with a few fresh berries.

I have to eat this way too... I'm also diabetic. But I'm not too picky, easy to feed me. You cook, I'll eat what I can or should, no need to make anything special. If I don't get enough I'll have something that I can eat when I get home.
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Buy some oranges  half them take out pulp  fill with orange sherbert and freeze drizzle plate and top with strawberry or raspberry sauce unsweetened. Flank steak good choice. Watch roasted peppers and peppers anyplace for that matter , older people cant tolerate sometimes. Baked is good butter and sour cream on side. If you serve a sauce or gravy with meat  on side. If you serve bread or rolls unseeded please.for bridgework.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
no Italian (WHAT??),

I'm offering 12 to 7 odds that in their minds "Italian" translates as spagetti in red sauce. Period. So I'm confident you could serve them great food which they'll eat but not recognize as Italian.

Keep in mind, too, that people in their circumstances (elderly and with health issues) tend to eat smaller portions, to begin with, and don't handle multi-courses very well. So for starters I'd skip the antipasto altogether. If you insist on it, the olives are definately out. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/frown.gif  

Flank steak is a good choice. I agree with what others have said about marinades. So be sure to pin the steak well to assure tenderness. Sauce on the side. I don't see any problem with grilled veggies (except, as Ed notes, the peppers). Grilled zukes would go perfectly with the flank steak. Baked potato should work, but put the condiments on the side.
Joined Oct 2, 2010
No worries, K.,  buy babyfood in jars! Easy to warm, no surprises, no fat, no salt, no sugar, no nothing and an instant solution should the oldies have forgotten their teeth. Also, when you end up with a casualty after all, you can blame the whole thing on Nutricia.

I can say oldies, I'm almost 62, thus an oldie myself, heartpatient and fully enjoying life. I'd rather "go" on a high, if possible surrounded by a few gorgeous naughty women serving me all the food and drinks I really should not have according to my beloved doctor.

Do tell these people to have at least one good beer each day, best remedy against anything.
Joined Apr 24, 2011
That is quite true Chefbuba, too much salt. 

And chefedb, I went to the market today and the oranges here look dreadful.  So instead, I opted for really cute sundae glasses that were on sale at the home store.

KYHeirloomer, you’re right, Mom said they don’t like olives, so I have cheese and crackers.  As for them “thinking” Italian means spaghetti and meatballs in a red sauce, you are on point!

And ChrisBelgium, you’re funny!!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

I appreciate all of your input, and I would love to get more feedback from others as well.  I have one more day!
Joined Jul 28, 2001

Excuse me while I push these metal walkers out of the way./img/vbsmilies/smilies/smoking.gif

I would not take for granted that they know how to slice flank. I think I would preslice very thin against the grain and at an angle.
Joined Apr 24, 2011
LOL!!  You guys are hysterical!!

Panini, you are on it.  I usually pre-slice my flank steaks (which I do make for our house alot) and then arrange nicely on a warm platter along with the grilled veggies. 

I will still set the table with steak knifes for those (like my Mom) who like really small bites,my Husband likes BIG bites.  

And you guys are probably right about the smaller portions.  I know my Mother doesn't eat nearly as much as we do. 

Then again, nothing will go to waste.  Leftovers are always welcome in our home!!
Joined Apr 3, 2010
If flanks are left over ,grind up add some spice onion and potato and make some great roast beef hash with eggs for hubby.
Joined Apr 24, 2011
OOOOH, chefedb, doesn't that sound yummy!!

I don't know why I never thought of that one.  In fact I do have some steak leftover right now in the freezer. 

We have been so busy that we didn't get to it and I didn't want it to go to waste. I really don't like throwing out food. 

[Case in point: our wedding reception was a buffet dinner and we had tons of food leftover.  I had made arrangements with the caterers that anything leftover would go to the homeless shelter.It's a tax deduction too!!]

My Husband says that I freeze everything.  I say that I am very frugal.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
Joined Sep 28, 2010
How nice that your mom has such good friends and that you are hosting an event.

I would not serve them red meat.

What about a delicious roasted turkey with summer vegetables?  Heirloom tomato salad, or halved tomatoes stuffed with brown rice and herbs?  Or some couscous with herbs and currants (or pitted prunes?)  You could make a watermelon sorbet with lime simple syrup and mini chocolate chips.  You could serve mini-skewers of cherry tomatoes, boboncini (sp?) and fresh basil.  Artichoke hearts are very Italian, and you could add them to the skewers or serve them on their own in light lemon juice.

Let us know how it goes and the reaction of your guests.  :)
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Nothing wrong with freezing leftovers, Pennies make Dollars    Also Frugal equals Smart

Also add to meat sauce. make meat ravioli, sloppy joes , Shepherds beef pie, filling for cuban meat pies, taco filling, chili con carne , and on and on
Joined Apr 24, 2011
Thank you Kitchenshrink, I think that will be the next menu should feel that they would want to come to our home again.


They just went home a little while ago and I am so tired! I didn't get a chance to take a picture this time of what I made:

Starting out with a small antipasto platter of olives, mushrooms, 3 different cheeses, sopparsata and cappcolla and crackers

(Mom's friends had never had the meats before and really liked them,there was nothing left of the platter)

I opted for a 2 lb. grilled flank steak (almost all is gone) that I sliced uber thin

grilled zuccini, peppers, and green onions

baked potatoes with all the fixin' on the side

and a nice big bowl of salad

the finish was de-caf coffee and Rainbow sherbet, big hit!

ChefBuba, you were right, I was glad that I offered different things and just set everything out family style and let everyone serve themselves.  Somethings they ate, somethings they didn't. 

But I think that everyone enjoyed the evening.
Joined Sep 28, 2010
So glad you all had such a nice time.  Its great to share ideas with so many different points of view, isnt it.  Your selections sounded delicious to me (and obviously were!)  ... I just had a lifetime of a father with heart trouble and my mothers voice repeating 'your father cant have that' at every turn. Glad you didnt take that the wrong way.

Thanks for posting and following-up.  Looking forward to hearing about your next one. :)
Joined Jul 30, 2007
yeah, ya know for old guys, you all rock!!! happy 4th all...don't get too crazy with the fireworks!!!

Joined Apr 24, 2011
Mahalo Kitchenshrink.

You know, I don’t feel that it was necessarily the wrong way, I just offered them options, and you are right about the red meat to a heart patient.  My Mom told me this morning that they HARDLY EVER have red meat and that they really enjoyed it.  With flank having less fat than some other cuts I felt that was the medium path.  Plus I had sliced it so thin that you think that you are eating a bunch, but you’re not.

I have to tell you that I cheated on this dinner party.  Last night’s antipasto was from a cocktail party that we hosted for 8 last week.  My Mother’s friends had never tried most of the tidbits before, and when she had told me that they didn’t care for anything Italian….  I thought that was kind of cool that they were willing to give it a whirl.

This experience is a new to us, life in Hawaii was WAY different.
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