Having people over and don't know what to cook that will allow you to be with your guests, not be all stressed in the kitchen and still run around all day chasing your kids?  Here is an idea:

  • Rosemary roasted almonds and walnuts (toss almonds and walnuts with a little olive oil and salt, place in tray with a sprig or 2 of rosemary; roast at 350 for about 7 minutes; do this right before guests arrive)
  • Oven fried chicken: recipe here.  I like to add cayenne to my flour btw.  Get creative.  You can start the frying process about 20 minutes before guests arrive so it's in the oven finishing as they get there…gives you time to clean up the stovetop and look cool and collected)
  • Not your average potato salad (made night before – it's better that way).  Recipe here.
  • Roasted asparagus (throw this in the oven with the chicken for the last ten minutes of the chicken's cooking time).  very low maintenance high flavor vegetable – roasting brings out flavor.  all you need to do is toss it with a little olive oil salt and pepper; on a cookie sheet it's ready for the oven.
  • Apple/raspberry crisp (assembled earlier in the day – maybe during naptime; baked in oven as you eat your dinner).

Basically, your oven does all the work at about 350 degrees for everything.  Most make ahead.  And who doesn't like fried chicken?