So after many hours banging my head against the wall and looking at Pinterest I have my final (I think) menu! I've been watching a lot of Food Network Italian-inspired shows and my husband and both agreed that sounds damn tasty so I'm going for Italian based flavors (mostly, kind-of sort-of) and everybody is very excited. And if they don't like what I cook there's always Denny's or Jack in the Box for them to enjoy.
1. Antipasto platter - I'm going to serve this out on my coffee table while we are all visiting and I finish cooking. I'll have some flavored marcona almonds, cashews, olives, fresh mozzarella, peppers, tomato, etc...
2. Drink concoction - My mom and her husband don't drink so I am making them a special non-alcoholic cocktail of sparkling apple cider, sparkling cranberry, and then I will be deseeding a pomegranate this evening and putting the seeds in the drink.
3. Chicken - Roasting a chicken with an Italian blend of seasoning that I have, I'll also be putting sage and lemon inside while it cooks.
4. Roast - I have a skirt steak I'm going to marinate in a balsamic glaze overnight and then start cooking in my slow-cooker very early tomorrow morning. I am going to tenderize it and then fill it with a mix of portobella mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and herbs, as well as proscuitto, then it gets wrapped up in twine so it will be stuffed. This is what I'm most looking forward to cooking, hopefully it will be very tender from many hours in the slow-cooker.
5. Stuffing. My husband has to have stuffing so I'm making it rather traditional but with more herb flavor.
6. Chicken gravy - Not Italian at all but another must-have for the husband along with the stuffing.
7. Roasted potatoes - I was able to find a small bag of purple (like x1yyz recommended), red, and Yukon gold potatoes and then I bought a 5 lb. bag of red so I will mix all of those up, toss them in olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary, and roast them. And THEN I found a big gorgeous bag of multicolored carrots, there's a couple that are almost beet red, some yellow, some lighter orange, and your regular orange carrots. I own a spiralizer so those will be spiralized and then added to the roast, along with some shallots and garlic, towards the end of cooking.
8. Sauteed mushrooms. I have loads of white wine left over from Thanksgiving so I'm going to saute a nice big side of button mushrooms and garlic because my husband and I could live off of sauteed mushrooms if we had to.
9. Dessert - I'm still unsure about dessert, last night I spent three hours making my mother-in-law's cookie recipe that I MUST make every year so I have about 4 dozen of those at the moment - though I am sure it will be 3 dozen when I get home from work. I also have two cans of pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving so it wouldn't be too much for me to whip up a pie. I don't know, stay tuned.
So about the bacon...
You guys really had me tempted to bacon up everything. Have you ever seen or had the applewood smoked bacon they sell at Trader Joe's? Holy cow that is some of the best bacon ever. I was looking up recipes and viewing pictures of beef wrapped in bacon, chicken wrapped in bacon, bacon wrapped in bacon etc... And then I remembered, my mom's husband is a heart patient! So because I don't want any death in the family this year I'm going to just stick with my finely sliced proscuitto which I will roll up in my skirt steak and leave it at that. Bacon will have to wait.
But you guys helped me a lot, and really got the wheels turning, thanks so much.