Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How to Make an Easy Affordable Dinner for a Lot of People...

1-Make something in your slow cooker...
I decided to make pot roast.  It seemed easy and like it would be a nice Fall comfort food dish which was my goal.
Do I look scared in this picture?  Uh yeah, I'm browning a four pound piece of meat.  Of course I'm scared.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast (Adapted from
4 pound Roast-(I think it was a bottom round roast that I got on sale, not positive on the exact cut)
1 envelope of Onion Soup Mix
1 can of beef broth
1 can of water
1 large (24 oz?) can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
Carrots (like 4)
Medium Onion
Red Potatoes (about 5 small/medium ones)

To make this I.....browned the meat in some oil with salt and pepper.  This was the hardest part just because the meat was so heavy.  Then I stuck it in the slow cooker.  I mixed the soup, can of beef broth, one can of water and mushroom soup together and covered the meat.  I cooked this on low for four hours.  Then I added in the veggies and cooked on high for about 4 more hours.  I probably could have taken it out sooner but it was very tender and falling apart when I finally took it out and that's how I wanted it.
This pot roast cost less than $20 to make and served like 16 people.

2-Make an easy vegetarian dish
Ok I also made a semi-homemade ravioli bake. Aka I bought some spinach/cheese ravioli in the refrigerator section and I cooked it. Then I layered it in a baking dish with marinara sauce, topped it with Italian Blend Cheese and baked it at 350 for 30 minutes. People also liked this and it was good for the people who were not super in to meat.

3-Have people bring side dishes and appetizers
People pretty much always offer to bring stuff if you invite them to a dinner party.  My friends brought appetizers and salad and wine (lots of wine).  Then I conned my mom in to making her (my grandmothers) delicious mac and cheese.  It is a crowd pleaser.  She also made green beans.

4-Have it on your birthday
If it's on your birthday someone is definitely bringing/making a cake.  So then dessert is covered.

Yes I had my birthday party at my house.  But I enjoy entertaining and people brought tons of stuff.  I don't know the etiquette on throwing your own birthday party so we'll just say B threw it for me but I offered to do some cooking and decorating.

Do you like pot roast or would you have stuck with the ravioli?
Have you ever cooked a four pound piece of meat?
Does this count on my 30 for 30 list as having a dinner party at my house?  I think it does.


KKSC2NC said...

I personally LOVE crock pot cooking. Tip buy the crock pot liners (if you haven't already) super easy clean up!

Yes! I've cooked a four pound pork butt. Added BBQ sauce for pulled pork sandwiches :)

Congrats on the dinner party! One down 29 to go!!

Salt said...

I LOVE potroast and we have had a crock pot sitting on our kitchen counter for like 2.5 years and have never used it once. WTF is wrong with me?

Anonymous said...

Pot roast is yummy - especially in a slow cooker. Although Wilzie has introduced me to the pressure cooker andthat way you get some tender meat with a side of adrenaline rush!
You can definitely check this off your list.

Hutch said...

This definitely counts! This is pretty much how we do dinner whenever we get together. The person hosting cooks the main dish and everyone else brings something. Helps in saving $ and getting everyone together!

Jenni said...

That pot roast was yummy. I definitely am stealing your recipe. Matt went back for 2nds and there aren't many out liquidy foods he likes so major score!

Anonymous said...

The roast was delish. And you and B did a very nice job of setting tables. Happy week after birthday.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I love those ideas!!! I need to use my crock pot. I've had it for a year and only used it once!

$hanzie said...

All of hte food was awesome. Also, i think you can mark off #1, #8, #10 (earrings and wine charms), #21, and #24 because with your new giant picture you have a starting point with which to re-decorate the craft room, and after Sat. you can mark off #6- you have had a busy week of being 30.

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

YUM. Pot roast. We dont' make it that often because it's so much work and also I don't know how...but that will be perfect to throw in the crock pot some weekend.

Mo Young said...

Agreed, it counts. And I like Shanzie's counting - way to multi-task your goals! It all sounds good to me - the wine included :) However, I would be way intimidated by cooking such a big hunk of meat. So kudos!

Leesh said...

I love the photo of you cooking that big honking piece of meat. Your expression is classic.

I heart my slow cooker, it makes cooking very easy. Great list on how to make an affordable meal for a dinner party.