Birthday dinner party

I need ideas for what to prepare for a friend’s birthday dinner. There are a few hitches. No beef as one guest doesn’t eat beef for religious reasons. The other problem is the day of the dinner party I have to go to the airport to pick up a friend, so I won’t be home from about 10am until about 3pm. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

How about chicken divan w/crusty bread and a field greens salad or German red cabbage or an antipasta tray w/salami/ham/cheeses/olives for a side. All can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Make a fruit salad for dessert.

Thanks for all the great ideas. I have settled on one of my old standbys that I had forgotten about - crock pot herb pork roast. I can set it to cook while I go to the airport, so it works out well for me. I know some don’t like to leave a crock pot on when they leave the house, but I have done it many times without incidence.

Pls share your crockpot herbed pork roast. Thanks!

Crock Pot Herb Pork Roast



4 large garlic cloves, quartered
1 pork loin roast, boneless, about 4 to 5 pounds
1 teaspoon salt
1 scant teaspoon dried leaf thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf sage, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried leaf rosemary, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled, optional
dash ground cloves or allspice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, optional
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch, optional
3 tablespoons water, optional


Cut 16 small pockets into roast and insert garlic slices. In a small bowl combine salt, herbs, and lemon peel. Rub seasoning mixture into the roast. Pour 1/2 cup water into slow cooker; add the roast. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Pork roast should read at least 145° on an instant-read thermometer.
If desired, thicken juices. Remove roast from juices. Combine cornstarch with the 3 tablespoons water; stir until smooth then stir into the crock pot juices. Cook on HIGH until thickened. Serve with the pork roast.