Sample Menus

Whether you are planning a holiday meal, a birthday celebration, a summer cookout, or you just feel like trying a new recipe, a theme will help you plan the menu and create the atmosphere for your gathering. Any dish—from the entrée, an appetizer or a dessert—can be the starting point to plan your menu. The goal for your menu should be to create a blend of flavors and foods that complement each other. As we discussed earlier, a full menu includes an appetizer, an entrée, a salad (either as a first course or served with the meal), side dishes, beverages and dessert.

We offer a few different sample menus here to help with your menu planning. Keep in mind that an extension of your menu is the atmosphere that you create around the meal. The table setting, background music, flowers, plates and platters, etc. all play a part in creating a wonderful meal occasion.

Spring Seafood Dinner: Spring is the perfect time for a light seafood dinner paired with fresh vegetables and tropical fruits. Crisp champagne and a Sauvignon Blanc are the perfect beverage pairings. Add color to the table with spring tulips and daffodils. Mix and match vintage floral patterns and pastel colored plates. Complement the table setting with a lace tablecloth or pastel colored placemats and napkins.

Summer BBQ: A hot summer evening is the perfect time to gather friends and family outdoors. Being the cook is a breeze because everyone gathers around the grill to chat! Everything else can be prepared ahead of time so that allows plenty of time for socializing. Since outdoor entertaining is casual, use disposal plates and utensils. Have a tub of ice filled with beer and soft drinks so that guests can help themselves. Keep the margaritas flowing and the music going and you’ll have a night to remember!

New Year’s Day Brunch: Instead of a big celebration the night before, begin the New Year with a hearty brunch with friends. Set the tone with a champagne toast and a delicious orange crab salad before serving classic eggs benedict with a twist. Gold and silver with bold blue accents are colors that will add a festive touch to your table setting.

Family Holiday Dinner: Create an extra special holiday dinner for your family by serving classic Surf and Turf—lobster tail and steak. The instructions in Lesson 4 will guide you through the lobster tail preparation process. Most of this meal can be made ahead of time so that you can focus on the main course. Bring out the good china and silver to set the stage for a formal dinner. It’s a nice change to gather the family around the dining table and share a great meal and great conversation.

Dinner for Two: Create a special weeknight or weekend dinner at home for just the two of you. Light the candles and play some soft music while you enjoy a good meal and some quiet time alone.

Spring Seafood Dinner
  • Cheese and Fruit Appetizer
  • Beverage
    • Champagne
  • Mixed Green Salad
    • with tomatoes, fennel and lemon vinaigrette
  • Chilean Sea Bass
    • with pineapple mango mint salsa
  • Apricot Couscous
  • Roasted Asparagus
    • with shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Beverage
    • Sauvignon Blanc Wine
  • Strawberry Cheesecake
    • with whipped cream and a fresh strawberry garnish
Summer BBQ
  • Appetizers
  • Sundried Tomato Guacamole
    • with tricolor chips
  • Gazpacho Tequilla Shooters
  • Certified Angus Beef Filet Bites
    • with bell peppers and onions and a spicy southwestern rub
  • Grilled Corn on the Cob
  • Jicama Cucumber Lime Salad
  • Watermelon
  • Kahlua Cream Cheese Brownies
  • Beverages
    • Corona Beer
    • Strawberry Margaritas
    • Soft Drinks
New Year's Day Brunch
  • First Course
    • Orange Crab Endive Salad
  • Beverage
    • champagne
  • Skirt Steak Eggs Benedict
    • with Hollandaise Sauce
  • Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Honey Corn Muffins
  • Current Scones
  • Bittersweet Chocolate Orange Mousse
  • Beverages
    • Bloody Mar
    • Screwdriver
    • Fresh Brewed Coffee
    • Fresh Orange Juice
Family Holiday Dinner
    • Appetizers
    • Shrimp Cocktail and Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Beverage
    • Pinot Gris Wine & Cocktails
  • First Course
    • Chestnut Soup
  • Lobster Tail and Filet Mignon
    • with garlic and herb butter
  • Sweet Potato Carrot Purée
  • Wilted Baby Spinach
  • Triple Chocolate Cake
    • with vanilla bean ice cream
  • Beverage
    • Pinot Noir Wine
Dinner for Two
  • First Course
      • Crab Cakes with remoulade sauce
    • Baked Shrimp
      • with Cajun rice and wilted greens
    • Keylime Pie
      • with lemon whipped cream
    • Beverage
      • Sauvignon Blanc Wine