Q: I have a friend who'd like me to cater a dinner party for ten. This will be my first 'real' event—a little nerve-wracking! Can you suggest an easy entree? This will be a casual group, but dinner is still seated and served. Give me your advice for my first gig!
Q: One of my best friends is getting married in December! She is allergic to gluten, and her fiance is more a fan of savory than sweet. Do you have any suggestions for a dessert that can be used in the traditional "cutting the cake", fits the season (winter), and is made without wheat gluten?
Q: A big group (currently 14!) of good friends are headed north for a cabin weekend. I signed up to make a meal — a homemade taco bar. But another friend has already declared he plans on making tacos. So I'm looking for something cabin-friendly to make. I'd like to make something a step above just burgers on the grill!
Q: My husband and I are almost settled into our new condo and we finally have room to entertain. We are having a Sunday brunch housewarming party. I'm pretty good in the kitchen, but I'm at a loss on balanced and seasonally appropriate offerings, especially ones that I can make or organize the day before.
Q: I'm hosting a party for the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Each attendee has to bring a food and drink inspired by a country, and as the host, I'm in charge of England. I'm definitely going to pick up an ale or two, but any ideas for food? Thanks!
Q: My wife and I are expecting our first child, and we've decided to throw a gender-reveal BBQ I've dubbed, "Baby Q." We don't want to spend a lot of time grilling or cooking during the party. What BBQ foods would be easy to prepare ahead of time or cook slowly?
Q: I'm attending a dinner party this weekend and was asked to bring a gluten- and dairy-free appetizer. The hostess plays a bit with the Paleo diet, so sugar is probably best avoided as well. A bonus would be incorporating some veggies since I know dinner will be meat-heavy. Any ideas?
Q: I am throwing a surprise bridal shower for my future sister-in-law. Her wedding colors are brown, pink, and ivory and I would like to use that color scheme in both the food, decorations, and party favors.
Q: My girlfriend's birthday is in July, and I'd love to make her a meal of Indian food: entrees, side dishes, drink, and dessert. The only problem is that I am just learning how to cook. Also, she's vegetarian. What are some dishes that would be easy to make and go well together?
Q: Some friends and I are planning a "kitchen-weekend," where a different couple cooks a 3-course meal each night. I still haven't thought of my menu, and definitely need help! The only kinds of meat allowed are veal, chicken and duck, or dishes should be vegetarian. Any great menu ideas?