Birthday dinner ideas?
Tomorrow is my mom's 71st birthday and we're having a handful of people over for dinner as a surprise. Right now I'm running into a wall on what to serve and would love some input.
* Some of the guests will be arriving an hour late and will probably arrive a half hour into dinner.
* Two of the people can't eat gluten. One of them is vegan. I'm the non-vegan non-gluten so I'm not uncomfortable cooking this way, but I would like to find something that only requires one or two additional dishes for the meat eaters.
* I suspect this will function more like an open house and I'm open to that idea.
* I will have 3-4 hours to prep things and get them ready to just stick in the oven/on the stove. Then I have another hour to hour-and-a-half to cook and set up everything. I was planning to bake the cake tonight so it has time to cool, then ice it tomorrow.
* Most things will have to be made from scratch because of food allergies so, if I make something that requires french bread for example, I need to allow time to bake the bread.
Ideas for themes are also welcome. She's pretty low-key (likes gardening, quilting, and the like) so I was just planning on a nice tablecloth, my great-grandma's china, and some fresh flowers on the table.