Calling all food connoiseurs!

So i want to invite my parents over for dinner in the next week or so since my dad has never seen my first apartment, and i want to make them something nice. The only problem is all the recipes i know and food i cook i got from my mom! I want to serve them something fresh and new, so anybody got any recommendations? Thanks in advance!


So what is “average?” I mean what does your mom’s recipes consist of? What’s normal for one family may be different for another. White lasagna is a staple dinner in this household, but I know some people who’ve never had it (BTW, it is layers of ricotta, mozzerella, parmesano reggiano, and cottage chese mixed with chopped olives, garlic and one egg between layers of lasagna and then topped with more mozz. I bake the whole thing until it is browned on the top and serve with a side of homemade marinara sauce and a salad)

well, last week my dinners consisted of lasagna(speak of the devil!) quiche, and homemade tacos(not the crap you buy precooked). I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and i love it, so im pretty much up to anything, i guess something a little different since i do cook so often? lol, you have made the task of finding something even more daunting now that i realize how much i already cook! lol

This summer I had a lot of fun learning to cook new things because I was in the middle of nowhere and had nothing else to do. One of my favorites I used bison meat for, though pork or beef works just as well. Bake it in a pan the same way you would any other meat and potatoes meal of your favorite meat. In the pan goes a few drips of olive oil, then the meat, a sliced onion (I used about a third of an onion for one person, but I like onion), baby carrots, and a sliced potato per person. Sprinkle brown sugar on top, maybe a tablespoon per serving. Next, add Italian spices and your favorite seasoning salt. I served it with salad and homemade bread when I had my co-workers over for dinner.

I also learned to make my own spagetti sauce from scratch (no canned tomatoes or ANYTHING).
Consider what type of food you want to serve. Do you want a new pasta recipe? a crock-pot recipe? A soup? Asian? American?
Baked salmon is always a tasty, healthy choice if you like fish, and there are tons of variations (My mom has a couple and I learned some new ones this summer. If you get salmon, try to find sockeye or Coho… Coho is aka silver, can’t remember sockeye (sockeye is the best)).
My dad loves to try new soups, so about 3/4 of new recipes tried in my household are soups my dad found.
And, if you’re REALLY adventurous, there’s always cooked-fish-sushi (cooked mostly because I can convince more people to try it if I promise to cook the fish. Also because I can’t afford sushi grade ahi).
OK I’m going to shut up now, but if you have any questions, I’m around!

I saw a recipe the other day for this amazing salt-baked chicken. I’ve been itching to try it but I can’t seem to find the recipe again. Oh! I’ve found it!,1977,FOOD_9936_25783,00.html

It sounds like it’s supposed to be really salty, but the salt cracks off at the end. The salt shell keeps all of the moisture from draining off of the meat. I really want to try this one when I get back home

I just tried a great recipe the other night it was sweet potato black bean chili it was so good we added a little sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese on top and put it over brown rice I can’t wait to make it again.Here it is:

Here are a couple that I’ve had success with –Lemon Thyme Chicken with Rosemary New Potatoes and Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon.

I also have a recipe for Baked Ziti and Italian Sausage Casserole and one for Chestnut Stuffed Pork Tenderloin that my family loves. PM me if you’re interested.

I would suggest going to It’s a forum for cooking just like this is for knitting!

I don’t know what kind of foods you like, but here’s my favorite new recipe: (I’m doing this from memory, btw, because I’m at work right now- I’ll try to remember to check it when I get home)

Pasta Fagioli

3 oz pancetta
1/2 cup chopped onion
5 cups organic chicken broth
thyme and bay leaf (the recipe says to wrap in cheese cloth, but I don’t have any so I’ve been using a tea ball)
2 cans cannelini beans
1 cup uncooked pasta shells

Chop the onion and pancetta, saute in a little olive oil until the onions are tender. Add chicken broth, herbs and beans, cook until beans are tender (about 8 min?). Add shells, cook about 10 min or until pasta is cooked. Remove herbs and serve!

One favorite around here is spinach pesto and fettucine with checca on top (that’s chopped tomatoes with white wine vinegar and olive oil).
I serve it with salad and bread.
And, since it is red and green, it’s very appropriate for this time of year.
PM me if you want the recipe.

Here’s a simple dish that has always been a hit with new friends & family (pretty sure it’s what sold my now husband on proposing!):

Saute 1-2 sticks of unsalted butter (depending on quantity) with 1lb sliced mushrooms and 1 onion (thinly sliced). Add 1-2lbs shelled & deveined shrimp (I like using med. sized ones) and salt/pepper to taste. Simmer uncovered.

While above is simmering, make a pot of vermicelli (thin spaghetti). When cooked, drain pasta, pour shrimp mixture over top and toss. Serve with grated parmesan and cracked black pepper. Goes nicely with a tossed salad and rolls.

Good luck!

I think it would depend on many things… what types of food you all like (Italian, French, Thai, Vietnamese, etc.), whether you want to build the meal around a piece of meat (a roast, a whole chicken, etc.) or would prefer a “dish” (lasagna, pasta, curry, etc.), whether there are any food allergies/dislikes, how much time you want to spend in the kitchen beforehand, and how much that night, how many dishes you want to make, how “special” you want to make it (holiday special, fancy dinner special or just “family dinner”), and how complex a recipe you’re comfortable with.

The last “nice dinner” I did was a roast leg of lamb on a bed of arugula and pine nuts. Appetizers were pate and brie with toast points. Dessert was banana pudding (English pudding, not American) with molasses ice cream.

For “family dinner”, I usually go more along the line of a whole roast chicken or a london broil. Roasted or cheesy mashed potatoes or steamed rice. Green veggie might be sauteed broccoli or rabe, or just a quick salad. Dessert is either a cake and/or ice cream. If it’s cold, I might just do a big pot of soup or chili (from scratch) and a loaf of bread/cornbread.

For “holiday special”, I do 4 or 5 courses, and cook for a week. This year’s thanksgiving was 3 appetizers, a soup course, a pasta course, a salad course, a whole roast duck, 2 desserts plus an ice cream.

I tend to like quick and easy things like Mexican chicken
or chicken stroganoff served over rice or noodles.