“Sure, honey. We can have your parents over for dinner. It will be fun,” you say as you panic internally.
Cooking for your in-laws is easily one of the most stressful things you can do. You immediately feel like your culinary skills will be judged as an extension of you, and how fit you are to be with their child. To be fair, you may not be wrong.
So, let’s prepare a meal that is as amazing as you want them to think you are.
Option #1: Your Go-to Crowd Pleaser
If this is taking place on a weekday, you’re going to be extra-stressed and stressed for time. Take all the guesswork out of the equation and prepare something you know, and something you know is a crowd pleaser every single time.
You know all the measurements, you know the times and you have the prep work down to a science. You know exactly how long it will take your oven to cook this to perfection. And you know exactly where all of the ingredients are in your supermarket.
Take the surprises out of the equation and cook something you know will be amazing. Add their favorite wine or adult beverages and wait for the praise to roll in.
Option #2: The Guest Favorite
Does the would-be mom or dad have a soft spot for brisket? Well, if you make a good one, you now have GPS coordinates to their good books.
This is more ambitious, but the payoff is certainly there. On the one hand, they have probably ordered this meal in countless restaurants and can easily tell you who makes a good one and a bad one. They may be picky. On the other hand, you will get serious bonus points for the effort.
Being eager to please is not always a bad thing – especially in the kitchen.
Option #3: The Vegan Menu
Maybe you’re a vegan and you want to show the in-laws how delicious things can be. Or, maybe they’re vegans and you want to prepare something special just for them.
In either case, try something like this Vegan Barbecue Lentil Loaf. It’s an unexpected and drop-dead-delicious choice that is sure to wow vegans and omnivores alike.
Option #4: The Seafood Menu
If they love seafood, that is exactly what you’re going to give them.
Try something ambitious like Frying Pan Paella Mixta. It’s an amazing mix of chicken and shrimp that is sure to please the pickiest of seafood fans.
If you’re not overly familiar with cooking seafood, this is still doable. However, the focus should be on buying fresh ingredients, which the link above will help you do.
Option #5: The Sweet Tooth
Maybe your in-laws are more impressed by desserts. In this case, maybe make your staple go-to meal and then really knock them dead with this Coconut-Carrot Cake with Coconut Buttercream recipe.
The presentation on this cake alone should be enough to wow them. It also happens to taste amazing. You’re free to pretend like you make this all the time and it’s no big deal.
Whatever you choose, we’re sure your charm will win them over. But, maybe do really well on the meal just to be safe.