What’s for Dinner??

In a previous life, I used to own a catering company so I’m comfortable planning and executing events. Unbelievably, I find it relaxing to cook so I like it when my friends come over for dinner. I usually try to do as much as possible in advance. My fridge is generally stocked with all the basic essentials so even if it’s an impromptu gathering, I can pull some basic go to dishes. My motto is basically, if you go hungry at my place, it won’t be for lack of food.

My dad was a really social person so often he would bring people over for dinner without much notice to my mom. She was pretty accustomed to having to put together last minute dishes when my dad would bring home additional guests. Since we were just a small family of 3, that didn’t mean we always shopped as if it would just be the 3 of us. My parents also did a lot of entertaining in general so my house was always abuzz with the activity of friends coming over to hang out.  So I like to think that my entertaining gene was inherited from my parents!

Here’s a sampling of some of the dishes I’ve recently cooked!

Fall Brunch w homemade waffles, apple cider doughnuts, potato frittata

Making apple cider doughnuts

Shrimp w lemon garlic butter and cajun seasoning

Potatoes and assorted sausages

I usually go to my family’s house for dinner once a week where I can usually get my Vietnamese food fix.  Sometimes my mom will make a non-Vietnamese dish but I usually pass on eating it (not because it’s not tasty but I always want more of the Vietnamese food!).  Since my family does so much of the cooking when I visit, I always want to show my appreciation by helping them with the holiday cooking.  So for Thanksgiving this year, I made a couple of the side dishes and fruit cheesecake.  We had 20 people over for dinner and my family divvies up the menu so that not one person is stuck with the bulk of the cooking.  My mom usually cooks the turkey but this year she decided that she was also going to a turducken from scratch!  For so those who don’t know, a turducken is a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey.  My mom de-boned everything leaving the wings and put in a layer of spinach and mushrooms.  The last time I had a turducken was years ago when I ordered one from a Louisiana vendor, where I received it in a rectangular shape because it was molded to fit the box that was delivered to me via fedex and dry ice.  Not exactly a natural shape but it was seasoned with Cajun seasonings and it was pretty tasty.

My mom’s version of turducken

My fruit cheesecake

For Christmas, I normally make the main dish.  This year, I decided on a pork crown roast.  We had 15 people over for dinner so I ordered a 20 rib roast.  When it comes to cooking meat, my BFF in the kitchen is a meat thermometer.  It comes out perfectly most of the time (if I bother to calculate the per pound cooking time correctly!).

The pork crown roast out of the oven

Crown roast sliced and ready to be served

What do you like to cook??

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