Entertaining the In-Laws

Entertaining the In-Laws

Entertaining the in-laws can be a hassle, especially if you’ve never done it before. It can be a pretty nerve-wracking experience. You want to impress them, but you don’t want to seem too eager or sugary sweet. You want to make sure that the conversation flows naturally. But most of all, you want them to enjoy your meal. After all, a dinner disaster with your new family could be truly embarrassing. Here are some tips on how to make the night stress-free and enjoyable for all, as well as some recipe ideas for the big night.

Make a meal that everyone will love.  Try to find out beforehand if there are any foods your in-laws don’t like or are allergic to.  You don’t want someone breaking into hives mid-meal!  Don’t be overzealous.  Make something that you enjoy making and you can make well.  Tonight is not the night to attempt a seven-course lobster dinner if you’ve never done it before. 

Here are some fairly simple meal ideas that will impress the in-laws and make your partner proud:

Appetizers
Salad Espanol
Baked Clams

Stuffed Mushrooms Caps 
Spinach and Feta Pie
Deviled Eggs
Asparagus Roll Ups

Main Courses
Diamondhead Prime Rib Roast
Easy Vegetarian Lasagna
Herbes de Provence-Crusted Lamb Chops
Parmesan Risotto
Chicken with Asparagus and Mushrooms
Tuscan Seafood Stew

Desserts
Pecan Cheesecake
Cherry Glazed Chocolate Torte
Peach Cobbler
Individual Apple Deep-Dish Pies
Homemade Strawberry Sorbet
Bread Pudding Surprise

For some tips on dinner presentation, go here.

More Tips For A Successful Dinner

Play some background music.  Having some subtle music in the background will make for a pleasant atmosphere and it will also make awkward silences slightly less silent!  Make sure the music is agreeable for everyone and don’t turn it up too loudly. 

Don’t try too hard.  While white linens, fine china, and candlesticks may be tempting, go the simple but elegant route.  Setting your sights extremely high will leave you expecting a perfect evening, and if anything goes wrong, you’ll be crushed.  It may also create a too-formal atmosphere that can make people uncomfortable.  Instead, some simple decoration is better.  Try using fresh flowers to brighten the room.

Be yourself.  While it’s not necessary to reveal everything about yourself, show the in-laws your personality.  After all, they’re family now- they’ll get to know the real you sooner or later.  Don’t be afraid to joke, laugh, and let loose a little bit.  Letting your nerves get to you will only result in an anxiety-filled evening for everyone.

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