It’s one thing to meet your soulmate’s mom and dad for the first time when you’re dating—but inviting them over for dinner after you say “I do”? That’s a whole other adventure. You want to appear super Zen but totally on top of it, put-together yet adorably disheveled, as competent in the kitchen as Martha but as effortless as Gwyneth. You want your home to be a warm, peaceful haven—with just the right amount of Rock and Roll to give it a good earthy edge. You want to prove to your soulmate’s mom that they will be well-fed for the rest of their life. So how to create the perfect dinner after “I do” without sacrificing your style and your sanity? Below, six simple tips for whipping up a feast that’s enjoyable, easy and delicious.
1. Give Yourself Time To Prepare
Prepping a meal while under the gun does not a relaxed vibe make. If you know your in-laws are coming over for dinner Saturday night, shop for ingredients on Friday. Set aside the entire day to get your home in order. You want to be a shining beacon of calm when they arrive—not a jittery, high-stress mess.
2. Set The Scene
Now’s the time to do all the domestic duties you’ve been putting off: Hang the curtains, vacuum behind the fridge, wipe down the mirrors and give away any stuff that’s creating clutter in your space. Set the table with fresh flowers (nothing fancy—tulips in a mason jar will do!), spark up some candles, steam a linen tablecloth. Pro-tip: light a cinnamon stick and wave it around the room a few minutes before guests enter—it’ll make your home smell scrumptious!
3. Meditate That Morning
Meditation lowers your anxiety, improves focus and communication and increases feelings of positivity and connection toward others. That morning, set a timer on your phone for ten minutes, take a comfortable seat on the floor and allow yourself to do nothing but breathe in slow and deep. Indulging in some silent me time before the day gets cray is a surefire way to tap into your inner source of strength and love.
4. Put Those Registry Items To Use
Now’s the time to whip out all the beautiful appliances and pans your wedding guests gifted you on the big day. The All-Clad d5® Collection is my personal favorite—it’s an incredibly durable selection of pots and pans that cook everything evenly, both on the stovetop and in the oven.
5. Send Them Home With Leftovers
Nothing will ruin a vibe more than not making enough food. I’m a big fan of creating an atmosphere of abundance for your guests—big platters of family style fare, overflowing glasses of wine, dessert topped with tons of fresh cream. The All-Clad d5® Collection is the perfect tool for creating bountiful amounts of entrees and treats. The pots and pans are big enough to feed even the hungriest of crowds. And nothing will endear your mother-in-law to you more than sending her home with a Tupperware of home-cooked leftovers.
6. Whip Up a Memorable Meal
Steaks are always a great way to impress the meat eaters in your life. Here is an amazing seared steak recipe with some of my favorite sides that are sure to impress everyone at the dinner table.
Serving Size: 3 – 5
Time: 10 Minutes + 5 Minute Cool Down
· 3 lb ribeye steak
· 8 tbsp butter
· 3-4 sprigs rosemary
Coat steak in butter and fresh rosemary.
Heat the All-Clad d5® 3-Quart Sauté Pan then sear with remaining butter and rosemary.
After 10 minutes of searing the steak on medium/high heat, allow a five-minute cool down on a cutting board.
Add additional butter on top of the steak during cool down so it melts into the meat.
When ready to slice, pull the meat slightly apart with utensils and look for the direction of the grain or fibers on the meat, then slice against the grain’s direction/P=perpendicular to the grain.
Serving Size: 3 – 5
Time: 4 Minutes
· 3 heads broccolini
In the All-Clad d5® 8-Quart Stockpot boil enough water to allow the broccolini to submerge.
Add scallions to boiling water for one-minute for additional flavor, then remove.
Add the broccolini to boiling water for 3 minutes.
Remove the broccolini and season with dehydrated sea salt and fresh pepper.
Serving Size: 3 – 5
Time: 25 Minutes
· 1 ½ cup arborio rice
· ½ cup vermouth
· ½ cup chopped shallots
· 3 tbsp butter
· 1 tbsp vegetable oil
· 1 tbsp parsley
Heat the stock in a the All-Clad d5® 2-Quart Saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stock just stays hot.
In the All-Clad d5® 3-Quart Saucepan, heat the oil and 1 tbsp of the butter over medium heat.
When the butter has melted, add the chopped shallot. Sauté until slightly translucent.
Add the rice to the pot and stir it briskly with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the oil and melted butter. Sauté for another minute until there is a slightly nutty aroma, but don’t let the rice turn brown.
Add the vermouth and cook while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed.
Add a ladle of hot chicken stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process. Stir constantly, especially while the stock gets absorbed and add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry. Continue adding ladles of hot stock and stirring the rice while the liquid is absorbed.
As it cooks, you’ll see that the rice will take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches.
Cook 20–30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite. If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn’t done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it’s absorbed.
Stir in the remaining 2 tbsp butter, the Parmesan cheese, and the parsley, and season to taste with salt.
Serving Size: 3 – 5
Time: 15 Minutes
· 6 pitted and chopped peaches
· 2 tbsp brown sugar
· ½ lemon
· 1 star anise
· 2 tbsp water
· 1 tsp vanilla extract
· 2 cups mascarpone cream
Place all the ingredients into the All-Clad d5® 3-Quart Saucepan and set over medium heat.
Bring the mix to a gentle boil, stirring frequently.
Continue cooking until the liquid in the All-Clad d5® 3-Quart Saucepan has reduced to the consistency of a sauce.
Taste for seasoning, adding more sugar or lemon juice to suit your tastes. Let cool in the All-Clad d5® 3-Quart Saucepan, remove the star anise before serving.
Learn more about how All-Clad can make prepping for your in-laws even better.