My dilemma? My husband’s boss is coming to dinner. Classic situation, right? My reaction to the news— Pure unadulterated terror—-like the ax murderer has broken down the door terror.
Merely thinking about the event triggers a hyperventilation episode. Thank the heavens for my Lamaze breathing exercises. Oh yes, did I mention I am eight months pregnant—the waddling stage?
Wait, there’s more. I can’t cook. I’m learning, but I’m not at the ‘Boss over for dinner’ level yet. I’m at the level of ‘Isn’t it amazing how many different casseroles you can make with a can of cream of chicken soup and pasta’.
My husband thinks my growing cooking skills are gourmet awesome. Without boxed mac and cheese, top ramen and frozen pizza, he would have starved to death during his childhood and college years. His food critiquing skills are stunted. I love him dearly for his gleeful appreciation, but that appreciation has turned around and bit me on my butt.
To make matters even more tragic—–yes, I am in full drama queen mode—-his boss is a wine aficionado Or maybe wine snob is a better term. For small company functions involving clients, he selects shockingly expensive wine. Frankly I think he enjoys the flaunting the price more than he enjoys the wine. I have no idea which wine cheap or expensive pairs well with a cream of chicken pasta casserole.
Ready to Pop Drama Queen
Dear Ready to Pop, This situation has as many levels as a Viennese torte. If the street has a big hole in in, go down another street. Don’t serve wine with dinner. Problem solved. Be different— There are some lovely fizzy flavored waters.
I suspect he will bring a bottle of wine with him. So be prepared with cheese and crackers and wine glasses. Serve his wine with your appetizer. He’s bound to like it, because he brought it.
When you are eight months pregnant, standing on your feet for long periods of time is not an option. So a menu with make ahead dishes is mandatory. The meal has to be simple enough to match your cooking stress level, but not taste simple. So pasta is a most excellent choice, but lose the canned soup. There are some wonderful pasta sauces that you can buy at your regular grocery store.
So I suggest this make ahead Baked Ravioli. It is different enough, so you can emphasize the creativity of it—using ravioli in place of lasagna noodles—like ho hum no big deal for me to exercise innovation in the kitchen.
Lastly the table setting sets the mood. Even simple white dishes can be injected with some Wow Factor with the use of well chosen napkins and a center piece that you have put a little thought into.
Thank you, Marcie from Flavor the Moments for your Fabulous Recipe for Ready to Pop!!!!