Gather the whole family around the table with these tips on how to create an interesting, diverse menu. Get inspired and discover new flavors that everyone will enjoy!
There is nothing as important in life as your family and good health. Gathering loved ones around the dinner table is a time-honored tradition. The aromas emanating from the kitchen, the hum of conversion, the clink of glasses—these various sensory details set the stage for meaningful memories you will cherish. However, rather than relying on the same tired old dishes, you should challenge yourself to curate a menu spanning a wide gamut of flavors, textures, colors, and nutrition. Channel your inner Bourdain and get creative with appealing appetizers, moreish mains, and delicious desserts.
Worried that your creativity begins and ends with meatloaf? Fear not; this post has your back. Let’s explore some ideas you can use to generate a magnificent menu that will tantalize and titillate even the fussiest eaters of your kith and kin enough that you are able to avoid the dreaded debates about religion or politics!
Never Be Afraid To Experiment And Veer Away From The Safe Harbor
It’s far too easy to fall into the same old trap of making the same old meatloaf or roast beef that you have been making for years. While it may be utterly delicious and a firm family favorite, try to think outside the box and flex your creative muscles a bit more than usual. Not only will you enjoy it, but you could end up creating a dish that is a runaway success. You could select some of Comeaux’s pork boudin to make a Cajun-inspired gumbo.
Head down to your local ethnic store and pick up some masala and spices to create a fiery Indian dish, or even try making your own flatbreads to accompany traditional Turkish fare. The idea is to step away from the food you cook day in and day out and really begin to think about food differently. You will find that not everything is successful, but that’s ok. Part of cooking is experimentation, and for every dish that falls flat, you will have another that blows the crowd away.
See What You Can Do Without Meat
Meat is delicious and adds a considerable amount of flavor to almost any meal, but why not have a go at excluding animal protein from one meal and see how it goes? Too often, people mistakenly believe that vegetarian dishes are bland, unexciting, and involve a bowl of limp lettuce and a slack handful of assorted raw veggies. However, nothing could be further from the truth. When you start to delve into the world of vegetarian cooking, you will discover a panoply of delightful cuisines that appeal to even the most ardent meat-lover. You don’t need to eschew meat entirely, but just consider adding more variety to the process and watch as even your BBQ-obsessed uncle tucks into the plate of ratatouille!
Cooking Meals Inspired By A Memorable Family Vacation’s Cuisine
If you want to really up your game and create something spectacular, spend some time recalling a recent family vacation where everyone had a great time and raved about the cuisine. This will be your starting point and enable you to derive a menu that can bring nostalgia to the forefront and get the conversations flowing about the good times you had. The best part is that it’s much easier than you think. If you were recently in Mexico, you could create a Mexican-inspired theme replete with chilaquiles, machaca, pozole de Pollo, and, of course, the ubiquitous taco (with your own spin on it for good measure).
Try To Take Everyone’s Preferences Into Account, But Don’t Try To Please Everyone
As the saying goes, if you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one. This might sound particularly harsh when considering a family gathering, but you need to draw a line in the sand; otherwise, you will never venture off the beaten track and end up with the same hamburgers and hotdogs you’ve always eaten. While you obviously don’t want to annoy your family, you should make it clear that you are going to be cooking something special for this gathering and that everyone should keep an open mind. You will inevitably have some dissent in the ranks, but if you can corral the troops, you will end up with a remarkable party that will be remembered.
Quality Ingredients Maketh The Meal
It is easy to overlook the importance of your ingredients when you give all of your thought to the dish you will prepare. Nonetheless, quality ingredients are the foundation of any delicious meal. Consequently, you should take the time to source the best items within your budget, as this will take your dish to the next level, resulting in your plates being licked clean!
It might seem a little intimidating to create a new meal for a family gathering at first, but when you look over the tips here, you will see that it’s not so difficult. With a fresh perspective on food and the right ingredients, you will wow your family and ensure they step up their game when it’s their turn to host the gathering.