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Ideas for dinner for mom?

For my mom's birthday I want to cook a nice meal for her and my dad. I want something vegetable heavy and vaguely Italian, or at least continental. I know I want to make her smitten kitchen's garlic butter roasted mushrooms (she loves mushrooms and butter). Dad doesn't like mushrooms so I need something to appease him. When I cook for myself, it's usually with the mindset that more cayenne is more better, kimchee goes with everything, and that recipes really mean 1 head of garlic when they call for 1 clove. Ideas for a happy medium?

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  1. What kind of things do they like? What are their favorite types of meals?

    1 Reply
    1. re: perk

      They went to Italy and LOVED it. My mom has said she can live off of buttered spaghetti alone. Meals in heavy rotation at home are standard American suburban food - baked chicken, sloppy joes, pot roast, baked potatoes, microwaved veggies on the side. I'm looking for something "fancy" (fresh herbs, capers even) but safe.

    2. Happy Birthday to your Mom! What about Porcetta as a main (http://goo.gl/xYhjEc). You could serve it along side Sautéed Rapini with Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes, it's heavy garlic, heavy heat - http://goo.gl/oSMZt8. The slight bitterness will be a nice contrast to anything rich tasting. Plus, use rapini leftovers with provolone cheese to make a hearty green panini - http://goo.gl/WJd1uw

      Cheers,
      karyosmond.com

      1. how about a simple Italian springtime meal

        include the mushrooms in an vegetable anti-pasto - along with some grilled or roasted peppers, zuchinni or whatever veg dad does like

        first course of a simple pasta - buy good quality fresh or dried pasta - something as simple as an aglio e olio or a arrabiata if you want a little heat for you http://www.cook-italian.com/weblog/20...

        second with a simple grilled meat - a grilled chop or roast chicken -

        finish with fruit and coffee

        keep it simple allow the four course staging let each component shine and feel special

        pair beverages appropriately

        1 Reply
        1. re: JTPhilly

          I love your suggestion - festive, special! I would have something more special for dessert - a small birthday cake with a candle or selection of Italian pastries.

        2. I would would expand on the mushrooms and add some roasted/grilled vegetables.

          Tonight I will be making Orecchiette with sweet sausage, broccoli rabe and lots of garlic, red pepper flakes and freshly grated parm.

          1. Vaguely italian, capers, veggie heavy, a bit spicy... I highly recommend this pasta from the Zuni Cafe cookbook.

            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            1 Reply
            1. re: lamlex

              You'll know what your mom collects or likes. I mean like does she like 'teddy bears' or cats or dogs or things like that? Let's say she likes 'all things owl'.
              Go to your Bulk Barn or somewhere and buy a little cookie cutter in the shape of an owl. Buy or make some fresh pasta sheets used for making ravioli. Use the cookie cutter to make a pot full of 'pasta shaped owls'. Serve them with unsalted clarified butter with lots of best quality grated hard cheese and a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper and chili flakes.
              I once made this type of pasta for our daughter using a teddy bear shape. It looked a lot like a baby shape. When I brought the bowl of pasta to the table she looked at me and said: How did you know I was pregnant?" LOL

            2. Chicken parmesan over spaghetti and roasted veggies on the side. A mix of mushrooms, red/green pepper chunks, zucchini chunks and yellow squash. Or any mix that floats their boat. I'd be up for that in a heartbeat.

              1. Pasta primavera? Asparagus tips, petit pois (fresh if you can find, frozen just thawed and tossed in at the end), shredded carrots, zucchini, sweet red and yellow peppers, stringed snow peas sliced in strips. Recipes abound on-line.

                You can add cream or not.

                Maybe puree the mushroom recipe and use as a bruschetta spread for an app. Have olives and nuts for dad to munch on.

                This salad I have not made as yet, but on my to-do list.

                http://mymansbelly.com/2011/12/21/sta...

                Purchased cannoli and/or gelato for dessert. Or are you making a cake? Happy celebration!