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Jul 9, 2014 08:21 PM

In desperate need of ideas on what to cook my Mother-in-law for dinner!

My mother in law is visiting us in Michigan from New Mexico in a few weeks and I have NO idea what to make her for dinner. She will be getting here early in the evening but nonetheless tired from a long flight. I want to cook her something light and healthy but filling. She has no food allergies but my husband doesn't like seafood. Any ideas would be much appreciated!

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  1. Feature simple grilled meat (your husband can help cook, right?) - steak or chicken, with great summer produce - sweet corn, fresh Michigan cherries, zucchini, tomatoes.

    Depending on how long the trip is from the airport to your home, consider just eating out that first evening so you can all converse rather than anyone spending time in the kitchen.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MidwesternerTT

      Agree! This is Summer. Give her corn on the cob, or a simple salad made with fresh ingredients, and let your DH grill something. She won't be expecting a five course dinner. And you all will want to talk. I imagine that cherries would be quite a delicacy for her if she lives in NM. They are usually expensive when shipped to places where they aren't grown. And you can simply eat them out of hand for dessert. The nicest thing you can do for her is to have a nice conversation with her. Keep it simple.

      1. re: MidwesternerTT

        just eat out the first night. go overboard when everyone is more relaxed.

        1. re: MidwesternerTT

          If she's getting in early evening she may not have the energy to go out to dinner. She may want to drop her bags at the house and get comfortable, especially if it's a long drive from the airport.

          I wouldn't stress, make something simple. Throw something on the grill with side salads. Treat her to dinner out another night.

        2. Probably the easiest is to ask your husband what she might like to eat, He knows her better than anybody.

          1. What will be in season, available fresh and at it's peak in MI at that time?

            1. I would go for a main dish salad--greens, nuts, other fresh salad vegs you like, plus a protein on top. I've usually had this served to me with hot-off-the-grill protein but I bet it would be good with room temp or quickly reheated protein of your choice. Good bread, a nice adult beverage (or several :-), and fresh fruit for dessert. This would do it for me, and I don't generally like salad.

              If you want to go fancy, I love these twice baked goat cheese souffles, both for their flavor and for their ease at time to serve:

              Ironically, these go great with salad too. You would think I was a gal who liked lettuce. (I guess I do when it's got other really great things around it.


              Anyway, good luck.

              1. An entree salad like a version of salad nicoise using a different grilled protein- because its "composed" on a serving platter it feels elegant yet all the seperate ingredients can be prepped ahead. This version from SE uses chicken:

                Fresh local fruit with homemade whipped cream is an easy sure hit.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  My birthday is during Michigan cherry season, and my mother used to make a yellow pudding Bundt cake, frosted with whipped cream, and the center filled with fresh sweet cherries. TDF.

                  1. re: foiegras

                    My grandmother taught me how to make whipped cream from scratch when i was about seven and ruined me for life....(although sadly i can't tolerate much dairy at all now)