Here are his suggestions:
I would like to know a few very important things about you, along with some photographic evidence preferably. If you were going to allow us to spend a night at YOUR home, I would like to know the following:
- What books are on your favorite shelf?
- What DVD's are on your favorite shelf?
- What are your TWO favorite cookbooks.
- Select 1-3 recipes you will cook for your special guest.
- What will we be drinking that is available?
The DVD's are the only ones I've cared enough to own, I guess. I have a million other VHS tapes that I never watch. I usually just rent, unless I find something dirt cheap that I feel I'm going to need to watch again. I pretty much watch nothing over and over again enough to actually buy it. I'm usually too busy on my computer to watch movies or television.
My two favorite cook books are as follows. The Joy of Cooking was my first cookbook, a gift from my father while I was still in my teens. I still consult it every time I need a basic recipe. This book changed my life. Every recipe is idiot proof, and it gave me the confidence I needed to try new things.
My second favorite cookbook was a gift from my son many Mother's Days ago. It was basically an empty binder to put my favorite recipes into as I found them. I'm constantly updating it, and always keep the card he made me to go with it in the front pocket.
Our dinner menu will probably depend upon the time of year I invite you over. Here are two alternate dinners. Both will start with this recipe for Orange garlic shrimp by Pastor Ryan on Pioneer Woman's cooking site. This stuff will knock your socks off! I could eat it every night and never get sick of it. Try it for yourself sometime, it's easy and delicious.
If it's summer, I will probably serve you a chicken breast with a lemon cilantro pesto under the skin, grilled to perfection and a heaping serving of chunky avocado salsa on the side. You might even get lucky enough to have this grilled zucchini and red onion pasta salad that I made the other night. I threw in some spinach and shrimp to make it a meal, it was sooo good.
If it's winter, you're probably going to get an herb crusted prime rib meal, complete with au jus, sauteed baby bella mushrooms, fresh mashed potatoes, and my special mashed baby carrots. This particular picture was taken at Christmas last year.
Summer or winter, spring or fall - if I'm going to serve a special dinner, it's going to be on my Haviland Springtime china.
I adore this dish set in ways that no one should love inanimate objects. Here is the story behind it. My mother had an extremely successful antique and collectibles shop around the same time I got engaged, many, many years ago. An older couple was downsizing and asked my mother to try to sell their over 50 year old dish set in her shop. I fell in love with it, and asked my mother to buy it for me at her discount as my wedding present. She bought it, paid for it, and then I broke off the engagement. She flat out told me I would need to get married or she would have to die before I got that china set. I just needed to wait her out, because when she moved to Florida 7 years ago, she gave it me rather than having to move something else. It's an almost perfect set for 12, and I look for reasons to break it out.
Last but not least, what would I serve you to drink? I think wine could be the perfect accompianment to almost any meal, but I'm not really a wine drinker any longer. Therefore, I have no idea what is good and what isn't. Back in the day, I was fond of something called Col Di Sasso, which I now realize isn't very good. But it tasted fine to my uneducated palate.
So, I'm pretty sure my standing BYOB pertains here, also. I also have generic ginger ale, and ice cold water, if you're interested. Iced coffee? Diet soda? Anyone? Bueller, Bueller?