Is there anything more terrifying than hearing your S.O. mutter the phrase “My parents are coming over for dinner next week?” No? We didn’t think so.
But there’s no need to panic—we got you.
If you’re looking for beef cooking tips that will impress the in-laws, then you’ve come to the right place—trust us. You will be so well prepared, by the time dessert hits the table, they will be extending for that elusive stamp of approval!
So, are you ready to earn some serious brownie points? Then your first step to successfully cooking for the in-laws is to plan ahead. After all, as famous basketball coach John Wooden said, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Let’s not wait any longer to dive into your recipe for success.
Step 1: Find a Good Slow Cooker Recipe
Slow-cooker meals are easy to prepare, which means they’re also stress-free—something you’ll need when facing the worries of in-law visits.
For a great slow-cooker recipe, we recommend you try out some Slow-Cooker Korean BBQ Beef Wraps. This recipe calls for soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and garlic chili paste, making for an incredible mixture of explosive flavors that perfectly complement your bottom beef round.
What’s better? While you let your slow cooker work its magic, you can spend your time tackling steps two through five.
Step 2: Decide on Sides and Sweets
All good meals need good sides and a sweet treat to end with. So, what should you pair with those delicious beef wraps? We suggest a pasta or potato salad as well as some veggies: edamame, kimchi, or some sauteed spinach with garlic and onions should do the trick.
For a dessert to end the meal, a warm brownie topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream is one of our favorite crowd-pleasers. However, if you’d rather focus your energy on serving the perfect beef dish, don’t feel bad about picking up that store-bought cake and serving it on your own platter. Don’t forget to hide the packaging and your mother-in-law will never know.
Step 3: Prepare the Setting
How your house looks, smells, and feels will impact the meal. Make sure you leave time to spruce the place up a bit.
Clean Your House
Don’t forget to clean your house, especially any areas your in-laws will be in. You don’t want your mother-in-law offering to sweep the floor or wash the dishes when she arrives. A well-cleaned abode will set your in-laws’ visit off on the right foot while letting them know you went above and beyond to make them feel at home.
Set the Table
Say goodbye to red cups and plastic utensils. Leave the college-grade serveware behind and instead opt for cloth napkins, fresh flowers, and matching silverware. Remember, we’re #adulting now (or at least pretending to), and your efforts when setting the table will go a long way to create a nice ambiance (yeah, we throw in some SAT words here and there). Not sure exactly what should be included on that table? Bungalow has great advice for how to set the table for both formal and informal gatherings.
Create a Playlist
Everyone hates awkward silences. Have your S.O. pick out or create a playlist for when their parents come to visit. If the conversation starts to slow down, you can ask them about a favorite concert or two they went to back in the day or the first record they ever purchased. Music is always a great topic of conversation, and you never know what fun stories you might uncover.
Step 4: Serve Dinner
When it comes time to serve dinner, make sure you serve your mother-in-law and father-in-law first. Place any shared plates on the table closest to them with the handles of the serving spoons facing them.
If their drinks are low, continue to top them up, always filling their glasses and that of your S.O. before serving yourself.
Step 5: Enjoy the Meal
You’ve made it! Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy your meal.
Just don’t forget your table manners: no elbows on the table, keep your napkin in your lap, leave your utensils at the edge of your plate, etc. These little things will surely be noticed by your mother-in-law!
If you find yourself searching for dinnertime topics—in addition to the music convos inspired by your awesome playlist—it’s fun to ask about favorite childhood memories, biggest personal accomplishments, grade-school crushes, and the like. This is a great way to get to know your in-laws on a deeper level while keeping the conversation fun and light.
Beef for Special Occasions
There’s a reason the U.S. consumes around 27.3 billion pounds of beef a year—it makes the perfect canvas for your soon-to-be masterpiece. So why not consider a beef-based meal for your next special occasion? Your taste buds—and your in-laws—are sure to love it.
If you can prepare a meal for this high-stress situation, you’ll have no problems prepping the perfect meal for date night or handling a casual cookout with your crew.
For more great ideas, check out some delicious beef recipes, fun beef facts, and tips for buying beef all on the Beefitarian website.