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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Cooking for the in-laws

food for husband's parents

The first time I cooked for my husband's family was when we'd only been together for about six months. His extended family were coming over to his parents' house and I offered to make a tiramisu for everyone. I hadn't considered the fact that they were Italian and that there was no whipping cream in the house for the topping. I managed to substitute cream cheese, single cream and a lot of whipping to make it, and it seemed to go down well, but I'll never forget the panic and horror that overcame me when I realised that I was making tiramisu for the first time, for my Italian in-laws.

Since Dan's parents are allowing us to stay with them rent-free, we're taking on a lot of the cooking duties. I've probably made it pretty clear from my previous posts about this whole moving fandango, but we're actually really happy with this arrangement because Dan's parents have a beautiful kitchen! On Friday night, we drafted a meal plan for the week, focusing on things that we would have had trouble making in the tiny kitchen in our old flat, as well as some of our favourite recipes that we really wanted to make for the family.

Last night's dinner was planned to be a butternut squash and chilli soup with freshly baked bread, and a rhubarb crumble for pudding. Any of you who follow me on twitter will know that the bread ended up off the menu as the yeast I used was a sachet we'd brought from our flat, which was lonnnnng dead. Sad times. Aside from that, everything went to plan. Cutting up butternut squash is always a hassle, but the soup was shaping up to be silky and flavoursome. Then Dan's sister dropped the bombshell that she didn't actually really like butternut squash or rhubarb very much. I want to please everyone all the time, and I hated the idea that I'd be making food that she wouldn't like! It's always a struggle to cook for people whose palates you don't know fully, I think. Plus, there's the added pressure that I really want my husband's family to love me and to like the things that I make for them!

Soup with creme fraiche

In the end, Dan's sister really liked the soup, which made me almost cry with relief! Dan's mum said "mmmm" a lot, and his Dad was very impressed with the concept of a butternut squash. My personal goal for the next few months is to improve my food presentation skills (for eating and photographing!) and this was my first time garnishing a soup with olive oil, and everyone said it looked pretty! (PHEW!!!) The rhubarb crumble didn't look as beautiful but it tasted good, and apparently Dan's sister is now also a rhubarb convert too. I'm pleased with how that went. Now to continue this positive streak for another two months worth of evening meals!

Have you ever cooked a meal for someone else? Did you find it at all stressful? Was it a disaster or did it all go to plan?

vegetable love

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90 comments:

  1. It looks soooo good! So perfect for this time of year too! I love the last photo it's so sweet! Abi :)

    MyW0rldMyView

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    1. Butternut squash pretty much IS Autumn as far as I'm concerned!!!

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  2. Delicious! I love making soup in the winter, so healthy too. I haven't made butternut squash soup, but I love squash so not sure why not! Will definitely be on the menu this season :) x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

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    Replies
    1. You really should try it! Make sure you have a sharp knife though - cutting the squash up with a blunt knife is such a pain!

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  3. That looks and sounds delicious! It's lovely to hear that they appreciated it :) I always find it stressful to cook for others, 'cause while I know what I personally like, it's difficult to know what kind of taste someone else has!

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

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    1. I totally agree! I am always convinced I will have put something in the food that makes someone have an allergic reaction or something too!

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  4. I'm glad that they appreciated it! I can definitely see why, because that looks really delicious.

    http://peeintothewind.tumblr.com

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    1. Thank you! :) I am glad they liked it too!

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  5. Hi dear! :) Your blog is so-so stlylish. Would you like to follow each other? Let me know and I am instantly follow you back. Thank your, I hope you enjoy my blog. Have a great day:) xoxo
    http://szepsegpotty.blogspot.hu

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I am so glad you like my blog! I think yours is very pretty - I wish I could read Hungarian!

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  6. Butternut squash and chili soup is my absolute fave, as is rhubarb custard. I'm just wondering where the hell my invite to dinner was?! I love cooking for others but I can get pretty stressed out when there's more than just myself in the kitchen. Though having said that I do love cooking with my other half :)

    Cats in Crop Tops

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    1. If only I'd known...! But seriously, imagine all of these mythical 'internet people' descending into Dan's parents' house - they'd be terrified! It would probably be worth it though! :P

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  7. Your soup looks super by the way!!!
    Ha ha, I did some secret cosplaying again! Come and look!x

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  8. Where's my other comment gone?!!??!?!?! I just typed a massive comment and it's gone!!!
    Ok, so basically, (AHRGH< long comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I said that we went with an orchestra to Pau in France and we stayed with lovely French hosts who cooked us amazing food and my husband offered to cook them a meal to say thank you. They invited the main organisers of the tour over (also amazing cooks) and we cooked for them! I was terrified to be cooking in THEIR kitchen for them!!! It went ok though!
    Tonight I made a lovely vegetable and barley/lentils soup and we ate it watching Dr Who but unfortunately I forgot to switch the hob off so the remains carried on cooking for an hour and abit and there is one VERY burnt pan out there!

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    1. Ooh! Another comment from you! Barley and lentil soup sounds amazing! I've burned dinner remnants before, and it is awful. I did it with an egg once. Burnt egg is my least favourite smell in the whole world.

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  9. So pretty - would love it of you could check out my latest AW14 beauty post xo

    Aliona | fromalionawithlove.com

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  10. I have never cooked for my in-laws and I don't think I ever will. I'm not a good cook at all and that's just trying to cook for two people... I am not sure I can handle trying to feed more mouths lol I'm glad his family liked your soup! :)

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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    1. I bet you're an absolutely fine cook! Plus, salad totally counts as a meal, and doesn't need any cooking! :P

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  11. Hehe. Love that last photo. Butternut squash, as well as most squashes, are so difficult to cut! It's the worst part. :] // itsCarmen.com ☼ ☯

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    1. Yeah the cutting is a nightmare - especially when all the knives in the house are blunt!

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  12. What a lovely receipe - your sketch at the end is so cute :)

    Josie XOXO
    Fashion Mumblr

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    1. What sketch? That's just the natural state of squash in the wild!

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  13. Lucky in-laws! I'm sure they are thrilled to have you presenting them with gorgeous food like this :) Your butternut squash and chilli soup looks delicious and the presentation indeed looks so very pretty, am not surprised that Dan's sister enjoyed it so much, despite not being a fan of Butternut! ;) Rhubarb crumble is always a win-win situation too! <3

    Sophie | soinspo xo

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    1. It's the least I can do since they're letting us stay there rent-free for a few months, along with our entire flat's worth of stuff!

      Thanks for your lovely words by the way! :)

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  14. I really love pumpkin!
    Kisses

    Francesca http://everydaycoffee23.blogspot.it

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  15. Butternut squash is one of my faves! One of the first times I cooked for Nic I made hotpot, and then she told me her mum's from Yorkshire and I felt like I was serving prison gruel to the Queen. Thankfully it went down well!

    Lulu
    http://candyappledarling.blogspot.com

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    1. As a young teenager, I once tried to explain to one of my Indian friends what a samosa was... I didn't even think about what I was doing but I felt so ridiculous afterwards...

      I'm not surprised the hotpot went down well!

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  16. I think that cooking for other people can be very stressful, specially if they are your in-laws. From the photos, everything looks delicious. It's not possible to satisfy everyone. Looking forward to your next posts!

    Jasmine ♥
    For a Real Woman - Instagram - Bloglovin

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    1. Aaa, thank you! :) And you're right - it's not possible to please everyone! It's good to keep that in mind!

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  17. The soup looks yummy, you should be proud :)

    Anca @ ancaslifestyle | UK

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    1. <3 You're always so kind Anca! :)

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  18. Fabulous idea! Great for this season too :)

    Style Sunrise☀

    :)
    x

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    1. Best season! Best produce! BESTTTTT!

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  19. The soup looks delicious, perfect for the fall season!

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  20. This sounds bomb! You are such a good daughter-in-law!

    xo

    Michaela

    http://michaelajeanblog.com

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    Replies
    1. Gosh - that makes me feel very happy indeed! Most of the time I feel like a bad daughter in law!

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  21. I'm such a butternut squash fan, I love how it tastes so creamy when its actually pretty healthy :)

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    Replies
    1. YES! That is exactly why they are so great - I think you've cracked it!

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  22. mm looks good! xx
    http://tinnath.blogspot.com/

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  23. This looks so good. Cute illustrations :)

    http://fashiionistah.blogspot.dk

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  24. I really really hate cooking for my family actually, it seems that everything we have tried hasn't been good enough. It's not even like we pick really strange things to cook either! Usually it's all about it taking too long, because it's quite hard to switch ovens I find, especially electric to gas.

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    1. YES! This! Exactly this! It always seems to take so much longer in their oven!

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  25. I cook also often pumpkin soup during fall :) Thanks for the recipe!

    Thank you for your pleasant comment on my blog. Now I checked your blog with the result: I like it!

    I would like to follow you on gfc and/or bloglovin. It would be great if you come back to my blog to follow me – then I will follow you immediately back.

    xx from Germany/Bavaria, Rena

    International giveaway: Top form by the reasons of problems
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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    1. It's a great Autumn staple, isn't it! I'll head over to your blog now! :)

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  26. Haha, I understand your panic at the whipping cream! Thank god it turned out ok. x

    Beauty Soup || UK Beauty Blog

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  27. aww so cute!

    I really like your blog!!
    I'm your newest follower i hope you will visit me soon :3

    xoxo,
    Alice's Pink Diary

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    1. I absolutely love your blog too. :)

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  28. that. soup. looks. SO. GOOD!

    - Christina www.cityloveee.blogspot.com

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  29. I can't believe you were about to change a Tiramisu recipe when making it for the first for your in-laws family! hahaha you like challenges for sure! I've been with my husband for four years and I've only baked for them a couple of times, cookies that is, you know the choco chip ones... the easy ones! lol it sounds awesome though, that you are getting to cook in a bigger kitchen and for a big audience! the soup looks delicious! Thanks for sharing :)
    XOXO

    Milu
    www.hellolupi.blogspot.com

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    1. I think chocolate chip cookies are deceptively hard! I bet yours were amazing though!

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  30. WOOOOW this is sooooo cute!! Love you photos! check my blog out? :) oriannasoracle.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so glad you like my photos! :)

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  31. The last picture is so cute :D

    WWW.PUTRIVALENTINALIM.BLOGSPOT.COM

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  32. I can imagine cooking for the in-laws; I'd probably have a heart attack! Your soup sounds so delicious!

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    1. It was quite tasty, thank goodness! Phew!

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  33. Oh wow this sounds delicious! I could just demolish a bowl right now :D xxx

    Gemma | missmakeupmagpie.com

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    1. So could I, and it's past midnight here! :S

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  34. Those are the cutest butternut squashes in the world! Your soup looks wonderful, well done for making a crowd-pleaser! I've made birthday cake for my boyfriend that his gran ended up eating too; it was a bit burnt at the bottom but in true English style, she ate the whole slice. Bless her classic stiff upper lip. Alex and I often cook for my parents too, but I tend to get a bit stressed and control-freakish when it's a recipe I haven't tried. xx

    Tamsin / A Certain Adventure

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    1. Ah yes the classic politeness! I made horrendous macarons for the people at work the other day and they all ate them with no complaint despite the fact that every single macaron looked like some kind of horrific turd...!

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  35. adorable. i'm pretty sure it tastes great! apparently, i don't know how to cook :( haha!

    xoxo, rae
    http://www.raellarina.net/

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    1. I bet you do! Everyone can cook something!!

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  36. The soup sounds amazing! I love a good butternut squash soup. Glad everything all worked out well in the end. I enjoy cooking for other people afterwards, although at the time I tend to find it really stressful! Lianne x
    Rubyrubyslippers.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes - I totally agree! At the time, it's like "ohgodohgodohgod" and then afterwards, when everyone is saying, "mmmm" then it's so satisfying!

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  37. This looks so yummy! Your blog is so cute. I'm going to follow you on bloglovin' and on instagram!

    www.mishmoshmakeup.com

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    1. I really love your blog too! You seem like such a lovely lady! :)

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  38. Aw that is so cute! I would imagine it's stressful cooking for in laws but it sounds like they loved it! Butternut squash soup is one of my favorite parts of fall :) Following you on twitter, instagram & bloglovin to keep in touch! :)

    Chelsea
    Chowing Down by the Bay
    Bloglovin
    Pinterest
    Twitter
    Instagram

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    1. Aah, you're so lovely! I really love your blog too! <3

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  39. Such a cute post, made me smile! :) Thanks for sharing! <3

    I have a new post up on the blog, would love to know your thoughts;

    http://electricsunrise.blogspot.co.uk/

    x

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    1. Thanks! :) Will head on over to check it out! :)

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  40. Love this post - you're so humble! And the soup looks really good - made me hungry...

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    1. You're lovely! I'm glad you liked this post! <3

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  41. Its lovely cooking so pretty i like this pictures I am such a butternut squash I like how it tastes so creamy when its actually pretty healthy so yummy thanks for sharing this cookies. safety management course in chennai|Industrial safety course in chennai| fire and safety course training chennai|iosh managing safely course in chennai|nebosh igc training in Tamil nadukeep posting.

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