Planning a menu for Mom? Southern Living recently asked the many mothers among its readership to suggest a few favorite dishes based on their likes. For the early birds, there’s a quiche and “fruitini” combination — perfect for breakfast in bed. A “coastal” mom’s menu includes grilled shrimp and Key lime pie. And the “gourmet” mom gets rack of lamb and a chocolate soufflé. When you’re on a budget, even elegant dishes are less expensive to cook yourself than a restaurant meal — and Mom will know that it took lots of effort. Whatever you choose for your Mother’s Day menu, don’t let her lift a finger during meal preparation, serving or (especially) cleanup.
With Valentine’s Day arriving midweek this year, you might have a special dinner date set for Friday or Saturday night — and if you’re on a budget, you may be doing the cooking yourself! The ol’ surf-and-turf is a favorite romantic repast, but your options are limited only by your time and creativity. The Kitchn suggests sumptuous starters such as lobster bisque and deviled eggs, main dishes such as grilled branzino and parmesan risotto with shrimp, and decadent “sweets for the sweet” such as panna cotta and dark chocolate brownies, plus adult beverages that are sure to make the mood buoyant.
While most Thanksgiving guests appreciate the basics—turkey and stuffing—there are lots of ways to go beyond green bean casserole when it comes to cooking up a fantastic feast. In addition to the classics, Southern Living offers down-home suggestions such as corn pudding, roasted vegetables with maple glaze and shrimp-and-grits dressing.