Parents Dinner

Our little group has been doing these Friday Night Dinners for the last three years. In those three years, we had never once cooked a dinner for our parents so they could experience the magic of FND. Last night, that changed.

Taylor, Mary and I got together and made a dinner for both my parents and Mary’s parents. We had such a wonderful time. I don’t think I’ve laughed as much and as hard as I did last night in a long, long time.

While we were cooking we all snacked on some killer almonds we found at World Foods here in Portland. These almonds are seriously life changing. We were eating these like candy you guys, so good. If you’re in Portland, do yourselves a favour and go buy the rosemary almonds at World Foods. You won’t be disappointed.

I’m so glad our parents were able to experience an FND. We gush about our dinners all the time and I think now they can understand where we get all of our excitement from. Best friends, family and food. Is there anything better? I don’t think so. Drinks were flowing, food was eaten and the night was filled with lots of conversation and laughter.

You guys have to make every single one of these dishes. I promise you’ll love them all 🙂

Broccoli, Cheddar and Potato Soup: 


  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium sized broccoli bunch, chopped
  • 1 russet potato
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth


  1. Blanch broccoli by placing in boiling water for 30 seconds. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a large dutch oven, melt the butter. Peel and chop the potato into small 1-inch dice. Sauté both the potato and the onion in the butter for about 6 minutes, or until the onion starts to become translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Then, add dry mustard, cayenne, and salt. Stir to coat.
  3. Add the flour and stir well. Pour in the broth and add in the broccoli florets. Stir and bring back to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potato is tender. Slowly pour in the milk and add cheese, stirring to melt.
  4. Carefully pour soup into a blender (or use an immersion blender) and process until smooth. Keep warm until serving.


Spring Peas and Greens with Cacio e Pepe Dressing: 


  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp. buttermilk
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 tsp. coarsely cracked black peppercorns
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 4 cups spring greens
  • 1 avocado, peeled and cut into thin wedges


  1. In a food processor, pulse the egg yolk with the buttermilk and garlic. With the machine on, drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated. Add the 3 tablespoons of cheese and the peppercorns and puree until smooth. Season the dressing with salt.
  2. In a bowl, toss the edamame, peas and greens. Add some dressing, season with salt and toss. Arrange the avocado on plates and top with the salad. Garnish with grated cheese and serve.



Margherita Pizza: 


  • Trader Joe’s plain pizza dough
  • Pizza sauce
  • Mozzarella, sliced
  • Basil leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Roll out dough and transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  3. Spread sauce over dough. Lay out mozzarella slices over pizza and sprinkle with basil leaves.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.



Asparagus, Mushroom and Red Onion Pizza: 
Via Bryony Cooks!


  • 1 bag Trader Joe’s herb and garlic pizza dough
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese (strong Dubliner preferred)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place asparagus spears in water and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from pot and shock immediately in an ice water bath. At the same times, lightly sauté the mushrooms.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly oil a baking sheet.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Spread the oil over the dough. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over dough and top with asparagus, mushrooms and red onion. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 15 minutes.



Baked Strawberry Cheesecakes: 


  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a muffin tin with liners.
  2. Put cracker crumbs into a medium bowl and add melted butter. Stir together and spoon by tablespoons into prepared liners, pressing firmly into the bottom. Chill until set.
  3. In a large bowl, beat ricotta until smooth. Add the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, blending until smooth. Slowly add the eggs, blending well. Add strawberries and combine. Scoop into prepared liners.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Chill until ready to serve.
  5. Serve with additional strawberries, if desired.




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