This week my brother is coming to visit for a few days of his spring break. My little brother who at 6'1" towers over me and will eat at least two portions of whatever is served for dinner. I honest to goodness love feeding him, as he hunkers into every plate with pure enthusiasm.
Over text I asked if he had any requests for dinner. "That is the best question anyone has asked me all day!" he wrote. Shrimp and grits was his lone request. Even though I have an easy-to-impress guest visiting this week, the goal is dinners for the week that are both fast and a little fancy, a cooking style I don't always reach for when feeding two preschoolers.
Here are the five fast and fancy dinners I'm cooking for house guests this week.
Welcome to This Week's Meal Plan
Planning my weekly meals is a habit I enjoy. Since I'm frequently asked by friends and family what I'm cooking for dinner each week, I thought it'd be useful to share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you're just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you're an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here's a peek at how I'm feeding my family this week.
New to meal planning? Start here.
This spaghetti squash with asparagus recipe is a near-perfect springtime meatless Monday dish. My family loves the ricotta lemon sauce so much that I'll double it — making one batch as written with spaghetti squash and the other with angel hair pasta for the kids (and honestly for the leftovers, too).
Tuesday: How To Make Slow Cooker Fajitas
Taco Tuesday is also the night my brother flies in from California. A slow-cooker dinner is required, as he'll be famished from flying and we all love these slow cooker chicken fajitas. One way to make this homey dish a little fancier is to create a tray of condiments, including a few salsas, lime sour cream, pickled jalapeños, and a plenty of limes for squeezing.
Wednesday: Roasted Shrimp and Slow Cooker Grits
My brother's one dinner request, shrimp and grits, poses a small challenge. Last week my daughter declared she "no longer eats shrimp this week" (we had it last week and she devoured it). So I'm getting a little creative and making these easy sheet pan chili garlic roasted shrimp and broccoli and serving them over slow cooker grits with a side of store-bought kimchi. This is hardly traditional, but I know my kids will eat broccoli and grits in their bowls while the grown-ups enjoy this riff. #dinnercompromise
Thursday: Fried Chicken Biscuits with Honey
Another dinner request from my brother (can you tell he misses Southern food in California?). And while I do love frying chicken, it is hardly a weeknight affair. Instead I'll use this recipe for the chicken and make my favorite biscuit recipe and a side of coleslaw. I anticipate zero leftovers.
Friday night always mean pizza in our house. This week it's a vehicle for a bunch of sausage and red peppers I need to use up. I have been really digging this pizza dough recipe lately.
Your turn — what dinners do you cook when you have house guests? Do you take guest requests or enjoy eating out a little more?