Although my parents love eating out (and so do Andy and I), there really is nothing like a home cooked meal- it's nice to be able to relax at home, be comfortable, and chat the night away at the dinner table or the couch, without feeling rushed.
Whenever my parents tell me they are coming to visit, I generally plan the menu weeks in advance. It's an opportunity for me to cook something new and exciting, or make something that has wowed me in the past, and would be a great experience for my parents. Because we were going out to eat so much while they were in town, I also wanted to cook something different- a cuisine that we weren't going to be feasting on at the various restaurants I had reservations. I decided on a Latin American theme and so started with an appetizer favorite that I love to make, Black Bean and Banana Empanadas (made previously for supper club):
My parents loved them, and they were as good as I remember. There is something about the sweetness of the banana and the saltiness of the beans that really elevates this empanada.
For the main, I made the chili verde from Simply Recipes again (which I made last time with chicken). This time, I followed the recipe closely with no changes or additions- except I used pork loin instead of pork shoulder, and cooked the whole thing in my crockpot:
I served this slow cooked pork with corn tortillas and Simply Recipes' fantastic recipe for Spanish rice. The recipe calls for long-grain white rice, but I substituted brown rice, which I think adds even more wonderful nutty flavor (and its healthier!).
My parents loved the meal, and I was happy to make it again! This is the perfect meal to serve to a lot of dinner guests because you won't be stuck in the kitchen all night, and you can make everything easily in large portions.