Family dinners were too big to fit around one table...

My Grandmother, Mama Ghashangeh (gorgeous mama) used to say "One that travels, learns". She used to travel with my grandfather three months of the summer every year and would come back home with all kinds of new recipes to prepare for us every Wednesday when we got together at their house. This was not your average family dinner. My grandparents had 12 children and though all did not live in the same country at the same time, the Wednesday family dinners were too big to fit around one table but somehow we all managed to eat together, talk, interact and bond. As much as I love Persian food (honestly, most delicious cuisine in my opinion), it was really nice to experience something other than rice and ___ and try a dish I never had before. When I became a mom and started cooking for my own family, I made a conscious effort to prepare new and different meals every night and the rule is that you have to try at least one bite of everything that is on the table. So my inspiration for this weeks menu comes from some of the dishes Gorgeous Mama learned from her travels and some from mine. The Fork-Tender Steak and Potato and Leek Soup from her trips to France. Teriyaki Chicken from mine to Philadelphia's China Town. Fennel and Blood Orange from hers to Italy, Chopped Salad from mine to LA. Green Bean Hash from hers to Turkey, Mac and Cheese from mine to Richmond.

We hope this weeks menu will inspire you to order something you know you will like, and something you are not so sure of. Then sit around the dinner table with your family with no phones and gadgets and enjoy your dinner over conversations and create memories for them as our parents did for us.

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