The Family Dinner

Our family is why Abbio exists today. Our family nurtured us in the kitchen, and we grew up around the dinner table. Our best friends are family. We think the perfect way to say thanks to our family is to offer up a home-cooked meal, and we’re going to show you how to make your mom and dad proud.

The People

We all have a different definition of family. For some its two parents and a sibling, for others its a best friend or next door neighbor. No matter your definition, we all have one. So who gets the invite to Family Dinner? Family dinner must include the people you are closest too. This isn’t the time to find a date or have a friends dinner - this is a time when you’ll want the people you are most comfortable with around you. Try to keep Family Dinner to eight or less people. As your guest list grows, the less intimate the meal becomes. Your distant cousin can always come to Thanksgiving. 

 Also think about where you’ll want your guests to sit. We recommend breaking apart parents and partners. Use the meal to catch up, not just continue conversations you’re already having in your own homes.  

"The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.

                                                                                          - George Carlin

The Music

Music sets the mood for the night. It can trigger great memories, be the subject of conversation, or simply fill a few moments of silence. Now is your chance to impress your family with your impeccable taste. Try to pick something that everyone at your dinner can appreciate. Pick something that won’t dominate a room, but instead becomes a compliment to the rest of the evening. More importantly, If one of your family members wants next on the iPhone, let them have a go. Maybe you’ll learn your dad loves Kacey Musgraves as much as you do.

"Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               - Cary Grant


Careful with the booze. The last thing you need is for someone to drink a few too many beers and make a comment that offends the group. When your shopping for ingredients for the meal, buy just enough beer and wine so that everyone gets a couple drinks. Two bottles of wine and two six packs of beer should be plenty of booze for a party of eight to enjoy on a low key evening.

The Food

Ok, now we’re on to the meat and potatoes of Family Dinner. Of course, you have a vegetarian in the family your little brother doesn’t eat tomatoes. Fortunately for you, the simplest meals are often the most delicious. Once again, we’ll make sure that mom is impressed at the end of the night and everyone leaves full.

Finger Foods 

As your family strolls into your home, you want to be sure you have a few bites out to keep those peckish ones from complaining.

Pimento Cheese Dip

Difficulty: Easy 

Time: 20 Minutes


Start the meal off with a staple something everyone loves. You’ll impress the family by taking a classic and making it from scratch with love.

Caesar Salad

Difficulty: Easy 

Time: 15 Minutes


Now the fun part. Serve something to impress them, but also something that can be prepared ahead of time.You want to present for the meal - not in the kitchen all night.

Surt and Turf Steak and Shrimp

Difficulty: Medium 

Time: 20 Minutes

Herb Roasted Potatoes and Vegetables

Difficulty: Easy 

Time: 10 Minutes


Make sure the night ends on a high note. Make something earlier in the day (or the day before) that you can can serve once entrees have disappeared.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Difficulty: Medium 

Time: 40 Minutes

Saying Goodbye 

Eventually it will be time to say goodbye. Because it’s your family, don’t be afraid to not being subtle. If you are tired and ready to call it a night, tell your guests! Your parents need to rush home to catch the latest episode of some bad cable TV sitcom anyways. If you’re lucky, someone will help you clean your kitchen. Once everyone is gone for the night, crack open a left over beer and revel in the great evening you just had.

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