It’s so much fun to meet your remote friend in real life! When Inna told me they could stop by our place for dinner on the way to their new home, I was so excited!

I wanted to make a special dinner for her and her husband. I planned something casual but realized that I can’t do “casual,” lol. 

Since the dinner looked so nice and I put so much love and effort into each dish, I decided to share it on my blog.

Dinner with Inna and James

Hopefully, you will find recipes and presentations useful for the upcoming Holiday Season.

Since it’s November, I’ve decided to have a Fall theme dinner with leaves and greenery.

Dinner Menu

Loaded Eggplant Dip (Baba Ganoush)
Creamy Whipped Feta Dip
Cheesy Beef Stromboli
Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf with fresh pasta
BBQ Baby Back ribs with broccoli and carrots
Creamer potatoes with caramelized onion and bell peppers


Raspberry Cheese Danish Pie
Roasted Pears

Loaded Eggplant Dip (Baba Ganoush)

Loaded Eggplant Dip (Baba Ganoush)

I have made this delicious dip before for THANKSGIVING; it tastes and looks incredible.

Loaded Eggplant Dip (Baba Ganoush) is a tasty low-carb dip that goes so well with meats and vegetables! I have served them with Stonefire Naan Dippers.

Loaded Eggplant Dip (Baba Ganoush) plated



1 Large Eggplant
2 – 3 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp Tahini paste
1 – 2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Sumac
1 tsp. Za’atar
salt/pepper to taste
toasted pine nuts
pomegranate seeds

tomatoes, cucumber, radish, and parsley


Preheat oven to 400F. Slice eggplant in half or slice to bake faster; up to you.

Brush eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until very tender, about 35-40 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Scoop eggplant pulp from the skin and place into a food processor or use Immersion Blender.

Add Greek yogurt, tahini paste, garlic cloves, lemon juice, sumac, and salt/pepper.

You don’t want runny Baba Ganoush, so blend a few pulses gently. Adjust to taste with additional lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add mix to a serving plate, cover, and refrigerate until serving.

Make a separate salsa topping by combining sliced colorful tomatoes, cucumber, radish, and parsley.

Season with olive oil and a bit of salad vinegar. Just before serving, add salsa topping (be sure to drain any excess liquid) on top of the eggplant dip.

Sprinkle with Za’atar, sumac, toasted pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds.

You can use a stove, oven, or microwave to toast pine nuts. Make a dent in the eggplant dip and add some good-quality Olive oil.

Creamy Whipped Feta Dip

Creamy Whipped Feta Dip for dinner

Since I had Naan Dippers on hand, I decided to make another tasty dip. I always loved the Creamy Feta dip that they serve at our Greek restaurant and tried to recreate it for us. 

Good quality Feta is a must for this recipe!

Creamy Whipped Feta Dip ingredients

How to make Creamy Whipped Feta Dip


7 or 8 oz, block of full-fat feta cheese
5 or 6 oz. Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 garlic clove
2 or more tablespoons of good-quality Olive oil
dry oregano
Za’atar seasoning
toasted pine nuts
pomegranate seeds


Blend the ingredients above until the mixture is creamy and lump-free. I’ve used my Immersion Blender for this as well.

Transfer the whipped feta to a serving plate.

With the back of your spoon, smooth the top of the feta, making an indentation in the middle (or a “well”).

Pour a bit of olive oil all over the feta, then season with oregano and Za’atar.

Garnish with fresh herbs, toasted pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds.

Serve with pita chips or pita wedges.

Creamy Whipped Feta Dip presentation

Cheesy Beef Stromboli

Cheesy Beef Stromboli

I had Pizza Dough from Publix on hand and decided to make Beef Stromboli with it. Publix’s made fresh daily dough is THE BEST!

I buy it every time we shop. You can use it in so many recipes, not just Pizza!

Stromboli is basically a pizza roll. You roll the pizza dough, cover it with sauce, meat, and cheese, roll it up, bake and serve. Super simple and totally doable for any home cook!

But since I like to put my spin on the recipes, I decided to make a pretty braid, as you can see below.

Cheesy Beef Stromboli prep

How to make Cheesy Beef Stromboli


1 roll of refrigerated pizza dough
1 pound ground beef, approximately 2 cups
1 egg
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt/pepper or to taste

1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 cup shredded cheese (I’ve used Cheddar since that’s what I had on hand, but you can use any)
eggwash for brushing on top
dry oregano and sesame seeds


Mix ground beef, 1 egg, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder in a medium bowl.

Over medium heat, saute ground beef mix in a skillet until browned.

Adjust salt/pepper to taste.

Drain fat and let cool slightly.

On a floured surface, unroll the pizza dough. The design is up to you.

Place pizza dough on parchment paper, add ground beef mix in the center, and top with pizza sauce and shredded cheese.

Fold dough over and pinch ends and sides together. Poke holes in the top, cut slats, or braid as I have done.

Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with dry oregano and sesame seeds.

Bake in the preheated at 400F degrees oven for 16 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Let it cool slightly, then slice diagonally across and serve!

Cheesy Beef Stromboli baked

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf with Buitoni Fettuccine Refrigerated Pasta Noodles

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf with fresh pasta

Since Inna’s husband is Italian, I’ve decided to make a few Italian dishes that he will enjoy. This Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf is very easy to make and super delicious! 

In the VIDEO, I have placed the mix on top of oiled heavy-duty foil. I’ve decided to lay it on parchment paper first this way it comes out perfect without sticking to foil. Easy cleanup as well!

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf with fresh pasta prep


BBQ Baby Back ribs with broccoli and carrots

BBQ Baby Back ribs with broccoli and carrots

Another quick, easy, and tasty recipe you can make a day in advance is BBQ BABY BACK RIBS!

Creamer potatoes with caramelized onion and bell peppers

Roasted potatoes with caramelized onion and bell peppers

One of the items that I always try to have on hand is “The Little Potato Company Microwave-Ready Savory Herb Potatoes.”

Mixed red and yellow Creamer potatoes with a tantalizing blend of savory herbs and spices. Cooked in only 5 minutes!!! I’ve added caramelized onion and colorful salad bell pepper to it.

Super Easy!

Raspberry Cheese Danish Pie

Puff Pastry Cheese pie

How to make Raspberry Cheese Danish Pie


2 puff pastry sheets
8 oz cream cheese
6 tbsp ricotta cheese
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1 Egg + 1 tbsp water for egg wash
1 tbsp milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Fruit to garnish

Puff Pastry Cheese pie ingredients


Combine cream cheese, ricotta, and jam. Stir everything until well combined.

Place the thawed puff pastry out onto a sheet of floured parchment paper. Roll it out lengthwise about 2 inches.

Spread cheese filling on top of puff pastry sheets. 

Roll into a log and cut into pinwheels.

Arrange pinwheels on top of parchment paper in a circle.

Brush with an eggwash and bake at 400F for about 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Make the glaze by combining the milk and powdered sugar. Once the pie is completely cool, drizzle the glaze over it.

Add sliced fruit in the center, you can drizzle it with glaze as well.

Roasted Pears

Roasted Pears

Roasted Pears make the perfect Easy, Healthy, and Absolutely Delicious dessert! You can also use apples, plums, peaches, apricots, or similar types of fruit with this flexible recipe.

Inna and James, thank you for stopping by for dinner, and looking forward to spending more time together! 

Dinner with friends!

Dinner with Inna and James

Dinner with friends

I hope you will find these recipes useful for when you host friends at your house.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog and star rating. Tag me on Instagram or Facebook @craftycookingbyanna or share in on Pinterest! Thank you for your support!

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