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Do You Experiment On Your Guests?

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NW BB

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When you find a new recipe, do you test it out first on your family or do you go ahead and cook it for your paying guests?
I find that I'm pretty conservative when it comes to this and I almost always will try the recipe out first. This morning, I only had 1 room for breakfast and they were the perfect guests. 3 nights with us and they were wonderful. I decided to try a new recipe out on them because I knew that if it didn't work out they would still love whatever I put in front of them (even if it was "Plan B"). Also, the recipe looked fool proof.
I was just wondering what everyone else does. By the way it was an Upside Down Banana Pecan Pancake (baked in the oven) and it turned out great!
 

Don Draper

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Ha! Thought this was going to be a thread on waterboarding or some other form of torture

I get too nervous to experiment with breakfast with a full house. I do like to do that in the slower times, though...I get SO SICK of preparing the same thing over and over...even if it is new to everyone eating it, it gets old to us.
 

swirt

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Due to our open floor plan we are always cooking in front of guests, so DW (she does the cooking) is not comfortable trying something "live." We always do a few run-throughs ahead of time to get the timing and serving right. That's where my role as "test-stomach" comes in. :)
 

Proud Texan

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Due to our open floor plan we are always cooking in front of guests, so DW (she does the cooking) is not comfortable trying something "live." We always do a few run-throughs ahead of time to get the timing and serving right. That's where my role as "test-stomach" comes in. :).
swirt said:
Due to our open floor plan we are always cooking in front of guests, so DW (she does the cooking) is not comfortable trying something "live." We always do a few run-throughs ahead of time to get the timing and serving right. That's where my role as "test-stomach" comes in. :)
My DW does the same. And Swirt, are you as overweight as me? All that test eating.....
 

scrambled_eggs

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I like to try a lot of new recipes but I won't try them on the guests first. That could be a recipe for disaster. I have had some recipes that were total flops. Soggy and watery. I always try it out first and give it to the neighbors for them to try and then I end up adjusting the recipe. I too get sick of making the same things. I just found a ham, cheese and tomato strata from food network and the guests just love it. It is very filling and satisfying.
 

swirt

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Due to our open floor plan we are always cooking in front of guests, so DW (she does the cooking) is not comfortable trying something "live." We always do a few run-throughs ahead of time to get the timing and serving right. That's where my role as "test-stomach" comes in. :).
swirt said:
Due to our open floor plan we are always cooking in front of guests, so DW (she does the cooking) is not comfortable trying something "live." We always do a few run-throughs ahead of time to get the timing and serving right. That's where my role as "test-stomach" comes in. :)
My DW does the same. And Swirt, are you as overweight as me? All that test eating.....
.
Proud Texan said:
My DW does the same. And Swirt, are you as overweight as me? All that test eating.....
I have been blessed with a metabolism that doesn't let me gain weight. (I know people are now getting ready to throw rotten tomatoes at their monitors) My weight hasn't changed by more than 5 pounds in 20 years <ducks to avoid flying produce> ;)
 

SweetiePie

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I like to try a lot of new recipes but I won't try them on the guests first. That could be a recipe for disaster. I have had some recipes that were total flops. Soggy and watery. I always try it out first and give it to the neighbors for them to try and then I end up adjusting the recipe. I too get sick of making the same things. I just found a ham, cheese and tomato strata from food network and the guests just love it. It is very filling and satisfying..
That sounds different. Are you willing to share the recipe?
 

gillumhouse

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I usually try it on the guests. I tell them I have tried something new and it is up to you whether it goes in the rotation or the wastebasket. So far I have been told they are winners except for one recipe - and I do not remember which one. And I do stress they are to be totally honest because it is a recipe I do not "own" yet.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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There's a few I'd like to experiment on..... LOL
Our place offers two hot entrees daily and the menu changes daily.
SO is up to about 7-9 days worth of distinctly different entree' items and baked goodies to boot. And NO quiches, stratas, egg casseroles, buffet service or premade anything.
We make our own jams, apple butters, etc. so the food, ingedients and its quality is very important to us.
We'd like to think that for the longer stays, having at least 14 entree' choices for a weeklong stay and the back up of any number of healthy cereals, real oatmeal, yogurt, etc... is enough variety to satisfy even the pickiest or unpredictable guest.
She also accommodates what seems to be a growing list of food allergies, sensitivities, dietary restrictions, etc.
I'm the resident tester, but we'll also try some stuff out on returning guests if they are the only ones here at the time.
 

Morticia

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Experiment. We tell the guests they are guinea pigs and invite comment. All comments accepted. We tell them, 'If you hate this, please let us know, or like those hideous ties you always get, we'll think you love it and it'll be on the menu next time you're here.' We've only had one thing we made that came out hideous. All but one person ate all of it. I thought it was awful and so did he.
 

Willowpondgj

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Usually only if they are return guests...and only if I'm confident...The returns seem to enjoy being guinea pigs...
I made a mushroom/thyme frittata the other day, pretty much winged it with what was on hand, it came out perfect, DH and I both liked it as much as my normal frittata and we both hate mushrooms!
 

Country Girl

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When I am totally bored with my recipes and the guests are staying for a long time I will try something out-of-the-blue. So far, so good...
 

Copperhead

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I did this once and will not do this again. It was baked grapefruit and served as the 1st course. Prior to makeing it I did question guests if they liked or could eat grapefruit...all said yes. They all said it was good but I could feel that 1 or 2 were apprehensive in tasting it. They all said to keep it on the menu... I did not. The reason I did try this was a friend has a grapefruit tree and was giving me more grapefruit than we could eat.
DH loves grapefruit - so I will continue to make it for him. He is my official taster from now on.
 

scrambled_eggs

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I did this once and will not do this again. It was baked grapefruit and served as the 1st course. Prior to makeing it I did question guests if they liked or could eat grapefruit...all said yes. They all said it was good but I could feel that 1 or 2 were apprehensive in tasting it. They all said to keep it on the menu... I did not. The reason I did try this was a friend has a grapefruit tree and was giving me more grapefruit than we could eat.
DH loves grapefruit - so I will continue to make it for him. He is my official taster from now on..
How do you make your baked grapefruits? I make them here all the time for my first course. Guests love it! I always have to asked the day before if they are ok eating it because there are quite a few who can not eat grapefruits due to taking a certain medication.
 

YellowSocks

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I do experiments, although before we started I did a few test runs.
Mostly I experiment only when they have dietary restrictions that make menu planning interesting, or they're here a long time. I'm generally confident enough in my cooking to know ahead how long it will take and whether I can pull it off. Tomorrow I need to come up with a whole wheat muffin, which will be a new recipe. If it bombs they'll get whole wheat muffins or toast instead (which I have on hand).
The most challenging experiment I've done was the last day's menu for our guests from Spain on their eighth day here. I made a frittata (forgot it was hot and burned my hand on the handle), churros (long fried doughnuts, mmmm! But they were fussy and a pain to make), and spicy hot chocolate which was over the top amazing.
My rule of thumb for food I serve, if I don't love it I don't serve it. Food I love (chocolate chip pancakes) get served more often.
=)
Kk.
 

Copperhead

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I did this once and will not do this again. It was baked grapefruit and served as the 1st course. Prior to makeing it I did question guests if they liked or could eat grapefruit...all said yes. They all said it was good but I could feel that 1 or 2 were apprehensive in tasting it. They all said to keep it on the menu... I did not. The reason I did try this was a friend has a grapefruit tree and was giving me more grapefruit than we could eat.
DH loves grapefruit - so I will continue to make it for him. He is my official taster from now on..
How do you make your baked grapefruits? I make them here all the time for my first course. Guests love it! I always have to asked the day before if they are ok eating it because there are quite a few who can not eat grapefruits due to taking a certain medication.
.
Briefly it calls for butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and maraschino cherries. cut out center, loosen each section...only under broiler oven for a few minutes to melt the butter and give a carmel look to the top.
I just think the guests were really wanting more variety with the fruit, as I usually serve a fruit tray, fruit compote or a parfait... the only time I serve grapefruit is on the trays...the fruit that gets left behind the most - yep grapefruit.
I really liked it baked and I am not a grapefuit eater in general. I was slow to take a bite myself, but really liked it and enjoy it with DH now, just after that experience I choose not to serve it again to the guests.
 

YellowSocks

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I did this once and will not do this again. It was baked grapefruit and served as the 1st course. Prior to makeing it I did question guests if they liked or could eat grapefruit...all said yes. They all said it was good but I could feel that 1 or 2 were apprehensive in tasting it. They all said to keep it on the menu... I did not. The reason I did try this was a friend has a grapefruit tree and was giving me more grapefruit than we could eat.
DH loves grapefruit - so I will continue to make it for him. He is my official taster from now on..
How do you make your baked grapefruits? I make them here all the time for my first course. Guests love it! I always have to asked the day before if they are ok eating it because there are quite a few who can not eat grapefruits due to taking a certain medication.
.
Briefly it calls for butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and maraschino cherries. cut out center, loosen each section...only under broiler oven for a few minutes to melt the butter and give a carmel look to the top.
I just think the guests were really wanting more variety with the fruit, as I usually serve a fruit tray, fruit compote or a parfait... the only time I serve grapefruit is on the trays...the fruit that gets left behind the most - yep grapefruit.
I really liked it baked and I am not a grapefuit eater in general. I was slow to take a bite myself, but really liked it and enjoy it with DH now, just after that experience I choose not to serve it again to the guests.
.
I don't eat grapefruit, but after your description maybe I'll try it.
=)
Kk.
 

wendydk

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DH experiments on me usually, altho he has been known to do so with repeat guests to their great excitement. Around here, we ask about food allergies and dietary restrictions at the time of reservation, but guests are suprised at brekkie and have no idea what's being served (plated) until it hits the table....unless they can guess by the aromas drifting up the stairs! Repeat guests have been known to exclaim "I smell cherry french toast!" as they come running down.
 

wendydk

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There's a few I'd like to experiment on..... LOL
Our place offers two hot entrees daily and the menu changes daily.
SO is up to about 7-9 days worth of distinctly different entree' items and baked goodies to boot. And NO quiches, stratas, egg casseroles, buffet service or premade anything.
We make our own jams, apple butters, etc. so the food, ingedients and its quality is very important to us.
We'd like to think that for the longer stays, having at least 14 entree' choices for a weeklong stay and the back up of any number of healthy cereals, real oatmeal, yogurt, etc... is enough variety to satisfy even the pickiest or unpredictable guest.
She also accommodates what seems to be a growing list of food allergies, sensitivities, dietary restrictions, etc.
I'm the resident tester, but we'll also try some stuff out on returning guests if they are the only ones here at the time..
What do you have against egg dishes?
 
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