When you're cooking a meal for someone outside your household, it's customary to prepare something familiar. I like to break tradition and experiment in the kitchen. There's definitely risk involved, but as long as I'm prepared to order a pizza if my culinary efforts go down in a blaze of glory -And they have... just ask my husband, Greg, about the time I attempted to make my Nana's Rice Croquettes in our first year of marriage.- , what's the harm? There's something exhilarating about trying new flavors in the company of friends and family!
Oh, and don't forget to ask for feedback. Not just the ooey gooey "It's great." feedback, but genuine responses. Don't be afraid of constructive criticism! Take the good and the great with the bad and the ugly, and use what you learn to improve.