Among my favorite resources for dish ideas are a series of small cookbooks published under the name of Canal House Cooking. They are released seasonally when you can easily find ingredients for the recipes (the latest one has the blue cover) and just about all of them are easy to prepare if the right tools are on hand. You can buy them online and in some specialty cooking stores like Williams-Sonoma.

Duck served with roasted apples and onions. Killer combo.

Lobster stew, for when I can’t make it to Maine.

Drinks for the cook.

Chocolate gingerbread and apple pie. There is a good variety of desert recipes in every volume.