Friday night dinner @ home - Brainstorming a new tradition?

Hi everyone!

I'm a long time lurker, but this is my first post. Sorry in advance if I commit a Talk faux pas!

My fiancee joined a sand volleyball rec team for the summer, and their games start Friday evenings at 6:45. Not great timing.

Our Friday nights are usually: work-happy hour-somewhere local for dinner-back home for movies & booze. But now that he's got volleyball, I'll have a large chunk of free time on Friday evening before he gets back.

I'm thinking it might be fun to use that time to try out some new (to us) recipes.

So here's where you brilliant folks come in: I'm trying to brainstorm moderately elaborate recipes to make during my down time, that will be ready when he gets home from volleyball.

We're not picky at all, I've got fairly decent kitchen skills, and I'll have about 3-ish hours to prep/cook. We live two blocks from a poorly stocked grocery store, and about 10 minutes from a WELL stocked grocery store, so ingredients aren't a problem. It's Friday, so there WILL be wine/booze/beer/all of the above, so nothing TOO elaborate.

Thoughts? Recommendations? Recipes? Input? Thanks in advance!

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