I agree that for some reason we love to try new recipes when we have guests over but I think that being adventurous is what the kitchen is all about. You are a great cook and you know it so just be sure of yourself and I am sure your innovations and your trials will reflect that! Also, hosting people for dinner is not only about the food! Its about the company, the conversation, and about what you eat! Just ask your guests for feedback…. make them a part of your process.
A loves cheesecake.
Poppy seeds… I am not sure that they have much of a flavor but I still wanted to make poppy seed cake or cupcakes, so for my mom’s birthday cake I decided to make poppy seed cake. I first checked out a recipe that I almost tried but decided against it because you needed to add 8 egg yolks and I said “No way!” So I went back to the cook book my aunt made a few years ago with family recipes and I found a very good one… and gave it my own twist it calls for 4 yolks so its a little better.