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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

make-ahead dinner party

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One of the things I always have great intentions of doing is a series of articles on how to throw a relatively stress-free dinner party. But I'm a procrastinator, so I still haven't gotten around to it.

Anyway, hubs and I hosted friends of ours earlier this week, and had a great time figuring out a menu for the evening. Though hubs did little more than grunt his lack of disapproval (I would say that he grunted his approval, but that would mean that he was actually paying attention when I ran the menu by him....hehe...I ended up actually running the menu by our friend, because I figured that she would be better positioned to let me know whether or not I'd come upon a nutritional landmine.) Tip #1 for a successful dinner party - make sure your dinner guests are actually interested in eating what you're serving. It doesn't matter how awesome your prime rib is if your guests are vegetarians. ;)

Of course, hubs had to throw a curveball at me the day before the party....apparently, we weren't having two dinner guests, but three - for the first time since we've been in our house, we were having a teeny-tiny little guest. I was just annoyed because hubs had known this fact for days and hadn't bothered to let me know.

I was mostly a little panicked because I had a look around my house in a totally new light.....and rather than chic, my coffee table suddenly seemed dagger sharp, and my entire abode fraught with poisonous dangers not suited for kiddies. Yikes.

I am glad to say though, that everything went swimmingly. Turns out the cute little babies are huge fans of scallops, lemon risotto and all kinds of yummy things with all sorts of different flavours. Very cool.

Also, I have two new toys. You can see them both here:
look!  two new toys at once!

I know it only looks like one toy (the KitchenAid Pro Stand Mixer - WOOOOOOOOOOT), but there are, in fact, TWO toys at work here. You see the super narrow depth of field there? That's my new lens at work! EEEEEEEEeee! We finally picked up the 50 mm f/1.8 I had been coveting so you'll see it hard at work throughout this whole series of photos. I'm still learning, so sometimes the DOF is so narrow as to be ridiculous, but just learn to love the blurry goodness of a shallow focus. Woot!

Anyway, it's getting a little late, so I will get to my menu/food posts now - they'll be pretty basic, but I can assure ya, everything was a hit and the few leftovers I have are rapidly dwindling...


Appetizers - cucumber cups filled with roasted red pepper dip (purchased), parmesan asiago dip (purchased); melba toast spread with cream cheese and topped with curry jelly (purchased) or thai sweet pepper jelly (purchased)

easy peasy appetizers

Soup - cream of "watercress" (more on the quotation use later) soup with seared scallops
Salad - canteloupe with crispy prosciutto, feta, pinenuts and basil oil

Main - cedar planked salmon with eggplant tomato stacks and lemon risotto

Dessert - chocolate raspberry baked alaska (oh darn, a dessert that required stand mixer use....)

YUM. I'll have the recipe posts up asap.


Janet said...

I'm REALLY sorry Leslie, I must have totally missed my invitation to your party... ;-D

Congrats on your new toys - I'm jealous!

Donna said...

I just read all the recipe posts and thought I'd comment here...

What a nice dinner party. I am looking for some ideas for the next time I have relatives over, but my father-in-law has a hate for salads with fruit in them.

The soup with the scallops sound great though, and I'll have to try making risotto for the first time!

Christine said...

Okay I am big here is a stupid much of the cucumber did you dig out to get the dip in.

Leslie said...

janet - next time! :)

donna - thanks so much for the comments! I love taking inspiration from other people's recipes and blogs - hope you enjoy risotto! I am LOVING it.

christine - I just kinda used a small spoon and dug it maybe 2/3 of the way through? Not a lot. Just enough so you can pile in a little dip.

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