We had an elegant and lovely dinner party with friends and this is what we did -- Our invitation:
We are looking forward to Thursday. We have an exciting evening planned.
“From The Ridiculous to the Sublime!”
What Time: 7 pm
Dress: Happy Casual (meaning whatever makes you happy!)
What are we doing?
During cocktail hour, we will play Left Center Right – a simple dice game that is tons of fun for a group our size. The winner goes home with a pot full of $$$...it looks like this:
We will move into the family room for our first course and ‘ice breaker’ conversation…
"If you had a time machine that would only work once, for a round trip, what point in the future or past would you visit?"
Then into the dining room for dinner…
By 9 pm we will take the short hike up the foyer stairs to the foyer bar where we will choose a desert and get comfy in the living room where Antonio Castillo de la Gala will do a short 30 minute concert featuring the amazing music of George Gershwin.
~ Ze Menu ~
Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich bites paired with Bloody Mary Martini’s
Individual Charcuterie Plates paired with Prosecco
Wild Alaskan Halibut Paillard / Arugula Salad / Mashed Potato Puree
Crepe Cake with Lemon Curd
Tea / Coffee
Take home gift was Left Center Right games for everyone plus 4 fresh eggs from my chicken coop for breakfast the following morning!
~ Bloody Mary Martinis ~
This obsession started when Hill was at BU and the bar at the Commonwealth had these amazing Bloody Mary Martini’s with pickled tomatoes instead of olives and Mom, Hill and I went crazy happy on them…
I almost missed the plane home because the bartender gave me a jar of the tomatoes and I forgot it. I insisted that the cabbie run me back to get it. I barely made it back to the airport in time before learning I could not carry them on the plane with me! So I checked my carry on and everything made it home in one piece! We juiced our fresh grown tomatoes and the rest is history…
Juice enough tomatoes to make one quart. We use our tomato mill. Season with:
- Celery salt
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Lemon juice
- Lime juice
- Hot sauce of your choice
- Horseradish – freshly grated or prepared
- Cut celery spears
- Pickled tomatoes
Make celery spears. Pierce each tomato and thread the tomato onto the spear of celery.
Mix the seasonings with the tomato juice to taste. Chill. Rub rims of martini glasses with cut limes. Dip into Bloody Mary Salt mix. Add 1 oz. chilled Vodka to each glass. Pour tomato mixture into each glass. Add celery spear garnish and stir. Serve to happy guests. Serve with Grilled Cheese Sandwich Bites…
~ Grilled Cheese Sandwich Bites ~
- Bread of choice – our is always Nadia’s bread.
- Grated sharp cheddar
- Grated Monterey jack
- Spicy jam. We used Spicy Blood Orange Jam that I just made for the Solar Cooker Project.
Butter the bread. Flip over and spread jam sparingly on each slice. Load it up with cheeses. Brown in a frying pan and cut into bit size pieces. Serve with Bloody Mary Martini’s…be happy.
~ Individual Charcuterie Plates ~
- Goat Brie
- Manchego Cheese
- One or two thin baguette slices
Slice and arrange on plates. Serve with chilled Prosecco.
The Charcuterie Plates, put together by Debbie Greenwood, my caterer and friend since we were 14 years old, had Gel squares which were made of quince paste and also known as Membrillo. So good with spanish cheese like the Manchego which we also used. The pate was a mousse style with black truffles.
~ Alaskan Halibut Milanese ~
We saw this recipe in People Magazine! I knew it had incredible potential. I tested it at home. I forced Debbie my caterer to try it. She made it into something sublime I want to make over and over and over again….
- Alaskan Halibut steaks (We buy ours from Costco and sometimes we buy it directly from Alaska. It’s a great deal and they are impeccably fresh.)
- Panko bread crumbs mixed with Progresso seasoned bread crumbs
- Egg wash
- Arugula Salad : Chop arugula. Add chopped red onion, halved cherry tomatoes, shaved fennel. Toss with a citrus vinaigrette.
Pound the halibut to ½ inch inside a plastic baggie. Dip into beaten eggs. Coat with mixed bread crumbs. Sauté in butter on both sides till golden brown and done, approximately 3 minutes per side.
Pipe mashed potatoes onto plates. Place halibut on top of potatoes. Top with arugula salad.
~ Crepe Cake with Lemon Curd (Gluten Free) ~
- ¾ c. Gluten Free Pancake Mix
- ¾ c. Gluten Free Flour Blend
- 4 T. All-purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups milk
- 6 large eggs
- 2 t. vanilla
- 10 TBSP melted butter
Mix all ingredients together. Chill batter for an hour prior to making crepes. I add 4 T. of flour so the crepes are a bit easier to handle. You can omit if you need to be gluten free. Pour ¼ c. batter into hot buttered pan. Swirl and cook, then flip to other side and cook for 30 seconds more. Stack with parchment paper separating layers.
Chill Crepes prior to assembly.
- 4 c. whipping cream
- 1 T. sugar
- 2 t. vanilla
- 2 jars Dickenson Lemon Curd
Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Empty one jar lemon curd into bowl. Mix with one cup of whipped cream. When thoroughly mixed, add rest of whipped cream and lightly mix. Chill.
When ready to Assemble:
Stack crepe on serving plate, spread with 1/4 cup mousse and continue until all crepes have been used, ending with a crepe on top. Spread the final whipped cream on top, garnish with lemon curd flower (you need the second jar of curd for this). Swirl it into a flower shape. Garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately or chill and serve. Cake holds well in the refrigerator for several days.