Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dinner Party Weekend...

A couple of months ago I had a bright idea, or as my husband would put it " One of her CRAZY IDEAS".

Well I love to cook and all my friends know that, but I really love to try new recipes, and with only the two of us at home now I hate to try big meals just on us....

So why not have everyone over once a month and try them out on all of them? There are 6 couples that have run around together for at least 35 years or so. This is a good way for us to just get together and have a fun evening. Sometimes it is just so hard to get us all together. You would think when you get older and the kids are out of the house it would be easier!!! But sometimes it's not.

So I made a call to everyone and ask them what they thought? I told them they had to bring nothing except an appetite. I would be doing all the cooking! Do you think anyone turned me down? We all decided to split the cost of everything and I could just cook away. I told them everything would be brand new recipes, something I had never cooked before. Yea I guess my husband was right, I am a little crazy!!! But we got together last weekend and there were no fatalities!!! LOL I sat the tables up in the family room, with mix and match china and silverware, a couple of my mother-in-laws beautiful tablecloths an some antique lanterns of Tom's Grandfather. I even folded the cloth napkins...

It is amazing what you can find on the Internet and all the instructions on how to do it!

We started the evening off with a recipe from Emeril Lagasse
Artichoke and Spinach Dip
I even tried frying the tortilla chips... It turned out pretty good...

Than it was time for the bread, I love to bake bread. I just don't make it as much as I would like, because I would eat every bite. I love home baked bread, I don't think there is anything better than bread. I used to love the bread they made at school when I was a kid so I made the roles just like they did.


9 1/2 Cups White Flour
4 Cups + 2 Tbs. Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup + 1 1/2 Tbs Veg. Oil
2/3 Cup + 7/8 tsp. sugar
1 Tbs. + 1 1/8 tsp. Salt
2 Tbs. + 2 1/4 tsp. Yeast
1 Qt. + 1/8 Cup Warm Water
Mix all ingredients until dough is elastic and well mixed
Let rise until doubled in an oiled bowl (coating dough well with oil)
Divide dough into 2 oz. balls
Put on greased jelly roll pan let rise
Bake 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown
Brush melted butter on top as soon as they come out of oven.
Makes around 48 rolls
They freeze well...
Only I had to add a little twist to some of them... I baked one for each of us in a small canning jar to sit at each place setting adding a little sesame seeds to the tops. They turned out great, as we all know bread is a tricky thing, sometimes it turns out great and sometime not so great!!!
I got lucky with the new recipe!

I even added some rosemary to some of them...

When you have fresh baked rolls you need something special to go on them!!! How about

Cinnamon Honey Butter?

I could have just licked the bowl when we were done... LOL I even got honey from the neighbor that has bee hives. You can't get much fresher than that...
First came a simple salad with just some fresh red and green leaf lettuce a few grape tomatoes and a few roasted tomatoes. Topped with some Parmesan cheese and fresh made crouton's and a Basil Vinaigrette Dressing.

I made the crouton's out of Cracker Barrels Sourdough Bread.

1 stick of melted butter
2 Tbs. seasoned garlic salt
2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese

Cut the bread in squares, and toss in bowl with butter and herbs.

Bake until crunchy,let cool

The salad dressing was a Basil Vinaigrette Dressing

Now to the main course. This is what I stressed over the most. I wanted a really good pork recipe, and something different. It was a 5# pork loin roast that I started the night before.

Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Roast
By Giada De Laurentiis

The flavor was wonderful and it turned out beautiful. All the herbs right out of the garden fresh really makes a difference I think. The aroma in the house was outrageously amazing...

This was a really easy recipe, even though the ratings on this was an intermediate.

As you can probably tell by now I love watching the Food Network and Giada is a favorite, she has the most beautiful smile and makes things look so easy...

Here we are all tied up and ready to get a bath of White Wine and Chicken Broth than popped it in the oven...

All finished and just resting on the plate for a few minutes before carving...

Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes

By: Paula Deen

I fixed two different potatoes that night, just because I couldn't choose what one I liked best. Than I really didn't know if everyone liked sweet potatoes or not. Tom isn't a big sweet potato guy, but as it turned out everyone liked sweet potatoes.

This was the first time I had ever put shrimp in a potato and it was great...

These are the Seafood Deviled Eggs.

This recipe came out of the new Pillsbury Appetizers and Desserts magazine this month.

My husband loves deviled eggs and what goes with pork better than Deviled Eggs. Especially with seafood in them!!! They were yummy...

Now to my pick of the evening, I have to say I liked this one the best of all. Sweet Potatoes, cinnamon,sugar and coconut all great together.

Sweet Potato Balls
by: Paula Deen

Yea they tasted as good as they look...

You just grab up a handful of the mashed sweet potato and add a marshmallow to it and roll the potato around it, than roll in the cinnamon,sugar and coconut than bake. These can be made the day before and just popped into the oven to bake at the last minute. One of my girlfriends said it was just like desert... and it was!!!
Look at that marshmallow in the center!

Well here we are with everything on the plate ready to eat....
But of course we had to have desert...

Caramel-Pecan Apple Pie

by: Taste of Home

This pie was rich - rich - rich... and we still poured more caramel on top of it!!! LOL
The only thing I changed was the pecans I used walnuts instead, either would be good...

I love just about anything I get from Taste of Home always easy recipes and great tasting...

I didn't use an unbaked pie shell I baked my own.
1 3/4 C Flour
2/3 cup Crisco
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup water
Well all was cooked,baked and enjoyed by all I think! We had a great evening talking and catching up on each others lives.
It is so nice to have great friends like these, what I call " LIFE LONG FRIENDS" those that have always been there.
For some of us it has been a rough time, three of us has lost parents in the last 3 months. We have been there for each other just as we knew we would someday.
For some it has been a wonderful time with beautiful new Grand Children, it is the circle of life I guess...
I'm so bless to have such great firends to spend this time with...
As I always say...
I hope you enjoyed the recipes, now take them, make them and share them!!!
Have a Good One,

PS Wonder what we will have next time? It's a surprise... I don't even know yet!!! LOL


Balisha said...

Oh Lynn, I think that I gained 5 lbs just reading this post. You are one ambitious gal...what a nice thing to do for your friends. I hope they helped with the dishes:)

Darla said...

Lynn, what a wonderful looking/sounding meal! I am so borrowing a few of these recipes, thanks for sharing.

colleen said...

ladies what she doesn't tell u is that she is taking pictures of every step of the process. she wants to do this every month. the other-mothers club as i call them wants her to make them a cook book after one year like she did for us, so that someday thier children can enjoy the memories of our parents good times together.
colleen :0)~