Tis’ the season for dinner parties! Oh how I adore throwing a perfect dinner party. The friends, the cooking, the cocktails, the table setting; I was born to throw dinner parties, but they are not as fun, easy and carefree as a good hostess makes them look. Here are my 8 steps to planning a spectacular dinner party, bon appétit and bonne chance! Continue reading
Cottage Country Menu Planning II
This year we’ve got a professional chef coming with us on the annual summer cottage trip, but the menu hasn’t changed much because when asked what we should bring to the cottage, this friend of 18 years replied, “meat and fire”. I was also told that I did not bring enough bacon last year, so I’ve doubled it for this year because, hey, double the bacon, double the fun. As always, I’ve also tried to sneak as many seasonal fruits and vegetables into my friends as possible. Continue reading
Picnic Menu Planning
Menu One: Lunch in the Park with Family:
– click for Alton Brown’s recipe at foodnetwork.com
- 2 lbs waxy potatoes
- 1 rib of celery, diced
- 2 tbsp onion or green onion, minced
- (¼ parsley, minced)
- 3 hard boiled eggs, diced
- 1/3 cup light sour cream
- 1/3 cup light, real mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- (1 tbsp grainy mustard)
- (1 tbsp sweet pickle relish)
- Salt, to taste
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper, or to taste
- 3 tbsp chives, chopped
- Boil potatoes (with skins on) in salted water until just tender.
- Drain, peel if you wish and cut into bite-size pieces.
- With all other ingredients, prepare dressing in a large mixing bowl.
- Add still warm potatoes to the mixing bowl and toss to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate. Serve chilled.
- 2 ¼ cups white sugar
- 2/3 cup cocoa
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking power
- ¾ cup butter, melted
- 4 eggs, beaten slightly
- 1 (250g) package cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp flour
- Handful of chocolate chips
- Brownie base (first group of ingredients)
- Preheat oven to 350̊F
- Mix dry ingredients
- Add butter and eggs and blend well.
- Spread in 9 x 13 inch baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.
- Cheesecake top (second group of ingredients)
- Beat cream cheese, sugar and butter until creamy.
- Beat in eggs, milk and flour.
- Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
- Pour over cooked brownie base and bake at 350̊F for 40 minutes.
- Cool completely then drizzle with melted chocolate . Continue reading
Cottage Country Menu Planning
At least once every summer, my husband and I invite all our friends, fill every square inch of our Volkswagen with food, beer and bathing suits and drive the five hours to our cottage. Being the hostess, it is up to me to come up with a menu for the week that is fun, simple, travels well, multiplies easily and is cost effective. This year we will have eight people staying for a full week, which made planning a menu a little difficult. Here is what I came up with: Continue reading