Saturday night was our 10th annual neighborhood Progressive Dinner. The theme this time was “Speakeasy” and we had so much fun with it.
We started with appetizers at Ronnie’s beautiful home, then split up to have dinner at the various host homes and finally gathered back together at our house for desserts.
This was what greeted guests when they entered our house.
At Joanne’s, my “dinner host” home, I enjoyed a wonderful meal where we indulged on Lemon Drops and…
… not only delicious, but beautiful Chicken a la Rose, made by Kim…
… along with Waldorf Salad and Rosemary Potatoes…
… all in a perfectly jazzy dining room! Pictured are Flapper Ronnie, Cool Cat Scott (with his faux cigarette) and Flapper Kim. Can you even imagine a more perfectly themed dining room than this one, with its life-sized jazz band mural?
It all began at Ronnie’s and her beautifully set hor d’oeuvres table!
I made the appetizers for Ronnie’s house and she provided the desserts for mine. I made Piglets in a Warm Puffy Blanket, Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Mushrooms, Spinach Deviled Eggs, and the following recipe for Shrimp Canapes.
March 3, 2014 5 Comments
My life is spiraling out of control, out of my control. Others are currently pulling the strings. As a result I have nothing new to blog about so today I’m giving you a Throwback Thursday.
Today is a special day for my longtime friend… who also was a bridesmaid in my wedding some 28 years ago …. today is her birthday.
The two cocktails and appetizer in THIS POST are what I served when we had Birthday Girl Karen and her husband, Bob, over for dinner last year about this time.
February 27, 2014 1 Comment
Chef/Restauranteur and longtime friend, Mark Tarbell of Tarbell’s Restaurant, was the guest teacher at Les Gourmettes on Monday and Tuesday nights. His menu was inspired, fun, and delicious. The first course was Frico with Smoked Paprika Aioli.
Frico, is an Italian savory food, typical of Friuli, in the northeastern tip of Italy, which consists of a thin crisp wafer of shredded cheese, baked or fried until crisp. The customary cheeses used include Montasio, Parmesan or mozzarella. Mark used Montasio cheese, but Parmesan is easier to find and works just as well.
February 26, 2014 4 Comments
A quick note before we get to today’s recipe: If you read yesterday’s post about the amazing cauliflower, you’ll recall that I said my friend, Ronnie had the dish at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. Ronnie sent me a fabulous photo of the hotel lobby all decked out for Christmas. It’s a must see, so I’ve added it to the bottom of that post, for all to enjoy. Check it out!
So… I heard about an amazing snack that is served at a bar in Brooklyn. The bar is called Pork Slope and the appetizer – Chicken & Waffle Sliders. How perfect would that have been for the Super Bowl?!?
Dang it. Oh well, you know what I did? I served it as our Official Olympics Opening Ceremony Snack. Yeah, take that lopsided 2014 Super Bowl! You were not worthy of these Olympic sliders!
I found a recipe online, changed it just a tad… and …. it was a major hit with my two guys.
A quick word about the frozen waffles. The recipe I found called for Aunt Jemima frozen square waffles. I could not find Aunt Jemima waffles at my grocery store, nor could I find square waffles. Belgium waffles – that was all they had in any and all brands. The closest thing to square that I was able to find were octagonal waffles.
What you want to use for each slider is four squares of a waffle for the top “bun” and another four square piece for the bottom “bun.” Here is what I did.
Take a waffle.
Cut 3 “four square” pieces from each waffle.
A package of 6 frozen octagonal waffles yielded 9 sliders. Here’s the math:
6 waffles = 18 “buns” = 9 sliders
February 12, 2014 5 Comments
San Tung is that restaurant in San Francisco that Marissa and I have to eat at the night I arrive in San Francisco each and every time I visit her. It serves the famous “dry-fried” chicken wings that we crave and love.
I desperately wanted to make them for the family on Super Bowl Sunday.
After much online research and some trial and error, I have the recipe for you to make at home!
You’re going to need a large pot, Dutch oven, or preferably a deep fryer. If using a pot, you’ll also need a candy thermometer. Plus, you’ll need a couple big bowls, wire racks, paper towels and a baking sheet.
If you’re like me, you like your wings cut into two pieces, the drummett and the wing.
When cutting the wings in half, just cut through the skin, then bend the wing so you see where the joint is and cut right through the joint.
It’s easy once you find the joint and don’t try cutting through the bone. Then cut off the wing tip, there is a joint there too.
Save and freeze the tips for the next time you make chicken stock.
This recipe makes about 60 wings (30 wings cut in half) and it takes over and hour and a half to fry them all – twice. The recipe can easily be cut in half.
OK, let’s get started…
Homemade San Tung “Dry-Fried” Chicken Wings
Sweet and Spicy Sticky Sauce
1 bunch green onions, minced (green and white parts)
1 small bunch cilantro, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 cups honey or agave nectar
3/4 cup water
1 head garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Szechuan chili sauce
8 pounds chicken wings
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 cups canola oil
2 cups cornstarch, divided
1 1/2 cups water
Sauce: Mix together the green onions and cilantro. Divide in half, placing half in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.
Place the other half in a large bowl and…
…whisk in the remaining sauce ingredients.
Pour the sauce into a large skillet and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.
February 3, 2014 2 Comments
I served this dip on New Year’s Eve. It is my version of a recipe from the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.
It is good!
It may not be the prettiest thing ever, but what do you expect? It’s bean dip!
If eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is lucky, then it must be lucky the other 364 days of the year too.
Plus you only need to use and wash 2 measuring cups, a bowl, a fork and a baking dish to make and serve it. Lucky … and as easy as can be.
January 2, 2014 1 Comment
I served this appetizer at the Christmas Craft Party and I’ll be bringing it to a family Christmas party
next this weekend. (I think I may be in denial that Christmas is a week from Today!)
It is chicken nachos, minus the chips!
In the place of chips are those adorable mini bell peppers you can find in most grocery stores and always at Costco.
I was in a super time-crunch for the craft party so I used a new product I found at Costco, rotisserie chicken breast meat. It came in a 2 1/2 pound package, I pulled out what I needed, and froze the rest.
December 18, 2013 3 Comments
The recipe for these marinated chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, comes from Real Simple Magazine. I tweaked a tiny bit.
This was appetizer #2 for my European Dinner Party. I used the chickpeas as the centerpiece for a Spanish tapas plate, which also included prosciutto, Manchego cheese, olives, Iberico cheese, salami, and baguette slices.
November 5, 2013 2 Comments
A couple of weekends ago, we had dear friends over for an intimate dinner party. There were just four of us and it could not have been a more lovely and relaxing evening.
Both the husband and the wife of this chic and well-traveled couple are fabulous cooks – so obviously I wasn’t planning on serving them hot dogs and baked beans.
At first I was thinking French cuisine. Maybe Italian … or what about Spanish?
Oh, forget it, I’ll just do a bit of everything. From that, my Eclectic European Dinner Party was born.
I’ll be posting a different recipe from the menu- including appetizers, cocktails, soup, salad, and main course – each day this week.
First up: Antipasto Numero Uno….
November 4, 2013 1 Comment
I hate to always brag, but I live in the greatest neighborhood. Oh, how I do love and appreciate my neighbors!
Along with our Amazing Progressive Dinner Parties, we have fun monthly Bunco nights. Unfortunately, I’m only make it a couple times a year, since they usually fall on a night that I’m working at Les Gourmettes Cooking School.
Happily, I was able to attend last week. It was so nice catching up with everyone after the long hot summer. NOT that the Long Hot Summer is anywhere near over, but families are back in town and the kids are back in school, so that “summer” is over.
Players bring an appetizer, salad, dessert, or drink to share. I brought these tasty little treats.
By the way – did you know that string cheese freezes great? It doesn’t change texture at all.
I suppose that proves it’s not exactly real cheese, but it sure did come in handy when I pulled what I had left, from some that I had bought for Connor, out of the freezer.
August 21, 2013 No Comments