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Posts Tagged ‘Menu’

Dinner Party Menu: India

The other day my new friend Trang nominated me for the Liebster award. Thank you Trang.

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You must be getting a sense that we love themed dinner parties. I love everything about it, researching the food, experimenting, cooking and decorating. We had the “King and Queen” 😉 of themed dinner parties over for dinner recently (remember Titanic Anniversary Dinner and Truman Capotes Black and White?) and as one of only two couples from our group who love Indian food as much as we do, we decided to have Indian night. All the food is home-made, of course, but don’t worry, I didn’t spend all day in the kitchen; what’s great about Indian food is that it’s down-to-earth home-cooking at its best and stews are often better tasting the second day, so I was able to prepare much of the feast in advance. This post will show the menu and the photos but the recipes will come one by one, so that I can find them in the future.

This was staged, we actually had A LOT more food than that!

Hors D’œuvres:

  • Baked Onion Bhajis — I’m excited about this recipe because I did a little experiment and figured out a way to bake them instead of deep frying them and they worked out GREAT!
  • Appetizer: Mulligatawny Soup — I prepared this soup similarly to the link to my original recipe, except that I omitted the proteins as the rest of the meal is rather heavy and I didn’t want to be full after the first course! I also puréed about 1/4 of the soup so that the broth is thicker and creamier, but left the majority as chunks.

Mains:

  • Paneer Makhani — this is a rich and delicious tomato gravy with home made unripened, pressed cheese. I used this Makhani recipe but I had to add about 2 tbsp Agave Nectar as the tomatoes were extremely acidic. I suspect that this acidity would be reduced if I had used full cream and butter of the original recipe, but then that wouldn’t be me, would it now?
  • Beef Bhuna — a tasty beef stew with a deliciously flavourful gravy
  • Basmiti Rice
  • Aloo Papri Chaat — a very flavourful and texture filled cold side dish with a yogurt sauce and chick peas

Condiments:

  • Carrot Pickle — a lightly spicy, crunchy pickle to cleans the palate
  • Mango Chutney — I wanted a mango chutney that wasn’t full of sugar

Bread

  • Naan — a delicious chewy Indian bread, baked on the outside of their tandoori ovens, stay tune for my experiment!

Dessert:

  • Light Lemon Mousse — this is where I skipped Indian and went straight to light and satisfying. I checked with our guests and similar to our tastes they find Indian desserts a little too sweet so I improvised. Plus I wanted to use the gorgeous little cups we bought our yogurt in while in Paris.

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Cottage Closing 2012

This post was written and photographed entirely on my brand new iPhone 4s. I decided not to wait for the new iPhone 5 because they removed Google Maps from the Apps and the connector changed.

Cottage closing is always a sad time; it means no more cocktails at the lake or dinners by the water but then again it also means that I don’t have to plan, scramble and improvise meals when I’ve forgotten a key ingredient. At least for another year!

Many of you have asked for photos of the cabin and I’ve been reluctant because I’m sure you have grand images in your imaginations of our humble little cabin and I didn’t want to expose the real deal spoil the fantasy. It’s tiny size is what I love about the cabin; a full throttle cleaning takes two of us an hour which is perfect because when I’m at the lake, cleaning is the LAST thing I want to do.

I thought I’d share photos now because next year I’ve roped in Ceement Boy to help me redecorate! We’re ripping out the carpeting replacing it with laminate wood flooring, white washing the walls and updating the kitchen a bit! I’m very excited about it. I’m figuring on 2-4 days with all that brawn to help me. And a 2-4 of beer of course! (for him, not me). I’ll stick to my Martinis!

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It’s all one room, open concept living

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We just got the slider replaced with a half French Door.

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The kitchen is a cheap white kitchen with melamine counters. This will get updated next year.

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The windows will also be replaced next year. The guest room had all our crap in it, so I didn’t take any photos. But it’s there if you’d like to come up one weekend. You bring the booze!

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We had the decking replaced this spring.

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Because it’s the apartment above the boat garage, we are right on top of the water.

Here’s the menu from the weekend and a few pics (with my iPhone 4s!!!!) to bring it back to the purpose of the blog. Enjoy.

Saturday
Dinner: Waldorf Chicken Wraps (we had these in the car whilst driving up)

Sunday
Breakfast: date bran muffins, poached egg and half a grapefruit, coffee
Lunch: adult grilled cheese and a salad of arugula, spinach, avocado, cucumber and mini tomatoes

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The cheese gets all melty and gooey!

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That’s old orange cheddar and Gruyère oozing out. A nice hot salsa would have been great with this sandwich, but someone forgot to bring it up.

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We took a walk along the road to build our appetites for cocktails (do you really need to do that, come on!)

Cocktails: grilled scallops on sesame bread with a smear of avocado paste with Martinis. Sawsan‘s sesame bread recipe click here.

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The scallops were perfectly grilled, and pair beautifully with the avocado paste

Dinner: deconstructed Caesar salad
With financiers for dessert (post coming soon)

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I’m still getting a lot of miles out of Roland’s deconstructed Caesar salad. Wish I hadn’t forgotten the anchovies.

The last sunset for the year. I’m sure the sun will set without us, but it just won’t be the same.

Monday
Breakfast: Cheese Omelet Crêpe with Cantaloup and Date Bran Muffin.

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We had a wonderful paddle-boat ride on the lake before breakfast, coffee in hand.

Lunch: Tuna salad wrap, cantaloup squares and celery sticks to eat in the car on the way back to the city.

We’ll likely go out for dinner as I didn’t take anything out of the freezer. Lunch for tomorrow will be a challenge.

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Hi there, I’ve updated with a couple of new photos, hope you don’t mind.

Well, tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday. This meant nothing to me in the past other than an annoyance because 60 minutes was cancelled; we would go on about our usual weekend, JT would watch a little bit of the game here and there or keep track of it on his iPhone. We would tune into the half-time show from time to time.

A couple of years ago I suggested we watch the game and make Super Bowl Food; JT loved the idea, and we’ve been doing it ever since. Tomorrow we’re having my friend Kim, her kid CoCo, and my nephew Brian for a big Super Bowl Feast. It really just gives me an excuse to cook, you know how I love to feed people! I was trying to tip my menu toward food served in the cities of the two competing teams (I bet you’re a bit surprised I even know who they are!) New England Patriots and the New York Giants (and no, I did not google it! :-P), so I just renamed the recipe titles. I can do that, you know.

The menu:

New England Bacon-wrapped scallops and bacon wrapped dates

Bacon, bacon, bacon....

Cheer’s Healthy Nachos with a cheddar cheese sauce and salsa

A home-made tomato salsa with a cheddar cheese sauce. Can you say YUM?

Manhattan Honey Garlic Wings and Boston Rubbed Ribs (I’m doing a chai-inspired dry rub)

New York Lees 19 Ingredient Slaw (actually, the first time we had this slaw was in Manhattan; sadly his restaurant failed and he’s back in TO)

It's crunchy, sweet, sour and salty. What more could you ask for?

New York Style Chocolate Cheesecake with a Cherry Pie Topping

You have to finish your dinner first....OH!

I’ll be posting the recipes as I make them in the next day or so. I know, I’m a bit behind the band wagon, but perhaps you’ll book mark it for next year.

Jed, over at Sports Glutton and Greg at Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide have an amazing selection of recipes to peruse for your Super Bowl Extravaganza! Have a great weekend.

Hope the good guys win!

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We’re having Brian and Adrienne for dinner on Saturday evening (wow, I could hardly believe it myself, the young’uns gave us a Saturday?!?!?!?). And I decided to make another Tapas dinner so that we’re sitting around the cozy fire, instead of the dining room. We’ll start in the kitchen and move to the living room; JT and I will split the work so that we can take turns being with our guests. Adrienne has a gluten intolerance, which I have some experience in, since my best friend Kim has the same (Kim’s a bit more complicated as she is also allergic to soy!). The only difference with this meal is that I had to make a few things from scratch for the dinner, instead of pulling from my inventory in the freezer!

Round 1: Kitchen Party
Baba Ghanoush and sesame crackers (gluten free) and flat breads
Onion Bhajis with Papaya Dipping Sauce (onion bhajis are made with Chic Pea Flour, totally G.F.)

Round 2: Let’s get the party rollin’
Leak and Potato Soup with gruyère fondu (just a fancy term for crispy gruyère on the top of the soup)
Sausage and tomatoes in a red wine sauce with JT Bread (and G.F. bread)

Round 3: Cleanser
Wine Gelée (I’m getting a lot of mileage out of the gelée)

Round 4: The Main Event
Seafood Xtravaganza! Cold shrimp cocktail, oysters in pesto, sautéd scallops and calamari in garlic butter.
Singapore Slaw (chef Lee’s signature dish!)

Inspired by Lee's Slaw

Round 5: The Finale
Mexican Chocolate Pate, G.F. Profiteroles with Chocolate Bourbon Ice Cream and a Chocolate Kalhua Shooter all cohesively joined with a drizzle of rich caramel sauce!

The End.

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