We had a dinner party yesterday and I cooked up a storm. Here's the menu:
Cheese plate 1: slices of Monterey Jack cheese, rice crackers in olive oil and cracked pepper flavor, and a liver pate to which I had added half a jar of capers.
Cheese plate 2: cubes of Cheddar, triangles of Havarti, a wedge of Cambozola cheese, triscuits and a bowl of mixed olives.
Entree 1: Shepherd's pie, which I make into a slightly more gourmet dish than my British parents by adding herbs, garlic and ginger. I put lots of cheese and chopped rosemary on top of the layer of mashed potatoes.
Entree 2: Giant succulent prawns baked with thyme, mushrooms, onions, garlic, zucchini and orange bell peppers in a sauce made of heavy cream, melted cheese, chili flakes and a dash of Worcestershire. At the end, I topped the dish with sliced almonds and put it under the broiler for a minute.
Entree 3: Chicken breasts baked with a creamy Parmesan crust. Very tender and moist. It was a total hit, but had probably been the easiest thing to make. I had to write out the recipe for someone.
Salad: standard green salad of romaine lettuce, baby spinach leaves cut into ribbons, tiny cubes of celery, and chopped parsley. I put bowls of chopped tomato, sliced cucumber and sliced radishes on the side. Three types of bottled dressing.
Dessert 1: Avocado pound cake covered with vanilla-cardamom glaze and topped with chopped pistachios.
Dessert 2: Orange jello in which I had substituted one cup of heavy cream instead of one of the cups of cold water. It resulted in a 'creamsicle' kind of dessert. Surprisingly good. Note to self: next time, add a can of mandarin orange segments.
Dessert 3: Cranberry jello that I whipped with my electric beaters when it was about 3/4 set. Resulted in a pink, bubbly air-filled jello. No, I didn't add anything creamy to this one.
Needless to say, I was on my feet all day, mixing, stirring, chopping, and of course, nibbling and tasting. It was fun! I haven't had time or energy to do a big dinner party like that for a long time. A good time was had by all.