Monday, December 5, 2011

May every day be a feast

I've spent most of my day letting various home professionals into our mechanical room. Propane specialists, water tank installers. It's put a slight kink in the way I normally operate on a Monday morning. Our current visitor won't be done working until 2, so I've been biding my time with ServSafe studying, playing with Bear and making a few loaves of bread. For having so much energy, Bear has really been great about waiting for a run. I can't say I've been as good- slightly annoyed, for sure.

We had a great family weekend, which I'm sorry to see end so quickly. My sister Melody found her wedding dress, we had a full house for Sunday family dinner at my folk's place, and we celebrated Grammy's 80th birthday. It was my mother-in-law's idea to throw a dinner party for Grammy. She's had a really long year and we all agreed she needed a day to be waited on. We had a great menu:

This is a Bon Appetite recipe that I will do differently next time. I already altered the recipe as I found it to make it a bit easier on myself. I omitted some ingredients and added others. All in all, I'd say it came out alright.

It tasted a lot better than it looks. I swear.

Appetizers were bacon wrapped scallops and chicken livers. Livers are rare for me, but I was happy for the change. Bacon makes everything taste awesome and liver is no exception.

After that came a family favorite: Beet and Red Potato Salad. It's the easiest thing in the world to make.

Peel and cut a few roasted beets (they take about 40 minutes or more to roast, with a brush of oil on them).
Cut and boil some red potatoes, so they are good for biting, but not so mushy they fall apart.
Mix together with some olive oil, cracked black pepper and a heaping helping of Gorgonzola cheese. It's a perfect mix. Sweet beets with salty, tangy cheese ... a little starch and that's a meal in itself!

I also roasted some squash and did a basic greens salad (dressed with lemon juice and olive oil and shaved Parmesan). My bread came out horrible. Not enough rise; I rushed it in order to get to Grammy's on time. Small sacrifice, I guess. I had made the mistake of going out the night before and sleeping in an hour later than I had intended the next morning. I was scrambling the entire day. It was well worth it, though. I got to hang out with my Cook Book Club gals, Allie and Hannah. When we get together there's always a little too much food and a little too much wine. The result is a lot of fun. They keep me on my toes and make me want to be a better cook.

Dessert was a home-made trifle. I had every intention of making the chocolate cake for it from scratch, but I'm glad I didn't. I took Devil's Food Cake and layered it with home-made vanilla whipped cream and Grammy's chocolate pudding recipe. I threw in some chocolate chips for a little flair. I think the whole thing turned out alright. More like a chocolaty bread pudding, but scrumptious for sure.

Despite the hurried frenzy on my end, dinner was enjoyed. Would I have done some things differently if I had the chance? Of course. I was glad for the practice run with family. These valuable meals that celebrate the ones we love are crucial to our well being. I was so happy to help provide some great memories that we can all share. That's really what this whole venture is all about. I want everyone to get to feel like that.

So, the week is starting off sluggish, but it's bound to pick up. I have a big gig on Saturday, thanks to my friend Katie and her being a huge cheerleader of mine. Glad I have that gal in my corner.

I hope all of your have a fantastic week. Hang in there- the weekend will be here before you know it! 


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