Sunday, October 19, 2008

The hostess with the mostest

Apparently... i love entertaining. Despite the fact that I was running behind although I had all afternoon to cook and when my guests called to say they were en route, I hadn't showered and my kitchen and rest of apartment looked like a hot mess, which then caused me to rush and run around like a lunatic. It was Jaclyn's birthday and she and company came over for sangria and appetizers before we headed to a martini bar and then the usual spots for more booze and some dancing. It was truly a night that incorporated all that is the namesake of this blog. high five.

Here is the spread.... beauteous, no? I made a healthy seafood bruschetta, ricotta dates, spinach-parm rolls, babaganoush and crudites and some freaking fantastic sangria (if i do say so myself). The plates are courtesy of my going overboard at target on friday.

Seafood Bruschetta:
  • shrimp
  • crab meat
  • mint
  • parsley
  • chives
  • EVOO
  • lemon juice
  • garlic cloves
  • french bread

I got this recipe out of the Better Homes and Garden's cookbook my mom gave me when I graduated from college. I thumbed through it enthusiastically but basically let it collect dust for a few years. I wasn't using it as a table prop or anything, but it was close to being that obsolete. When I started to get back to cooking which coincided with my family's health issues, I realized that, ironically (or serendipitously, you decide) the book had a breast cancer section where they featured healthy recipes. My mom and I made this bruschetta this summer and it was as fabulous then as it was last night. Note to self: cook more with my momma :)

My experience with dates before yesterday was limited to an Amelia Bedelia book where she was supposed to put dates on the calendar and got the meanings mixed up. Oh that Amelia Bedelia.

Anyway, these are the best and easiest fancy snack ever. As Jaclyn said: 'heaven'
  • 8 dates, sliced long ways and pitted
  • ricotta cheese (i upgraded to get the good stuff, spending some serious time with the cheese guy at the grocery store)
  • pistachios
  • honey

Spinach-Parm Roll-ups. There is probably a fancier name I could give these. Too bad I'm not feeling very creative this morning as I'm sucking down my gatorade, and nursing a headache. Roll ups is all you get my friend.
  • pre-made pizza dough (not so health foodish or wheat, lay off, i didn't have so many options here)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmeson (i grated it myself, and it was not kraft, seriously could this get more impressive)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 1 egg

heat the garlic and onion in a skillet with EVOO, then add spinach and seasoning, mix with parm before putting spreading on pizza dough. roll up pizza dough and brush with a whisked egg and bake for 15 minutes at 400.

Here is the Ba-Ba-Ganoush from the other day, which supposedly was to be improved after the flavors have been able to sit and meld for a while. I was as blah about this the second time. I am sure not all ba-ba-ganoush is this blah, but this was. blah. the worst part was that I cut up WW tortillas into triangles brushed with EVOO and sea salt and put under the broiler for a few minutes. Too bad it was a few minutes too long because I got sidetracked and when I checked on them the second time they were completely charred. My apartment STILL smells like burnt tortilla strips. boo.

SANGRIA... whoop whoop!

  • 2 bottles red wine (I used Mississippi Red from local MO winery)
  • 6 shots of gin
  • 6 cups ginger ale
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • 2 handfuls of frozen berries

    Booze and fruit... what a fantastic combo.

Ever since I got this little pitcher on clearance at Pier1 I've been dying to put something interesting in it... does this not scream Sangria or fresh squeezed lemonade? with vodka? You kind of can't see it, but I wrote 'Jacyln's' B-day on it with chalk. Too bad I waited until it was full to write it so it sort of looks like I did with my toe.

For all my dinner party successes there was one true disaster. The grossest brownies ever. Because I have all of the ingredients I plan to give it another shot. The problem was that I skipped a step and tried to incorporate it later, out of order. It didn't work. Even the burnt melted batter was really gross.

The evening was fun and by the end was filled with lots of dancing (yay!!) but shoes are not always conducive to dancing and then walking 8 blocks home from the bars. This night was no exception. To relieve our suffering feet we decided to switch shoes for the walk home... and because we (okay..I) wanted to try on each other's shoes because they were freaking adorable. Not pictured are the pairs of shoes from Jaclyn's other friends including a phenomenal pair of grey leather boots. I will be getting some this season. what recession? new fabulous boots are a requirement for cool weather. Plus I would be doing my patriotic duty by contributing to getting the economy back with my foolish consumerism... right? right.
We are not crippled, we just wanted to feature the sides of the shoes in the event the top picture was not doing it justice. so cute. seriously.
All in all a successful dinner party. I feel like I'm a heartbeat away from a book deal and a show on cable access. Hey if Wayne and Garth can do it..