Before we married, Mike lived in Evanston, IL. A great town just north of Chicago. He had some neighbors that became good friends, but MIke lost touch with them over the years. A month or so ago, he reconnected with one, and then another. There was a dinner planned in June, but we didn't go because B got heat exhaustion that day. This past Friday was the make-up dinner at our house.
I knew about it a couple of weeks ahead of time. I like to plan dining events, whether it is a birthday, dinner party or Christmas. I research a menu, do a grocery list, and a rough outline of the day. This time though, I did a 3 day time line, working back from the time I wanted to serve dessert. I got the idea from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. And, I loved the list. It had where I needed to shop , what I needed to buy and when. When I need to start the coals for the roasted corn, when to iron the napkins, when I need to set out the hors o'dourves, everything. I know a time line sounds anal, but, I wasn't working up until the time the guests came, I was actually sitting down, relaxing. Of course, it helped that my husband lent every hand he could. I handled the food and he handled the cleaning. Just the way I prefer it.
My menu for the evening was: Truffle Tremor Cheese,
Prosciuto with Melon (a friend brought this)
Red Wine Sangria
Lemonade (for those of us who are pregnant)
Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Basil
Roasted Corn on the Cob
Berry Shortcakes with Whipped Cream
The clambake was pretty cool. I got the recipe from the Barefoot Contessa cookbook. Saute onions and leeks, then layer in small potatoes, kielbasa, clams, mussels, shrimp and lobster. I did not use live lobsters like Ina. Can't do it. I used tails instead.
Edamame and Arugula Dip
(I had this first at our Can Can Club get together.
Carol from Kidding Around made it.)
The set table. It looked OK. I am not
a flower arranger.
I forgot to light the candles!
Truffle Tremor Cheese from the Movable Feast.
This was a hit!
Sangria. So good. had one small taste sip.
Cathey Peklay's recipe.
Tomato Mozzarella Salad. This was good, but
I dressed it too early.
The leftovers. I got bust and forgot to take
pictures of the clambake and the shortcake.
I wish I had photographed the shortcake, it looked
great with the raspberries, black raspberries
blueberries and whipped cream.
(I add a little little sec with the sugar when I
macerate the berries.)
It was a pretty successful evening, if I do say so myself. The lobster tails were a bit overcooked (they were pre-cooked, should have only put them in for a minute.) Mike had fun and his friends had fun. The perfect evening!