Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Wheel and Adult Dinner Party

On Thursday night I headed to bar to watch my friend Remi's husband Marc compete on Wheel of Fortune. He went on the show a couple months ago and Remi and her family remained mum on the results. It aired November 5th at 7pm and Remi and March threw a party at Lir in the Back Bay. One of Remi's friends made these festive cupcakes...
And then the show began. None of knew what to expect... but we were surprised when Marc started kicking it into gear and getting puzzle after puzzle correct. Here's Pat Sajack saying "He's the man!"
And they won a trip to Trinidad:
And pretty soon, he was in the finals and won 42K! Go Marc & Remi! Congratulations!! And good job at keeping a secret!
Saturday night, my friend Joanna and her fiance Dean came over for an Adult dinner party. I prepped the menu Friday and got my ingredients on Saturday. Here's the menu:
Baked Brie with Apricot Jam and Crackers
Guacomole and Chips
Prosecco Sangria
Salmon with Blanched and Sauteed Brocollini and Kale
Corn Vegetable Salad
Mashed Cheesy Potatoes
Cous Cous with Green Onions
Graham Cracker Crusted Black Bottom Peanut Praline Mousse Pie

lets just say, I have a lot of leftovers...
I set the formal dinner table using my fine china : )
Made a Baked Brie by buying Brie, putting apricot jam on the top and wrapping puff pastry around it and baking it for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Joanna and I enjoyed Sangria, while the boys drank beer.
This looks like red wine sangria huh? Well it's not! I made it with a bottle of Prosecco, a quarter of a liter bottle of 7Up, 1/4 Cup of Sugar, a couple shots of peach schnapps and mixed frozen berries.

For the main course I made Roasted Salmon with a Creamy Green Sauce over a bed of Kale and Broccolini.
Here's what I did with the Salmon. I asked for 8 fillets at the Seafood counter, and when I got home I marinated the fish in
1/3 cup of Pino Grigio
1/3 cup of OJ
1/3 cup of soy sauce
for about three hours. Then I took the filets and put them on an aluminum foiled cookie sheet and baked at 450 for 14 minutes.

The Green Sauce was made with:
1 cup of baby spinach leaves
1 cup of argula
1/2 shallot
3/4 cup of light sour cream
1/2 cup of cucumber
4 tablespoons of dijon
I whirled these ingredients in a food processor (God I love my food processor) and got a nice light creamy sauce to go over the fish.

I also made Broccolini and Kale to serve as a bed for my salmon. Here's how I made it- I boiled water and once boiling, I added the Kale with lots of salt and let it continue boiling for 10 minutes. Then I took the Kale out and put it in an ice bath for a minute or two. While I did that, I added the brocollini to the boiling water for two minutes and then moved it to the ice. Then I drained both greens and added it to a saute pan with EVOO, garlic and chopped onions. I sauteed the greens with Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes and a little Soy Sauce.
And then I made a Vegetable Corn Salad using this recipe.

And I made Mashed Potatoes and Cous Cous but neither of those dishes deserved to be photographed- it looked the same as every other time I cooked those dishes : )

I still think the dessert was the star and I'm excited to try different kinds of mousse to put on top... I'm thinking next time I will make a pumpkin butter mousse... mmmmm

Okay so here's the recipe. It's from the Bon Appetit in 2006. There version was called Black Bottom Peanut Butter Mousse. I substituited the Peanut Butter for the Praline spread I got at Le Pain Quotidien in New York City. If you haven't tried this spread, there are locations all across the country, and it's a must. The praline tastes like a mix between Nutella and Peanut Butter. It's addiciting, delicious and all together amazing. I'm going to write the dessert recipe out just in case it somehow dissappears from the link above. I never want to be without this recipe again.

Nonstick oil spray
7 whole graham crackers, coarsely broken

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

4 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 1/3 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (about 8 ounces)

2/3 cup plus 1 3/4 cups chilled whipping cream, divided

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

6 ounces (1 cup) peanut butter chips

2 tablespoons praline spread from le pain quotidien or just creamy peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish with nonstick spray. Blend graham crackers, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in processor until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture over bottom and up sides of prepared pie dish. Bake crust until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine chocolate chips, 2/3 cup cream, corn syrup, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium heat until chocolate softens, about 3 minutes. Whisk until melted and smooth. Spread chocolate mixture over bottom of crust. Freeze 10 minutes.
Microwave peanut butter chips and 3/4 cup cream in large microwave-safe bowl on medium heat at 15-second intervals just until chips soften, stirring often. Whisk in peanut butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool to barely lukewarm. Beat remaining 1 cup cream and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl until very thick, fold in peanut butter/praline mixture in 3 additions. Spoon mousse over chocolate layer. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
See you can see the layer of chocolate...I tried to make a pretty chocolate pattern on top with some store bought whip cream. Tried being the operative word... haha.

After dessert, the boys enjoyed Blue Label Johnny Walker (Dave does not open this bottle too often...)
...while Joanna and I continued drinking Prosecco. Such a great dinner with great company!

I'm watching the game now and getting ready to make another yummy dinner for Dave and his father. I'm thinking Chicken Picatta. Our leftovers from last night will be our lunches for the week : )
I'm back!
My father-in-law brought me these beauties- what a nice guy!
After the game, I made Chicken Picatta with Kale Chips and heated up last nights Cous Cous. Frank even liked the Kale Chips- see I'm making people everyday into Kale fans!
I made Chicken Picatta by cutting in half and pounding out 5 chicken breasts. Then I used the three-step process of flour, eggwash and (homemade) breadcrumbs and got the chicken cooking in a hot skillet with EVOO. The chicken cooked for about three minutes on each side then I moved it to a cookie sheet. After repeating this process a few more times, I finished cooking the chicken in the oven at 400 for about 15 minutes. Then I got to work on the sauce which consisted of:
• 4 tablespoons of butter (I used smart butter- Dave's dad is lactose-intolerant)
• 1/8 cup of lemon juice

• lemon zest
• 1/2 cup of white wine

• 1/8 cup of chicken broth

When I took the Chicken out of the oven, I put it back in the sauce and then added lemon slices and served with Kale Chips and Cous Cous.

After dinner, I put together lunches for the week- we have a lot of leftovers!
Dave and I will be pretty happy this week with lunches like this:
And this:
I also prepped tomorrow nights dinner which will be Mexican Crab and Shrimp Cakes. I prepped all the ingredients in a bowl. All I need to do tomorrow is add the mayonnaise* (eww) and breadcrumbs and cook them up!
*so I hate the idea of mayonnaise, but if I mix it with other stuff (quickly) without seeing the consistensy or color, I'm usually okay. Same goes for Sour Cream...I know, I'm weird. But never never never would I eat either plan...ewww...

Dinners for Week of 11/9
Monday: Mexican Crab and Shrimp Cakes with Corn Fritters and Salad
Tuesday: Potato Cheese Soup, Savory Parmesan Pan Perdu with Poached Eggs (Gretchen's Recipe)
Wednesday: Calzones with whatever veggies are left in the fridge
Thursday: Something with Ground Turkey : )
Friday: out or leftovers

Monday: PT
Tueday: Boot Camp, Run 2 miles OR eliptical and lifting legs
Wednesday: PT
Thursday: Muscle Conditioning
Friday: PT

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