Great Food & Friends — A Great Start To The Weekend

It’s no secret that I love going out to eat.  However, we’ve really cut back on it because it’s expensive and when you’re watching what you eat, the calories can really sneak up on you in restaurants and buffets, even when you make healthy or, what appears to be, healthier choices.

We also love to cook and entertain.  Since Ray and I have been together, we’ve socialized the most with our friends Tim and Sandy in East Davenport.  We were recently over their house and Tim is a great cook.  Sandy lets him handle the kitchen and she socializes with us.  I love it.

So, Friday night, we had Tim and Sandy over for dinner and we invited another couple, Kai and Jenni, who were just engaged.  Congratulations!

It was a very nice evening with great conversation, wine, cordials, and fantastic food.  Yes, my blog today is about the food.

Ray was in charge of most of the meal.  He made sweet & tangy boneless bar-b-q ribs, cheesy potatoes, cheesy bread, and a new salad called “stacked summer vegetable salad” from a recipe we found in “Better Homes and Gardens”.

I was in charge of appetizer and dessert. We’ve been craving a Shrimp Ceviche that I make that is spectacular!  Here’s the “making of” picture and the final product.

That is a recipe that I’ve made many times, so I knew that it would be tasty and it would turn out perfectly.

For dessert, it was a totally different story.  Since I subscribe to many recipe sites that send me daily recipes, I was going to be adventurous and make one I’ve never made.  It was a white chocolate raspberry cake that you make in the crock pot.  Easy enough, right?

So far, so good.  Right after we enjoyed appetizers and drinks and were getting ready to served the salad, Ray asked me, “did you turn you cake on ‘warm'”?  I replied “no” with a baffled look on my face and I walked over to the crock pot and sure enough, it was on “warm” and had been since I started it at 4 p.m.

Now, call me crazy, but wouldn’t you think the cooking options would go warm, low, and high, from left to right on the dial?  I did and I still do.  However, on this crock pot, the options left to right were low, high, and warm.  When I put the cake on, I just turned the knob to the right and assumed I was cooking it on high.  Luckily, since the cooking time (on high) was 2-3 hours for the recipe, I turned it up from warm to high during salad and dinner, and the disaster of having no dessert was averted.  It was very tasty.

And, while Tim & Sandy brought a great red wine and a bottle of ChocoVine Whipped (which we opened and sampled after dessert), Kai and Jenni brought us a bouquet of flowers with spatulas mixed in with the flowers since this was our first dinner party cooked in the new kitchen.

And, Miss ABBA was part of the celebration, too.  I cut the colorful flowers out of her tomato, pepper, and flower memorial garden.   (The green Kermit mums were leftover from the Fourth of July).

I love to cook and I love to entertain.  I don’t know exactly when our next  dinner party will be or what we’ll serve, but I’m thinking cheesecake.

As you may remember, I blogged before about needing to learn how to make cheesecake.  Two Christmases ago, I asked Santa for a cheesecake pan and I got five spring-form cheesecake pans!  And, in the almost two years since, I’ve made no cheesecakes.  It’s about time.

Needless to say that my theory about healthy eating at home was blown this weekend.  Ray and I have both put on pounds from the wine and great food, but as Mr. Food, the television chef says, “ooh, it’s so good”.

Anthony

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mikey99 on July 22, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I wish I could like you and Ray! Shrimp Ceviche? I’m drooling here.

    Reply

  2. Posted by kai on July 22, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Anthony, I feel so sorry for everyone who reads this without having been there. I’ve had some pretty good meals in some pretty cool places, but the amazing food elegantly presented in your lovely home…accented by lively conversation with engaging hosts…this ranks among the tops. Thanks! Next time at Chez Jenni!

    Reply

    • Kai & Jenny,

      Thank you very much for the kind comment.

      What a fun time that night! I’m glad we got a chance to sit around, talk, and eat. We’ll definitely have to do it again and I’m looking forward to an evening at Chez Jenni!

      Have a great week, my friend.

      AP

      Reply

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