Dinner with our motorcycle friends (October 23, 2010)

The Event

Craig and I have just rearranged some rooms in our house, creating a true guest room, moving my office into the den and creating a lovely conversation grouping in our living room. It was time to test out the new look, so we invited some friends over for dinner.

Menu

  • Mixed nuts as a nosh
  • Tomato soup with noodles and soup meatballs (Tante Tini’s recipe)
  • Roast beef tenderloin with Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Stuffing (CI)
  • Green Beans with Sauteed Shallots and Vermouth (CI)
  • Make-ahead Mashed Potatoes (CI)
  • Chocolate pot de creme with whipped cream (CI)

Guests
  • “Red Fred” Johanson and Regina Pucinelli
  • Philippe and Regitze Murat

Food Notes
  • I like having mixed nuts for a cocktail “sumpin’ sumpin'”. I don’t want people to really fill up before the meal has even started.
  • For 6 people, I should double the soup recipe. We had *just* enough to go around, but no seconds.
  • Nothing beats those Albert Heijn soup meatballs! I’m glad I brought them back from Holland. They taste much better than the Knox version.
  • The beef tenderloin recipe worked out great. You can get the entire tenderloin stuffed the day before, so that on the day of the meal, you only have to sear the meat and roast it.
  • When I sauteed the shallots for the green beans, they actually burned a smidge. Not really burned, but were dark and very crisp. This was actually a good thing. They tasted delicious! This recipe was easily doubled.
  • The mashed potatoes were a hit! Even after everyone was full, little nips were being taken because they were so creamy. Hmmm … not hard to do with all the heavy cream in the recipe, but definitely a winning recipe. Mashed potatoes are the best comfort food for a cool fall evening.
  • The pot de creme turned out marvelous. Definitely a good “go to” recipe, since you need to make it ahead of time. I think I should get 8 of the same size dishes, though, because right now I make do with 4 of one kind and 4 of another. I don’t like how that looks or more importantly, how they portion out, since they are slightly different sizes.
  • This entire meal was make-ahead. Good planning was key here, and because of that, I was able to spend time with our guests and not stand in the kitchen too much. I should always look for more make-ahead recipes when we have people over for dinner.

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