Sunday, September 23, 2007


The jig is up, I will now reveal what I did yesterday. I had a dinner party! I've spent the last 3 weeks planning for last night, planning the menu, revising it and designing it. Planning also included writing a grocery list and a wine list, along with pulling a table scape together and getting all the necessary decorations. A lot of time and effort goes into planning a dinner party, but it so worth it and so rewarding to then share the fruits with others. I invited 3 good friends, Kelly, Kyle & Sarah... I wish I could have invited more, but my table only holds four. Someday I hope to have a larger dinner party with more people and more decorations. For now, I will have to have my dinner parties in shifts, so don't feel left out if you are reading this, your turn will come! Even with only having 3 guests over preparations still took all day yesterday. Cleaning and grocery shopping, setting the table and decorating my home. It is now officially Autumn, so I pulled out all my harvest\Halloween decorations. Someday I know I will be one of those over the top women who decorate for every holiday, to the point where it is probably obnoxious! (but i don't care! ) The theme of my meal was harvest as well, incorporating all the wonderful produce now in season!The most rewarding part of the dinner party was the cooking and baking. Pulling together a 5 course meal can be a real challenge, but it is one that i was willing to take on with heart & gusto.

The menu consisted of the following meals:

Apps: Endives with beet & blue cheese spread

Soup: Thai-Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Main: Linguine with Squash, bacon & goat cheese
Sides: Tuscan Style Cauliflower, Broccolini w\ red currant vinaigrette & herbed garlic bread

Dessert: Sunken Chocolate cakes with cinnamon ice cream with honey crisp apples in syrup.
( the original menu had the chocolate cakes with coffee ice cream, but to follow the harvest theme, I changed it to a more appropriate apple topping.)
I had a great time cooking all the food, timing everything so it was all ready as my guests arrived. My guests were gracious and beautifully dressed in their swankiest outfits. Sarah brought me lovely flowers and Kelly & Kyle brought me little "dinks" (as kelly's aunt calls them) mini muffin tins and pink measuring spoons! Love it!
We chatted and ate and chatted more and ate more. It was so nice and relaxed and fun... that it never once seemed like work in the long run. I am now thinking that planning parties and menus and cooking might be a really fun job. hmmmm....
Here is to a bountiful harvest, good food and even better friends!

Sunken Chocolate Cakes with Cinnamon Ice Cream & Cinnamon Apple Syrup
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces, plus more for pans
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for pans
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs, separated
2 large egg yolks

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Directions:1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter 4 cups in a jumbo nonstick muffin pan, leaving the 2 center cups empty. Coat lightly with sugar, and set aside. Place butter and chocolate in a heat-proof bowl; set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally, until melted and thoroughly combined. Remove from heat; set aside.
2. Combine the 4 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons sugar, and whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thick. Stir in the melted chocolate-and-butter mixture.
3. Whisk egg whites until soft peaks form, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and whisk until stiff and shiny but not dry. Fold into chocolate mixture. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, and bake until set and slightly springy to the touch, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer to a wire rack. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in pan; carefully run a knife around edges of cakes, and unmold. Serve each with a scoop of coffee ice cream and apples & syrup poured over the top.

Cinnamon Apple Syrup:


1 Honey Crisp Apple - sliced
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons water
In a saucepan, combine the apples, sugar, cinnamon and water. Stir to dissolve sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until apples are soft and syrup has thickened. Serve over pancakes or ice cream.


Kelly and Kyle Vlach said...

you took swank to a "ho nuva levo!"

...sensible of shoe said...

You inspire me! LOVE the table setting!

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