Settled in my condo and adjusted to my new kitchen (still not thrilled with the electric stove), I’ve taken to hosting dinner parties for friends and family. I think I should be Martha Stewart’s apprentice. I’m getting better at cooking (though I can’t say I didn’t know how to cook, I just never did) and find it really fun to have people over rather than go out to eat.
My parents were the guests at my first dinner party. I made pan-fried pork chops wrapped in prosciutto with capers and spinach, and a rich chocolate mousse, recipes courtesy of Curtis Stone. It turned out well, but the pork was a bit too lemony. Lesson learned.
I had nine friends over for my next dinner party. It was BYOC (bring your own chair). It was right before St. Patrick’s Day so I served up some beef and guinness stew with potatoes, soda bread, and apple/blackberry crumble. My friend Roddy also brought a Shepherds Pie. It was great fun, but I made way too much food. Three months later, I still have a few tupperware containers each with a serving of stew in the freezer. And I ate one the other day. And I didn’t get violently sick. How long does frozen stew last? Oh well, still have a lot of soda bread in the freezer as well too. Maybe that should get thrown.
Shortly after that party, I had my aunt, grandparents, parents, and brother over for some pan-fried chicken with a green olive, onion, and tomato topping, baked potato wedges, and tiramisu. That was quite a success as well, except my grandpa wouldn’t try the tiramisu after he found out there was brandy in it. I didn’t really think it was very strong, but the others could taste it.
The tiramisu had been a previous Daring Bakers Challenge that I didn’t complete, because I didn’t have the time. It was something I had always wanted to make, so since I had done part of the challenge in making the lady fingers from scratch (and freezing them, of course), I decided it would be a good dessert. Plus, I love living alone, but I can’t keep up with eating all the things I bake. So if I don’t have friends/family over to help me eat the goods, they go to work the next day and get devoured within an hour.
I don’t really have any new baking techniques to report on at the moment. The baking that I’ve done recently are things I’ve made before, like pumpkin muffins, apple pie, chocolate chip cookies (for Tyler Hilton, Reckless Kelly, and Ari Hest ), and brownies. I shall try to do something new soon, I’ve just been busy with work and globe-trotting, not to mention my new-found enjoyment of cooking, that I haven’t had much time for the sweet stuff. But I’ll come up with something soon that is sure to impress you.