Dinner Party Friday Night

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Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  Richard on Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:05 pm

With a LOT of help from my friends, I am hosting a dinner party this evening. ONLY country boys need apply! LOL You have to be a gay man, own 5+ acres, and live within 10 miles of me to earn an invitation ... only 4 nice guys qualify and 3 can make it! So it is 6 for dinner - me, Thom, Otis + 3.

I have gotten the pears ready for dessert. We took 6 firm pears (your choice) and sliced them in half. I used a melon baller to make a pretty round scoop where the seeds used to be. We took 1.5 cups of Splenda, 2 tsp. cornstarch, 2.5 cups water (country well water is best - LOL) lemon juice and a shot of sherry (alcohol cooked out) in a sauce pan and reduced it to a medium thick syrup. Poured the syrup into the pear halves (I sliced a thin bit off the bottom of each half so it sat flat.) The rest of the syrup went into the pan around the pears. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the firm pears are soft but hold their shape well - do not over cook.

Meanwhile, I mixed Bleu cheese, Feta cheese, and chopped walnuts in one bowl, plain Feta in another bowl, and boring shredded Cheddar cheese in another bowl. Each will be used to make balls the same shape and size as the hole in the middle of the pears - aren't melon scoopers great.

The baked pears are in their serving dishes and on the screen porch. An hour before dinner ( 15 minutes before the guests arrive) we shall drop a sphere of cheese in each pear half to serve. The syrup remaining from the baking process went into a creamer (gravy boat will do nicely) to be passed around the table.

This makes a great desseert that is fat-free (except for two bites of cheese) and sugar free. VERY tasty good.

For the starch, I made my macaroni and cheese. This is Otis's and Thom favorite. I boil the macaroni (large elbow for main dish, small for side). While that is boiling make a white sauce ... stick butter melted in heavy sauce pan, add 1/2 cup flour to melted hot butter, whisk and whisk again and again. Let the thick butter and flour cook together for two minutes or so whisking all the time ... a flat whisk works wonders. Slowly add milk ... the first cup of milk with disappear before your eyes and you will have a thick paste. Keep adding milk a cup at a time and whisking the heck out of it. When you have added 2 or three cups of milk, your suace ought to be nice. Add herbs to taste. Today I added a lot of cilantro and oregano, a touch of dill, and some rosemary leaves. Salt and pepper sauce to your taste.

While sauce is cooking (it tqakes a while to heat on low) take a tablespoon of soft butter and some minced garlic. mix together. Take garlic butter and grease the inside of a heavy casserole or two.

Now we layer. First is a thin layer of macaroni (not too soft). Then cover the pasta with shredded cheese of choice (I used sharp cheddar, an Italian mix, and mozarella today). Pour a few ladles of sauce over cheese ... do not make cheese soup in casserole ... just enough sauce to almost but not quite cover cheese. Then repeat layers and sauce. Actually as I think about it, I add over a quart of milk to my sauce ... it takes a lot of sauce! After final layer of pasta-cheese-sauce (three layers in my tall casserole) add bread or panko crumbs sprinkled over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Most excellent!

I add coooked meat, sauted vegetables, most anything to this casserole to make a mian course. The favorite dinner at Ravenhurst with good bread and a salad.

Later today I will be making horseradish rubbed beef roast and a salad.

My salads are alegend in my own mind! I start with spinach or Romaine or Bibb lettuce (anything but iceberg lettuce which has zero nutritional value) To the greens I add whatever looks good. Tonight this will include rip olives, chopped apple, dried cherries and cranberries, cucumber, julliene carrot ... and perhaps walnuts or whatever looks good. Served with choice of dressings - I prefer a walnut-raspberry vinegrette.

Well enough of the Julia Childs act. Just wanted to share my day with yall. Wish me health ... almost fainted at the stove already and feeling weak - I am taking a break now.
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  CluelessKitty on Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:45 pm

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....!!!

Sounds heavenly Richard - how I envy you your culinary talent! you make it sound so relaxing, so pleasant.
not to mention, tasty! I am sure your dinner will be a big hit. fingers crossed the M will be staying away from you.

Please be careful- do not exert yourself anymore, though.

Risa
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  AZgirl on Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:16 pm

Have a great time!
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  theresae on Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:51 am

made my mouth water, sounds delicious hope you had a fun night, and havent got too much of a hangover today x
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  Paradox on Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:20 am

Okay, I have five acres and I think I'm pretty nice. I'll work on the gay man thing if it will get me invited to a dinner like that! YUMMY

Hope your head behaved.

Charlotte
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  AuntieBubbs on Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:53 pm

Sounds delicious, Richard. I especially liked the sugar free dessert. I may borrow that sometime!

I'm a huge macaroni and cheese fan, it's my favorite food. I have a cookbook dedicated to just mac n cheese dishes, and I love it! My favorite recipe is still the basic, straight out the 1950 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook I inherited from my mom - with some top secret variations by yours truly Very Happy We'll have to compare recipes some time!

Hope the dinner party went well and that you stayed in good health, able to enjoy your evening.
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  Richard on Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:56 pm

The party was fun for all. I tried to get the guys to play charades - they were all horrible at it! LOL We played friendly poke (no money, just chips) and had a marvelous time.

Next time I will bake the pears until they are a bit softer - but my recipes worked well - most tasty. The roast came our perfectly ( very strange for me - usually too rare or too well done) It was a fun (though pain medicated) evening.

And yes ANY Ronda-ite is ALWAYS invited to Ravenhurst. You may have to be an honorary gay man for the visit - but you can handle it! LOL All you will need is thirst for freedom and either the ability to clean, cook, or decorate ... or maybe cut hair! LOL Aren't I a homosexist pig sometimes and play on stereo types! LOL The MOST important quality in a gay man, to me, is a thirst for freedom under the law.
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  Paradox on Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:04 pm

Dang! I don't clean, I can't cook, or decorate ... or even cut hair! I'm not faring well on my quest to be a gay man.

However, I do have a thirst for freedom and am very well read. I'm pretty left-wing, and have been called a "Radical Militant Librarian" and I wore the phrase with pride (even bought the coffee cup...). I'm also one of those "pornographer librarians" who don't believe in Internet filters because it limits access to information (and for a number of other reasons, one of the primary ones being that they DON'T WORK...but that's a three page rant for a different topic). I don't like to be judged, so I try not to judge others. I think "don't ask, don't tell" is a disgraceful policy. I feel guilty that I have been allowed to marry the person that I love, and that others are not allowed too.

So, would those criteria allow me to be a honorary gay man?

Charlotte
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  MaryAnneLive on Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:32 pm

I am so glad the party went well. The recipes sound AMAZING!!! I think I will close my eyes tonight and imagine eating that Mac and cheese. YUM!

Mary Anne
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  AuntieBubbs on Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:42 pm

BTW, Richard, do any of those aged cheeses bother your head? Cuz I love aged cheddar, feta, any sharp, tangy cheeses, and sometimes they bother me, but I eat them anyway. I love them too much. I just don't eat them very often anymore.
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  LG on Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:21 pm

Richard,

The mac and cheese sounds blissful!! I am a clutz in the kitchen though, but it doesn't seem that hard the way you describe. I've been diligently working on becoming better in the kitchen.

I'm wondering if I can make it smaller for my family? We are on a tight budget, do you think this is a cheaper meal? I am concerned about cheese, I know it can get expensive. I don't know how much I'd need for us.

Steve is such a sucker for mac and cheese, I think he'd keel over for this recipe. I can't help trying it, but I really think I'll need a little help on how much of what I'll need to use. If you can elaborate, that would be really great. Very Happy
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  MaryAnneLive on Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:30 pm

I am obsessed with the food network and if I were going to make mac and cheese I would make this one! Alton Brown never goes wrong.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/baked-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe/index.html
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  Richard on Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:54 am

Anton over Richard! What an insult! ROTFLMAO

As to a smaller casserole, make enough white sauce to fill about half of the casserole you are using. Get enough cheese that shredded will make an inch layer of cheese for as many layers as you think your dish will take ... usually two or three layers. and only boil 1.5 cups of dry macaroni. Best guesses on my part. this is NOT a cheap dish to make as cheese is pricey. Of course, there is cheese and then again there is cheese. Wide variety in cost and quality. 1/2 cheddar and 1/2 mazarella will do nicely.

And I get migraine episodes each day no matter what I do or eat so to heck with it!
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  Richard on Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:59 am

I checked out the Food Network recipe. they melt the cheese into the white sauce and mix everything to gether. I looked at the photograph there ... mine is prettier and looks like it tastes better. I started my recipe for a great 1970's cookbook, The Vegetarian Epicure. It also has a good recipe for stuffed eggplant - just like the stuffed zuccini my Mom says Rachel Ray made this week past.

I also use this layering of white sauce, cheese, goodies with almost cooked rice instead of macaroni. the men of Ravenhurst tell me I am on to something. It is just a simple and very tasty good way to make a casserole.
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  Stillhurtin on Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:52 am

I can't help but wonder if I am the only one who did a double take after reading the typo "we played friendly poke"???

Thank god you went on to say (no money just chips) or I would have had itching curiosity as to just what "playing fiendly poke" entailed at a "gay man's dinner party" Wink

lol... Gotta love humorous misprints/typos!!!
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  Stillhurtin on Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:01 am

If I wasn't DETERMINED to stick to my diet this week I would definitely be trying that Macaroni recipe. Razz
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  Brenda on Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:05 am

Stillhurtin wrote:I can't help but wonder if I am the only one who did a double take after reading the typo "we played friendly poke"???

Thank god you went on to say (no money just chips) or I would have had itching curiosity as to just what "playing fiendly poke" entailed at a "gay man's dinner party" Wink

lol... Gotta love humorous misprints/typos!!!

Nope, you"re not the only one to catch that. I had a little chuckle myself.
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  LG on Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:49 am

Thanks Richard, when I give it a go I'll let you know how it turns out. It may have to wait until the next pay period or two. I'd like to try it with the better cheeses if I can afford it but we'll see, I may be excited to try so I'll go the cheaper route. I appreciate the recipe!
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  MaryAnneLive on Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:38 am

Richard, I would take your mac and cheese over his any day Smile I was just trying to supply some measurements. I can't get mac and cheese out of my head. I will have to come up with a good gluten free one. I made a great four cheese mac and cheese a couple of years ago for my sister that was no cow dairy and no gluten. Perhaps I will try to replicate it for my daughter and myself. She doesn't do cow dairy and I we are both off gluten.

sorry for the unintended insult to your culinary skills!

M
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  Paradox on Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:23 pm

I read a "poke" too. I think my eyes popped for a minute. LOL

Charlotte
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  nursebeth on Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:21 am

sign me up as an honorary gay man! i cook & clean! and i'm a nurse Very Happy

beth
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  HeelerLady on Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:08 am

I think I qualify...I definitely clean. Cooking, I'm adequate but am a much better baker - pie anyone? I've also been told I make fabulous cheesecake Smile

MaryAnne - have you tried goat products? I have not been able to tolerate cow dairy in a long time and I can do goat. I know there are at least a few varieties of cheese and it could be very yummy in a modified mac n' cheese. Just a thought. Smile
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  Richard on Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:25 pm

ROTFLMAO I can assure you that there were NO friendly pokes at my dinner party! You all have dirty minds - that's why I love you so!
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  AuntieBubbs on Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:22 pm

I'll take Richard's mac 'n cheese over Alton Brown's any day, but personally, I can't stand Alton Brown! LMAO Razz
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Re: Dinner Party Friday Night

Post  Paradox on Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:30 am

I think I came up with my ticket to the honorary gay world. I love to browse antique stores and malls. HUbby never understands how I can be gone for HOURS, come home with nothing, and still be happy as a clam. Happier though when I find the elusive item that I never knew I needed before!

Charlotte
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