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Monday, May 31, 2010

dinner with the Vances

We set our table with our new china for the first time!

This weekend one of my best friends (and my sister-in-law!) Erin, married her love, Joey, at a phenominal penthouse in the city. The weekend was amazing, filled with a TON of laughs and some sweet dance moves. The weekend started off with Matt and I hosting a dinner party for all of Matt's aunts that had traveled to town for the festivities. And naturally, I forgot to take ANY pictures of the food. I got a couple of good ones of the family and toasts being made though!

The beautiful Vance ladies (and Maya and I)

dinner party turned dance party!

toasting the bride and groom!

Vance Dinner Menu

Assorted cheeses and crackers
Cold spinach dip from (The only change I make is to use two packages of frozen spinach instead of one) with carrots
Brie and Carmelized Mushroom Mini Tarts from "For the Love of Cooking" (I made the musrooms the night before, then heated through and assembled for serving)
Roast Chicken with Pancetta and Olives from Cooking This and That (I assembled everything the night before, just basted with the wine while cooking)
green salad
Roasted Vegetable Napoleons from (I omitted the potatoes and assembled the night before)
Everything was delicious. This was the perfect spring menu for entertaining on a work night. Everything was able to be prepared beforehand. The day of, I just had to throw it all in the oven! I wish I had some pics, because everything was really great, but I just had to share these recipes!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lady Date Night (with Matt)

I treated myself to these beautiful mums for our date night!

One of my great friends Megan (above, author of the super fun blog Failed Attempts at being Fabulous) and I have periodic "Lady Date Nights". They are always fantastic. We have dinner, the wine is plentiful, and we catch up on life. I hosted the last date night, and we let Matt stay and play for a little while (though he could not keep up and headed off to snooze while we continued to gab). We wanted to have Megan over this time, as Matt and I have planted our first "urban oasis" (Matt's name for our new container garden). Megan is a phenominal landscape architect, and had given us tons of tips for picking out the types of plants to get. We were very proud of how we did and wanted to get Megan's approval!
Our pup Maya chillin with her toy next to our herbs!

lovely, eh?

I know Megan loves Salmon Caesar Salad, so I decided to try a Williams Sonoma recipe for the Ceasar Salad. I have made the Blackened Salmon with a Parmesean Potato Pancake from Two Peas and their Pod before (a phenominal recipe by the way), and love the way the salmon turns out cooked this way. I hit the nail on the head with this combo, and it was very simple to put together the meal on a Friday night. Matt had gotten home early from work, and made the dressing and croutons, and I prepped the salmon coating and dessert the night before.

Caesar Salad
(I did not make any changes to the original recipe, so I will send you straight there!)
from Williams Sonoma

Blackened Salmon

2 cups Italian bread crumbs (I used 1 cup)
2 tablespoons Italian herb mix (1 Tbsp)
1 tablespoon garlic chopped in olive oil (I used 1 clove fresh garlic chopped)
1/4 tablespoon paprika (I omitted because we were out)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I used 1/2 tablespoon dried)
2 tablespoons blackened red fish mix (1 Tbsp)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesean cheese
fresh salmon fillets (I used 4 pieces)

Coat salmon fillets with mixture. Saute on each side 3 to 4 minutes over high flame. Place in preheated 400 degree oven 6 to 12 minutes or to your liking (we kept them in the full 12).

Pound Cake
(no changes made, so here's the link!)

Cinnamon Ice Cream
It was SO SO SO SO SO good. But I don't know where I got the recipe. I think I threw it out. UGH. But I promise you that I will find it, make it again, and post it. It is my new mission. Stay tuned, as it was deluxe.