Please forgive me for being scarce these days and for not stopping by your blog as often to say hello, but it will pick up after the 1st of the year. I've been extremely busy with culinary classes and events.
Wow! What a busy weekend. I was so exhausted. Our whole family is in town right now and it's SO nice. My daughter came in town from college for Thanksgiving, 4 days earlier than she had scheduled (Yah!) and my sister, her husband and kids came in town to celebrate my moms 90th birthday.
In addition to everyone being in town, my husband and I had planned a dinner party for his biking buddies and their spouses and girlfriends. Our dinner party was scheduled for Saturaday evening and I felt so bad since my daughter changed her flight from Tuesday to come in on Friday instead. I like to devote all my time to my kids when they're in town but it worked out just fine. My daugther and son spent the evening (Saturday) together for dinner, movie and drinks. It's great that they had special time to catch up. They're great friends.
On Sunday we celebrated my moms 90th birthday. Her birthday isn't until the day after Christmas but since much of our family will be all over the place we decided to celebrate it this weekend when all would be here. We had a wonderful time and I feel so blessed to have my mom still with us. She's in great health, her mind is still sharp as a tact, and gets around perfectly. Parents are a treasure and I feel so fortunate to have a healthy, loving and caring mother. Although my dad passed away one month before the birth of my daughter just over 22 years ago, I have fond memories of him and feel so lucky to have been raised by both of them.
With 2 dinner parties back to back I've been so busy this past week plus planning for Thanksgiving this Thursday and a handful of culinary classes over this and next month. I'm worn out just thinking about all that's in store for the month ahead - but looking forward to it all!
Of course, I didn't take any photos of any of the food I prepared for both dinner parties (being caught up in the moment), but do have photos of the dishes either from the sources I got them from or from previously preparing them.
This was our second annual biking dinner party and everyone brings a dish. I make the entree while guests bring, appetizers, salads, sides, desserts and wine. This year it was requested by several of my husbands biking friends that I make my Sweet & Sour Brisket again,
always a favorite of those who try it and quite simple to prepare. In addition, I made a dish that I often teach in my culinary classes that gets rave reviews. It's a stuffed chicken breast with a roasted red pepper coulis. The appetizers and sides, etc. were all over the board with lots of luscious dishes for all to sample.
Everyone had a great time and I find it amazing that the blend of people get along so well. It's such a nice diverse mix, that it's now become an annual event.
After cleaning the house all day and cleaning up after everyone left, I went to sleep only to wake up Sunday morning ready to do a repeat performance for my moms birthday party. This time however, we were having the party at her home where my sister was staying with her family. Sunday nights dinner was a boneless standing rib roast that I've made before from a 2000 issue of Bon Appetit. This dish is so easy to prepare with outstanding results that it's almost embarrassing since everyone always thinks it must be difficult. I know many people prefer not to eat meat so I also prepared my Salmon Roulade
which I've made numerous times as well as on TV. With sides of a rice dish, roasted veggies, salad and my moms favorite cakes the party was a huge success and she was all smiles.
This morning I woke up and although tired, started going over my menu for Thanksgiving and Decembers culinary classes.
All the recipes I've linked to were loved by all. Although I served two entrees for both dinner parties, that isn't necessary to do. I did it because I wasn't sure about the dietary habits of the bikers but knew for my family not all would induldge in beef or fish so the combo would satisfy everyone. Apparently it did, because the dishes at both parties were gone.
With holiday events coming up over this next month I hope you'll attempt to try one of these entrees. Both dinner parties had between 12 -18 people. The recipes truely are simple to prepare but as always if you have any questions don't ever hesitate to contact me for questions, and remember to adjust the recipes for the number of people in your party.
I hope you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving!