Friday, March 5, 2010

Time For A Little Dinner Party

Every year the ladies group at my church hosts an annual tasting party. The basic premise behind the party is that each lady should bring a dish that she has never made before. Along with the dish she should bring the recipe. Then we have dinner together. Sometimes we have lots of dessert & very few veggie dishes; sometimes we have lots of main courses & not many desserts. It's not always a balanced meal. We don't always like every dish. But we do enjoy being together. And that's what really matters.
After the party is over we try to organize the recipes into a booklet so that we all have some new recipes (hopefully new recipes we like) for our collection. It's fun. I'm looking forward to it.

These are the recipes that I hope to get made after work & before the dinner party at 6:00 p.m.

Walnut Shortbread
Martha Stewart Living

½ cup walnuts, toasted
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
¼ cup plus 3 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pulse walnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl, and whisk in flour & salt.
2. Beat butter, sugar, & vanilla until pale & fluffy. Slowly add walnut mixture, and beat until just combined.
3. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Transfer dough to pan. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on dough, & use it to press the dough evenly into pan (this will prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers). Cut dough into 8 wedges using a paring knife. Prick all over with a wooden skewer or fork.
4. Bake until golden brown & firm in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Recut into wedges & prick again. Let cool slightly. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

*There are several methods you can use to toast walnuts:
• Bake walnuts on a cookie sheet, in a single layer, at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes, checking frequently. • Microwave walnuts in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate on medium-high for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. • Cook walnuts in a skillet at medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.Regardless of method, walnuts can be toasted dry or with a dash of oil.

*I used unbleached all-purpose flour & for the stick butter I substituted a stick of butter/olive oil blend baking stick.

New-Potato Salad
All You Magazine

3 lb. new potatoes, scrubbed clean
Salt & Pepper
1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced

Place potatoes in a large pot & pour in enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Add 1 Tablespoon salt & bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low & cook until potatoes are tender, 13 to 17 minutes. Drain, return potatoes to pot & cover with a damp kitchen towel. Let stand, off, heat, until soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard & vinegar. Cut potatoes into halves or quarters. In a large bowl, mix potatoes with celery and shallot. Fold in mayonnaise mixture & season well with salt & pepper. Serve at room temperature.

*If the mayonnaise mixture seems too thick, add additional vinegar or fresh lemon juice a few teaspoons at a time until it is right.

*If you don’t have shallots on hand, substitute half an onion, finely minced (use a sweet onion if possible). Thinly sliced scallions also work well.

*You can make this salad up to a day ahead & refrigerate it, but it is best served at room temperature. Simply take it out of the refrigerator about an hour before serving.

Hopefully I will be able to get it all made, hopefully it will be yummy, & hopefully I'll be able to get my kitchen cleaned up.

Am I too ambitious? *grin*

What are your Friday night plans?


Karen said...

Ooh, yum!
Funny, our ladies at church are putting togethr a church cookbook--tonight we're all bringing an appetizer. FUN! (I'm bringing BBQ Jalapeno Poppers.) (If I don't eat them all on the way there.)
Have fun!

Erin said...

Good luck getting that all done. You can do it!!! Have a great time. My plans consist of cleaning and unpacking. Doesn't that sound fun? I do have plans tomorrow though and I'm excited to get out of the house besides going to Wal-Mart. I was trying to avoid going again, but I really need matches or a lighter so I can burn some candles. Time to get this place smelling good.

Mary Ann said...

Karen ~ BBQ Jalepeno Poppers! Yum! I love stuff like that (even if my mouth says it's too hot!). Any possibility you'll post that recipe? *hint* :-)

Erin ~ I'm sure you are making great progress & your house will be lovely in no time. What kind of fun are you up to tomorrow? Enjoy your day!

Alicia said...

Wow, sounds like a blast! Have a great time! Let us know how the recipes turn out.