Dinner Parties and More

The British Serve Cucumber Sandwiches To Avoid A Sticky Wicket

In the film Moonraker, Hugo Drax asks James Bond, “may I press you to a cucumber sandwich?”      Are you looking for something to serve in the tea breaks at your club’s cricket matches? Or perhaps you would like to offer your guests a light mid-afternoon snack? You might also be looking for a nice addition to a picnic and a luncheon.      The answer: serve cucumber sandwiches. They are, of course, very British, and modern variants (largely of American origin) exist. They can include cream cheese, chopped dill or spices,…

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Patio Toad

The Margarita Lifestyle – Chippin’ Dippin’ and Sippin’

     There’s nothing like a cool and tasty margarita on a hot summer’s day! It’s a grand accompaniment to go along with the guacamole and homemade chips I posted last week (click on Time To Take Your Culinary Entertaining Outdoors). All are made with fresh ingredients, and everyone knows chippin’, dippin’, and sippin’ is the perfect Rx for summer. So here it is – the best recipe ever for The Perfect Margarita!  Pitcher     Two Servings      6 oz.              3 oz.             Lime juice (two limes = about 3 oz.)      ½ cup           ¼ cup        …

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Time To Take Your Culinary Entertaining Outdoors

     If you live in a four-season climate, you know the first part of June is  the best time for entertaining outdoors. Lawns and foliage are fresh and green; the flies and mosquitoes aren’t yet in peak form, and it isn’t so ungodly hot.  After waiting all winter, margarita season has finally arrived.      Are you looking for something besides salsa to serve with a pitcher of margaritas? Prepare a delicious guacamole dip made with fresh ingredients and serve it in a molcajete (a traditional Mexican version of a mortar…

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Pimiento Cheese Spread

WANT TO ENJOY A CHEAP LUNCH? EAT AT THE MASTERS AND ORDER A PIMIENTO CHEESE SANDWICH      Scheduled for the first full week of April, the Masters is the first major of the year, and unlike the others, it is always held at the same location, Augusta National Golf Club. It’s a private course in the southeastern United States, in the city of Augusta, Georgia. The setting is beautiful. It is run with clockwork precision. It showcases the best golfers in the world. But you know all of this.     …

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Kentucky Derby

Derby Day Is About Horses – And Kentucky Bourbon

     Of course, in the state of Kentucky it’s going to be all about the horses. Once a year this passion manifests itself in a marvelous event known as The Kentucky Derby. Many people travel great distances to experience the energy and the excitement surrounding what has become known as “The Run For The Roses.”      But Derby day is so much more than just a horserace. As the title says, it’s also about the bourbon. The locals are very fond of their native drink. They begin drinking early in…

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Dinner

So, What’s For Dinner?

Quote: “Dinner is not what you do in the evening before something else. Dinner is the evening.” – Art Buchwald      Perhaps what’s hardest about preparing for a dinner party is coming up with an idea of what to serve. When Dorothy and I are selecting dishes, we consult a menu we’ve compiled of our favorites. It’s in an actual menu format, and we keep it as an opening page in the front of our personal cooking notebook. We can scan the entries, and usually something will seem appropriate for…

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Seating Strategies For Your Dinner Party Guests

Quote: I don’t care where I sit, as long as I get fed. – Calvin Trillin Who To Invite “Dining partners, regardless of gender, social standing, or the years they’ve lived, should be chosen for their ability to eat – and drink! – with the right mixture of abandon and restraint. They should enjoy food and look upon its preparation and its degustation as one of the human arts.” ― M.F.K. Fisher   Deciding on a seating arrangement is one of the more important chores in preparing for your dinner party….

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A Cheese Course? Of Course

“A MEAL WITHOUT CHEESE IS A ONE-EYED BEAUTY”      This quote is attributed to Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. He was an eighteenth-century lawyer and politician as well as a noted epicure who is credited with many other quotes regarding food. A Wonderful Addition      I think a cheese course is a wonderful addition to any meal. It is usually inserted between the main meal and dessert. When we are hosting a dinner party, we have found that dessert is often too heavy an addition after a huge meal, and replacing dessert…

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Starting A Flame In Her Heart

How To Get Your Guest’s Attention        To serve a cocktail with pizazz, I’d like to recommend an Oaxaca Old Fashioned. Oaxaca is pronounced “wuh-HAH-kuh.” I know. It sounds like a city in Wisconsin, but instead it’s a vacation spot in Mexico.        The traditional whiskey is replaced by tequila and mescal (or mezcal). The ratio of mescal to tequila can vary. I like even parts so I can taste a bit more of the mescal. Other recipes use 1 1/2 ounces of tequila to 1/2 ounce mescal. Not only is this an attention getter…

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Marbella

Your First Dinner Party? Start Simple.

Keep It Really Simple      If you’re interested in hosting a dinner party, don’t start with a sit-down dinner for eight.      Host a dinner with yourself and one other person. Pick an elegant but simple recipe and perfect it. A simple but exquisite dish is Chicken Marbella.  It may take several iterations to get it right, but your patience will be rewarded. It’s Showtime      Next try a dinner party for four. Serve the dish you have practiced preparing, and figure out how to make it special. Pick…

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