If I am not cooking food for other people, I am not in my element. For six months now, I have been living in a foreign country, having only my partner to cook for. I love him to death, but the man could eat Ramen noodles and canned spaghetti and be happy. I like a good challenge. Certain dislikes? I can take it. Food allergies? Bring it. When you come to Leena?s kitchen, you eat and you eat well. Okay, I take that whole last paragraph back. I have cooked several times for up to two friends at a time. But I dig group gatherings, so it was high time I throw a dinner party. I was missing my old feeding group (Bobby, Amy, Breyers, Kristen, Meghan…) so I was in the mood to cook for people. It?s hard being a hostess when you are a poor, struggle college student and married. I want to go all out, but obviously, I can?t. This time, I was just happy all the plates matched each other. There is usually a spare Simpsons plate from McDonald in the mix. Another reason I love having a dinner party: making a menu gets me so excited! I know, I?m a total food geek, but seriously, it can occupy me for days?how many people to feed, how many courses to serve, what service style, what sort of dessert. Ugh! I dig it almost as much as bacon. Almost. I wanted to keep it simple so I didn?t get in over my head, so I went for the upscale comfort food route. Meatloaf with tomato relish from Tyler Florence?s Real Kitchen,
a simple green salad with balsamic vinaigrette, roasted corn on the cob with chipotle butter
and jalepeno mac and cheese.
If you haven?t tried this life changing meatloaf, you should. It takes whatever meatloaf you may have known as a child and beats it up in the school yard and steals its shoes. It makes it feel worthless and pointless and starts to ponder its own existence. Yes. It makes other meatloaves commit suicide. But guys? They were already dead inside…because they are meat…so its okay. Just try it! Chipotle butter on corn is my new obsession, thanks to the three cans my mom sent me for Easter (Thanks, Mom!). Australia doesn?t really do Mexican. So of course, it made the menu. Look at those happy people, excited to eat. I did that. Cool, huh?
Phil got a little too excited.
And of course, I rocked it pretty hard. We drank wine, ate way too much meat in loaf form, and played a few games. We watched as an Australian marveled over the fancy new “American floss contraptions”.
I sort of got “lost” in the party after that and forgot to take a picture of the desserts. I know. I suck. I?ll do anything for a good glass of Moscato…or seven. Well, at least I’m not the only person it happens to. But I can tell you it was homemade buttermilk pound cake a la Alton Brown?s book, I?m Just Here For More Food (which also made a guest appearance in the new food film, No Reservations), topped with passion fruit sorbet and vanilla bean ice cream. All homemade. In fact, everything was homemade. Cuz that?s how I roll. We finished off the evening with some Bird in Hand Port and assorted truffles, dulce de leche with orange and strawberry with dark chocolate ganache, all homemade, because I rock. If you look closely in this picture, you can sort of see the chocolates in the middle of the table. I swear.
was right before the two of us made an expensive wine-induced phone call to an old friend in the States. Happy, sated, and international prank calling. Sounds like a kick ass dinner party to me. ~LTG