Friday we had a few friends over for dinner and it was so much fun. You know you're all old and married when you start having your friends over for dinner -- but I'm okay with that. With the exception of last Thanksgiving, I have never ever made dinner for anyone other than The Canadian. I'm too embarrassed because I really don't know how to cook. The problem with making full meals is they don't usually come with exact directions, I don't know what goes together and I definitely don't know how much to make. But, I gave it a shot and no one died from food poisoning. As far as I know. Score for me!
This was my general plan: 1. Try to do what my mom does when cooking for a group. 2. Call my mom when I get stuck. 3. Try desperately not to call my mom more than once every five minutes because she is on vacation in California.
The phone calls to my mom began the night before because I couldn't even come up with anything other than a salad and mashed potatoes. I was thinking veggies too...but I was at a loss for the meat. She suggested pork tenderloin. She said it was easy. Easy? Sold! I didn't really know what pork tenderloin was but I figured the nice butcher at the grocery store would be able to point me in the right direction.
He did. He handed me 3 really gross looking pieces of meat. Note: I hate raw meat, its slimy and it makes my skin crawl. So, I went home and tossed the tenderloin in a bag of teriyaki sauce to marinate, per my mom's directions.
Friday before everyone came over I attempted to do what my mom does before a dinner. I set out all the dishes and serving pieces I would need as to avoid running around like a chicken with my head cut off.
I set out the glasses. (Note: I'm a fan of the mixed-up-non-matching wine glass collection for two reasons: 1. everyone knows which glass is theirs 2. i like shopping for them, it's a hobby 3. it doesn't matter if one breaks - that was three, sorry)
I set the table.
I got to finally use my fun, new individual salt and pepper shakers. A set of 6 for $12 on amazon.com? Its the perfect stocking stuffer.
I admired my new chandelier in the dining room. Remember the old one? Ugh.
And I put out all the ingredients I would be needing after our friends arrived. This helps them think that I know what I'm doing. And it cuts down on the natural disaster zone that my kitchen becomes.
Anyway, the final menu was what I like to think of as 'user friendly.' And it follows the basic rule of 1 carb, 1 veggie, 1 protein:
- Pork tenderloin (marinated in teriyaki, cooked at 350 for 45 minutes. simple)
- Roasted veggies (broccoli, califlower, asparagus, mushrooms, red pepper, and onion cut the night before then drizzled in EVOO with garlic salt, cooked at 350 for 60 minutes and stirred every 15)
- Rosemary smashed potatoes (red potatoes boiled for 20 minutes, smashed with cream, butter, rosemary and salt)
- Bread (thrown in the oven for 10 minutes)
- Salad (not fancy: lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, avacado)
- Blueberry Cream Pie (cooked the night before, click here for step by step recipe)
Our friends, Mike and Christina, brought over some wine and the most delicious bacon wrapped water chestnuts I've ever had. I told her I'm stealing this recipe and marketing it as my own.
They also brought over this sweet little thing. She's so adorable and looks just like her momma. It's like Christina just opened her mouth and spit her out.
The Canadian spent the majority of the night trying to win her over. He offered her a teddy bear, talked to her and even read her a story. But every time he ask if they could be friends she would sweetly respond, "No." It was hysterical. The man loves kids and here was this sweet little girl looking him straight in the eyes and telling him they could not be friends. Priceless.
I'd love to show you photos of how the rest of the evening went, but my camera was forgotten after dinner was cleaned up (by my awesome husband, might I add). We spent the rest of the night talking, drinking and having a good time.
It was such a great night. We should do it again now that I have a little more faith that I can serve a poison free meal.
Christina and Carla - please let me know immediately if anyone suffered ill effects from my dinner! Thanks.