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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Eat, drink and walk the red carpet.......

Just another weekend in Judiland.......

The decadent cake Chef Len prepared for us.....chocolate raspberry mousse cake. Can you say OMG?  OMG!

Last night was our annual Chef's Table night when we have one of our favorite chef's---Chef Len--cook a fabulous gourmet meal for a group of friends.  As always, he put together a great night of yummy wines and downright amazing food while sharing his culinary adventures as he whipped everything up for us.  He puts on such a showstopper that we never want to night to end.  Each year tops the previous one.  This year, our group grew quite a bit.  The word is out.....
What started out four years ago as Carmen wanting to do something special for Valentine's Day by having Chef Len cook for us and another couple (my college roomie and her husband) has turned into quite the event.  It's definitely one of my favorite things we do each year.  Everything is absolutely stunning....from the ambiance to the conversation to the food to the wine and spirits. 
I  am more than a wee bit sad that it's over for another year.....
Last night, as we lingered over a perfect  after dinner drink consisting of apricot brandy, triple sec and lime juice,  I got to thinking about how food draws people together in such a special way and wondered aloud if good food has a certain magic to it or if it's not about the food at all.  Of course, as soon as those words came out of my mouth, I wanted to take them back.  Questioning the magic of good food is not something you want to do at a chef's table after he has cooked a magnificent meal for you....
Thankfully, I wasn't escorted out right then and there. 
Instead, it sparked a lively conversation that left me even more appreciative of my Lapband than I thought possible.  The fact that I could truly enjoy food openly without a hint of shame and participate in the feeling of community that sharing food brings and that I was not completely transfixed on eating or on the worry that everyone was watching me eat is a giftA gift that my Lapband gave me.  No one can understand that unless they too lived in a world where food and their relationship with food dominated every crevice of their thoughts......I don't want to ever forget what it was like to love to eat so much that I couldn't enjoy the food.....
And, that gift will serve me well again today as we get ready to walk the red carpet with all of our celebrity friends in their stunning clothes and jewels and  as we sip pretty cocktails while we cast our ballots for our favorite movies and stars and cheer the winners while nibbling on delightful morsels and delectable treats.....

Yes, it's just another award season night on my couch.....

White Diamond Cocktail
(since I won a drawing at martini night this past week that included a big, big bottle of White Diamond Vodka.....this is our Oscar night drink!)
2 oz White Diamond Vodka
1 oz Amaretto
1/2 oz melon liquer
1/2 oz peach schnapps
3 oz Orange juice
garnish with a slice of orange and raspberries

Bacon Parmesean Stuffed Dates
(omg....these are easy and scrumptious!)

18 large dates, preferably slit lengthwise and pitted
18 pieces good-quality Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, each about 1 by 1/4 inch
6  slices good-quality smoked bacon, cut crosswise into thirds
Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Insert a piece of Parmesan into each date. Then, wrap each date with 1 piece of bacon, securing it with  a wooden toothpick.
Arrange the dates 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Then, using tongs, turn the dates over. Continue baking until the bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes longer.
With the tongs, transfer the dates to paper towels to drain, carefully patting them dry with more paper    towels. Serve immediately.

Hot Crab Dip in a Bread Bowl
(I got this recipe on Allrecipes a few years's always a hit!)
11 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 (6 ounce) cans crabmeat, drained and
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 (1 pound) loaf round, crusty Italian
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, onion, mayonnaise, crabmeat, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread mixture into a 1 quart baking dish.
3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. While the dip is baking, cut a circle in the top of the bread, and scoop out the inside to create a bread bowl. Tear the removed bread into pieces for dipping.
4. Remove baked crab dip from the oven, and stir well. Spoon the mixture into the hollowed out loaf. Place bread bowl and chunks of bread on a medium baking sheet, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot. 
Truffle and Parmesan Popcorn
(it's the movies.....gotta have popcorn! Glam it up!)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons black truffle oil
 Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 bag microwave popcorn, popped as directed

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and chives. Saute until the butter is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and add the truffle oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the popcorn into a large bowl and pour over the truffled butter and sprinkle in the Parmesan. Toss well to combine and serve immediately.

And, the OSCAR goes to........


~Miss Lorie~ said...

What a fun party! I don't comment much, but always read your posts and love them!

Darlin1 said...

Sooooo FUN!!