Dinner Party

19 Sep

Good morning! I’m still around and didn’t get washed away by the storm because, well, it didn’t really happen. There was a period in the late afternoon when it was raining quite hard, but the flash floods did not make an appearance, fortunately.

If you’re a regular blog reader (hi Mom!), then you’ll notice that I missed last night’s post – apologies! I had a good excuse, though: I was hosting a little dinner party! Less in the Martha Stewart, let’s put centerpieces on the table, kind of way and more in the ‘how many people can we fit around the coffee table?’ way. It was still delicious though, and I think people left with happy tummies.

The party was sort of a good-bye dinner of sorts for Stefano’s brother, who left to go back to Seattle this morning. Their cousin and his girlfriend also joined us, as did our friend, Jason.

On the menu:

  • Pesto and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Breasts with a Tomato Lime Vinaigrette
  • Couscous with Roasted Zucchini and Sauteed Vegetables

For dessert, I made an apple spice cake, with maple syrup buttercream frosting.

I’m sorry the pictures aren’t as good as they should be (food blogger fail), but I was suuuuuper busy making sure everything came together in time for everybody to arrive. I skipped my usual Zumba workout and went straight to the grocery store, but only had two hours to get everything together! Talk about a race against time – dishes were flying, the sink was full, and counter space was minimal. It all came together in the end, though.

And it was delicious, if I do say so myself! Stay tuned for the recipe this weekend. We all ate ourselves silly and shared many laughs as Stef and I retold our Virginia Beach story which, judging by the reactions of our friends, has great entertainment value. It was such a nice treat to get out of the weekly grind and do something social on what I will probably always think of as “a school night”. This was the first time I had Stef during the week since he started his new job – not even exaggerating!

After I bid farewell to everybody, it was time to clean up the catastrophe, also known as my kitchen. Luckily, I got to chit-chat with my mom on the phone while I was cleaning up and then sang and danced my way around the kitchen while listening to the Bubblegum Oldies Pandora station.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I didn’t end up getting to bed until well after midnight so I am tired with a capital ‘T’. Since I missed my workout yesterday, I am going to double up today, with Body Pump and then a Zumba class. I am sure by the time I get home, I will be ready to face plant on my bed and be dead to the world until morning. Hopefully I will have the willpower to pop in the shower, just for the sake of my roommates and co-workers.

I’ll probably stay up just long enough to stick my face in what’s left of the apple spice cake, because it was just so delicious. For those of you who want to try this amazingness, it was adapted from a recipe I saw on Smitten Kitchen (LOVE this blog), so pop on over there and snag the recipe. The maple buttercream was my idea, just because I love maple and I had a big jar of it from Trader Joe’s. I basically just kept adding until I felt it was maple-y enough. Deb, the author of SK, recommends that you roast the apples before folding them into the batter, but I decided not to (read: I was going to and then completely forgot) and it turned out delicious, just the same. If you decide to make it, let me know what you think! I just love all the yummy fall flavors of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg that permeate the kitchen while this is baking – it’s enough to make your neighbors wish they lived at your house.

After I staggered out of bed this morning, I was not interested in making breakfast a fanfare, so I kept it simple with an English muffin PB & J with chia seeds. On the side I munched on some pieces of fresh pineapple – the last taste of summer!

 

Super excited for lunch today – hello, leftovers!

Food For Thought: Do certain flavors and scents remind you of different seasons? What screams fall to you?

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