In order to get some work-related things done, S. invited several important people to dinner last night. Yes, he could have just taken them to eat somewhere. However, everybody liked the personal touch and things went very smoothly -- S. is very happy with outcomes. I can't say much here but organization/industry he is working for encourages snobby behavior so I am happy that both S. and I are well on the way to be accepted as equals. Not an easy feat, for sure! This simple dinner was another brick in that road to success.
I was extremely busy this week, having to finish my own work-related stuff, but this dinner did not take long; yet, it was delicious. Try it! :)
I am not providing full recipes here unless I made changes. However, links are included. Sorry there are no pics -- barely had enough time to put everything together, no time for pics.
Assorted veggies (cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli florets, baby carrots) and several salad dressings (French, Blue Cheese, and Ranch -- what we had in the fridge, lol)
Very simple -- chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, olives on shredded romaine lettuce, seasoned with salt/pepper and olive oil. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. I used shallow soup bowls (fit in the fridge better than salad plates) to make individual salads, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated until time.
I made breadsticks using this recipe. I added 2 tbsp crushed rosemary, made dough in the breadmaker, shaped into breadsticks, let rise for 1 hour, and baked 20 mins at 400. Brushed with butter.
I actually just posted this recipe. This time, I made my own Alfredo sauce. Also, last time chicken was a bit dry so I added 1 tsp of butter to the bundles, to keep chicken moist and sprayed with butter-flavored spray for a nice golden color.
Cheese Ravioli (I did not have time to make my own but Mona's Cheese Ravioli from Publix are awesome). I added 1/2 stick garlic herb butter (Publix) to the bowl of pasta, for extra touch.
1-2 cloves of garlic, pressed (you can mince but then sauce won't be as smooth)
1.5 cup heavy cream
1.5 cup milk
½ cup parmesan
½ cup romano
6 egg yolks
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté garlic. Heat milk and cream until simmering. Turn off heat and mix in cheese. Mix a little of milk mixture into yolks, then slowly add EGG mixture into milk mixture. Heat on low heat, mixing well until thickens. Dessert Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake
What an awesome cheesecake! I added a topping of chocolate liquer whipped cream: whip 1 pint of heavy cream with powdered sugar -- add to taste (~ 1 cup), then add some Godiva Chocolate liquer -- again, to taste (~ 1/4 cup). Also, I garnished with grated chocolate for a finished look. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or, even better, overnight.
We had a variety of sodas and juice. Also, we have Tassimo machine and made lattes, cappuccinos, Earl Grey tea, and regular coffee.
Everybody was happy -- well, plates were clean and people were taking seconds and thirds, a good indication, right? One divorced guy even asked us for some leftovers. I found that both hilarious and sad -- this guy can afford any restaurant and you could see he was embarrassed to ask but said he absolutely loved everything and wanted more of the homemade stuff. Well, thank you, sir! :)
Missing S. this weekend... too many meetings for both of us to drive this week...
We hosted High School Visitation this morning and so I was up late yesterday, making little college student survival kits. They are silly but do get attention. Students who chose to enroll in our program have commented later on how nobody else offered as much attention. I know, I know -- I don't want students to choose a major just because they were given a little gift. Still, if they are considering the major, why not?
Curious is anybody else is doing something like that... Here is what I included in the kit, the helpful dozen for college student's survival. Some of these are rather lame but I had to watch the budget, too.
1. Life Saver: For when you've had one of “those” days.
2. Hershey’s Hug: Everybody needs a hug sometimes. Chocolate cures many things.
3. Tea bag: Take time to relax daily and go over your list of blessings.
4. Band-Aid: For when things get a little rough. Everybody gets hurt sometimes.
5. Lemonade Mix: "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated and healthy.
6. Gum: Maintain "stick to it" attitude, no matter what!
7. Lollipop: To help you lick your problems.
8. Smarties: You are smart and capable!
9. Mint: You are worth a mint and should be treasured by those around you!
10. Chocolate Nugget: Don’t forget to collect rich nuggets of wisdom from people around you!
11. Sweet and Low: Always be sweet and respect others.
12. Ziploc Bag: Keep it all together! Stay organized!
I also included my business card so they can easily contact me, if interested in taking courses or have any questions.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
4 oz portobello mushrooms, sliced (buy whole and slice; pre-sliced are not as fresh)
1 bell pepper, sliced into strips (use red for the prettiest presentation)
8 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut in 2-3 pieces, depending on length (green beans might work, too)
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2 tbsp fresh oregano, basil, or parsley, finely chopped, divided
4 skinless and boneless chicken breast halves, tenderized
1 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup (experiment with other cream soups; cream of asparagus?)
1 cup milk
Saute garlic in olive oil.
Add mushrooms, bell pepper, and asparagus.
Season with salt and herbs (reserve half of herbs).
Gently saute until veggies have softened a bit; don't overcook!
Cool veggies a bit so they are easier to handle.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
Tenderize chicken breasts (slice in half if too large) until approximately 1/4 inch thick. Tip: Place into plastic bag to minimize the mess. Plastic wrap works, too, but it's thinner and does not hold up that well.
Divide veggies among the tenderized chicken breasts.
Roll up stuffed chicken breasts and secure edges with toothpicks.
Bake until done, about 30 minutes (test for clear juices).
Stir cream of mushroom soup (or cream soup of your choice) and milk in a small saucepan.
Bring to simmer and cook on low while chicken cooks.
Note: Other sauces will work, too. This is a "quick" sauce. Homemade alfredo sauce is even better!
To serve, remove toothpicks from chicken, slice each in half at an angle for a pretty presentation, and ladle sauce on top.
Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
Serve with rice (using tonight), pasta, or potatoes.
I think most of us, if not all, "drop the ball" at some time, for various reasons. It's aggravating, though, when the person displays "why should I care" attitude, especially his/her actions (or lack of) endanger others.
Both S. and I had a rough week. S. is also sick -- sore throat, coughing... And I did not have much time to make dinner... So I made my five-minute soup.
This soup is not to be compared to the real chicken soup, of course, but it was delicious, filling, and soothing. And it only took me a few minutes to make it. I also had some frozen rolls. Usually, I make my own bread but do keep some frozen rolls, just in case.
1/2 small bag shredded carrots (or 1-2 carrots)
celery, chopped (did not have any last night but would be a nice addition)
1 can chicken
1 envelope Lipton Soup Selects
parsley, finely chopped
To speed up the process, turn the stove burner on and run water until it's hot. Add about six to eight cups of water (depends on the desired thickness of soup) to the small pot. Add chicken and carrots and bring to boil. Add soup mix and simmer for about five munutes or longer if there is time. Add parsley. Enjoy!