Saturday November 14 Open House Dinner

November Open House Appetizers
We had a great turnout for our November open house dinner last Saturday: 28 people! What a wonderful evening it was.

The food went over well and, of course, the conversation was the highlight. We are both really looking forward to next month’s open house dinner, and on the menu?Tapas!

I was far too busy finishing cooking everything that could not be done ahead of time on Friday so there are not too many pictures, although Belle did snap a few of me – I think she should have stuck to the food.

Me!

And on the menu:

Appetizers

* Smoked Salmon Mousse with Baguette SlicesSmoked Salmon Mousse
* Mini Tortilla Quiches
* Spinach and Yogurt Dip with Caramelized Onion & Pita bread

Dinner

* Fava bean stew with crusty bread

Fava Bean Stew
* North African Shrimp (I just love this recipe – I’ll post it in the next few days)

North African Shrimp
* Crazy Rice (while not exactly Mediterranean – okay, so it’s from Brazil, so it’s not even close – we had to think of the children too!)

Brazilian Crazy Rice
* Eggplant Salad, Country Style

Eggplant Salad
* Chicken Salad with Tarragon, Pine Nuts & Raisins

Chicken Salad
* Beef and Rice Meatballs in a Yogurt-Tomato Sauce (unfortunately, we didn’t snap a picture of the sauce)

Beef and Rice Meatballs
* Crisp Bitter Greens with Vinaigrette

Crisp Bitter Greens

Dessert

* Jamaican Rum Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Jamaican Rum Spiced Pumpkin Pie

The pie looks a lot better then the last time I made it, and the taste was still incredible. I still need to develop the touch or finesse for baking, though.

People also brought some entrées for the table. Joe brought a baked salmon and Chris brought lamb chops, both very delicious. And there were also a ton of really lovely desserts, including a wonderfully moist pear cake that Julie, Steve’s wife, made.

I really think I need to either take a food photography class or invite a top photographer to dinner every night. Yes, as it turns out, I just discovered that I know a very good photographer! Corby Chapin, one of my Aikido students. He is also a great cook himeslf, especially on the BBQ – a real barbecue master.

Or maybe the quality of the pictures might just be due to the fact that I dropped my camera a while back – it now no longer takes videos, only pictures. So I might need a new camera!

I’m looking forward to our next dinner. I’ve also been thinking that maybe once a month is not enough – we need to have more wonderful nights like our last Open House Dinner.

Thank you to everyone who came, put up with my cooking and made the night such a wonderful evening!

Belle’s note: We had a fabulous time, and the food was excellent. I was so busy enjoying myself, I forgot to take pictures of the appetizers – luckily Ward was thinking on his feet (while managing all the cooking, too!) and took a picture of the salmon mousse. The mini tortilla quiches were adorable looking and incredibly fun to eat – I think I’ll have to persuade Ward to make it again just so I can remember to take pictures of it!