Thursday, January 15, 2009

An amazing dinner...

Layne and I made a pretty amazing "Christmas dinner" for ourselves and our husbands on New Year's Eve. It was the first chance we had to actually sit down together, just the four of us, to have a nice meal and exchange Christmas gifts. Then, following the meal, we threw a pretty rockin' New Year's Eve bash into the wee hours of the morning!

I'm sorry it has taken so long to get these pics posted, but you know how the holidays are--busy, busy, busy!!!

We wanted to incorporate some really nice steaks into our meal, but we've definitely done the "seared filet mignons with blue cheese" thing before. So, we instead decided to go with something a little more special--perfect for the big occasion. Here was the dinner menu:

- Individual beef wellingtons with petite filets and herbed cheese spread

- Cheesy potato gratin

- Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic

- Honey butter-basted rolls

Layne and I mostly made up the recipe for the individual beef wellingtons, checking with a recipe from Emeril that helped with cooking times. We liked the idea of wrapping petite filets in puff pastry, but skipped the pate and added herbed cheese spread instead (parmesan peppercorn flavored).

For the potato gratin, we adapted our version from this recipe that honestly didn't call for much cheese. That just doesn't fly with us! So, we added a healthy handful of grated sharp swiss cheese and substituted feta for the goat cheese (since my local grocery store was out of the goat variety). The result was sharp and tangy, wonderfully seasoned potatoes with a nice crust of cheese on top for good measure.

The mushrooms and rolls were simple. Layne sliced down some small cremini mushrooms, then we sauteed them with a little butter, olive oil, and tons of minced fresh garlic. For the rolls, we mixed regular unsalted butter with local tupelo honey, in about equal parts. Then, we toasted Hawaiian brand sweet rolls in the oven, smeared with the honeybutter goodness. Yum!

Overall, I think the meal was a success, although it looks a bit monochromatic when all on the plate together. But, we loved it and so did the boys (not that they could complain... they got to play video games while we cooked).


Then, it was on to party time!!! The spread looked awesome but of course we were too busy having a good time to take pictures, so you'll just have to trust us. Our late-night menu for the evening consisted of some old stand-bys and a few new additions:

- Cheddar cheeseball (8 oz. cream cheese, 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, ½ tsp minced fresh garlic, 1 tsp. spicy mustard, 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste) with crackers for spreading

- Spinach dip (recipe on the back of the Knorr vegetable soup mix packet) in a bread bowl with vegetable crudites for dipping. It's amazing how good this boxed recipe is!

- Roast beef and herbed cheese in mini puff pastry cups (we used Boar's Head roast beef, from the grocer's deli, and parmesan peppercorn flavored Aloutte spreadable cheese)

- Cheezy Beer Whiz (my own invention: jar of Cheez Whiz + half a bottle of good beer--I like Sam Adams... I know it may sound odd, but it's brilliant... try it!) with chips for dipping

- Saltine toffee candy (amazing recipe) made with almonds

- Peanut butter truffles rolled in chopped peanuts (adapted from the following recipe by adding about 1 TSBP peanut butter instead of flavored liquor--the other flavors failed, but this one would have been our favorite anyway!)

- Red sugar-rimmed white chocolate martinis, a Layne holiday drink staple. Made with 2 parts Godiva White Chocolate liqueur to one part vanilla vodka. If it's too strong, you can add a splash of milk or cream to tone down the bite.

- Champagne and strawberries (to ring in the New Year!)

All-in-all, it was a wonderful way to say goodbye to 2008 and start off 2009 with a bang! Cheers to lasting luck, fantastic friends, and memorable meals!


1 comment:

  1. As someone who ate this dinner... I will say it was amazing! Everyone should try this one at home.

    Side note: Site looks good ladies :)