Dinner Party Menu

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What do you serve at a dinner party for a diabetic, a person on a gluten-free diet, and another person who is lactose intolerant? And, you only have 2 hours, including shopping time? While I am a fan of cooking exotic, ethnic foods – this was not the time! Here is what I served, with a little help from Costco and Harry’s Farmer’s Market:

Aperitif: Kir Royale

3/4 oz. Creme de Cassis, Champagne or Sparkling Wine, Lemon Twists

Pour Creme de Cassis in bottom of Wine glass or flute, Fill with champagne, Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Appetizer: Rojo’s Five-Layer Dip from Costco, served with tortilla chips

Meal: 2 Rotisserie Chickens, served with Caramelized Onions (see recipe, 7/11/03) and Sauteed Mushrooms on the side.

Mashed Potatoes, from the deli at Harry’s (a big splurge, as you pay by the pound! – but good potatoes…)

Steamed Baby Carrots and Broccoli

Dessert: Make Your Own Dessert! – (I got this idea from Martha Stewart Magazine, some buffet they featured.)

Ingredients:

1 angel food cake, cut into slices (I got mine from Harry’s)

Meringues – if you do not make meringues, buy a box of Miss Meringues, vanilla (Costco)

1 bag of Three Berry Blend, (Costco), or other frozen fruits

1/2 gallon Vanilla Ice Cream – or you could use Vanilla pudding!

Defrost the berries in the microwave, and add sugar (brown or white) and juice from 1/2 a lemon (OR a liqueur!), and let them sit and soak. You may want to “cook” them on High for 2 minutes to get the juiciness started. The Three Berry Blend is blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. If you use a blend with peaches, you might want to cut them up!

Set the elements up in an attractive way – or just plop them down, like I did! People can then choose to use one – or ALL – of the elements to build a dessert! I particularly like the meringues, crumbled in large pieces, with ice cream and berries!

It all went very well, if I do say so myself. I thought of this because I had tried to share my recipe for Trifle*, and it got lost, and I also read a recipe for Pavlova, an Australian dessert. Both involve layering cake or meringues with pudding and fruit, so this gives people a chance to do what they like. I would like to use pudding next time – and maybe either learn to make meringues, or go to the Argentinian bakery and see if they have flat meringues to use.

*By the way, my trifle recipe is not very complicated – it involves doing to frozen fruit what I did with the berries above, making cook and serve pudding, and buying an angel food cake from Harry’s. Then, I cut up the cake, and layer pudding, fruit, and cake until I have no more – or no more room!

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