I have to share two incredible menus with you (along with recipe links) because it’s been a veritable gorge-fest around our place lately what with Brian’s birthday and our BBQ.
First, there was Brian’s birthday dinner with friends at Lake Mesachie. Morning was cake-baking time, and then I spent a great part of the afternoon lazily making the two appetizers (served one, made the other – timing was beautiful) after which there was lots of time before the steaks went on the grill so no one was too full from the appies.
- Goat Cheese, Cranberry and Walnut Canapes
- Hazelnut and Turkey Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
- Spinach salad with almonds & strawberries – blue cheese dressing
- Grilling steaks – marinated for 10 hours with caramelized onions, mushrooms and blue cheese toppings
- Lemon Angel Food Cake with Lemon Cream
All of the linked recipes are really worth a try, and the lemon cream is unbelievable. As I mentioned in a previous post, I made the angel food cake twice because it fell and was undercooked the first time….. but second time was a charm.
This past weekend, we had a BBQ in honour of almost-summer. Of course, being Vancouver, it rained. But no matter because we have a studio, a tarp set-up and a hot tub which means anytime of year can be outside time! For this grand occasion we asked people to grill their own, and provided on the side:
- Beet, Potato and Walnut Salad
- Spinach Salad with Feta, Cranberries and Toasted Hazelnuts
- Double-bacon, maple-whiskey oven-baked beans
- Gin and tonic cake (pictured above)
- Bacon-beer cornbread
Those were pretty much all new recipes I’ve seen and wanted to try – which is the reason I invite people over in the first place since I can’t possibly justify something like gin and tonic cake otherwise. And by the way – the cake was nothing short of amazing and I have to thank How Sweet It Is for experimenting to discover such goodness in baking! I am currently soaking limes in gin (for the next four weeks or so) to kick it up one more notch (lime-gin and gin-soaked limes dredged in sugar!) the next time I make it, which will be as soon as I have an excuse to.
Lest you think I am a crazy eater – when not hosting people I tend to resort to eating things like the following (my favourite Friday night dinner):
- Lightly seared tuna steaks (by which I mean 10 seconds on each side, no more.)
- Asparagus sauteed in butter
- Shitake mushrooms cooked with garlic and red wine
- One square of dark chocolate
Which ain’t so shabby either!