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Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:01 pm
by CajunMama
Jen, you need to round robin that among your friends. Let someone else do the next one!

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:22 am
by Pburgh
Jen, I got so excited about the Italian dinner idea that I think I'll do that for a party I'm having. Same menu but I'll add some Fried Chicken and Hot sausage. I'm making myself hungry and my stomach is growling!!!!!!lol

I love having get togethers like that. It's really a challenge to your organizational skills and it sounds like you pulled it off. Great job. (Ok, how much beer did you drink?) lol

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:48 am
by JenBayles
cajun - I'd LOVE to have someone else do the hosting, but amongst our friends, I'm the only one with enough seating capacity and supplies to pull it off. I really don't mind it though - gives me a chance to put the old Haviland to good use again, and everyone loves it so. I just have to have some breathing room and recovery time in between!

Pburgh - isn't it fun! How many people these days even think about doing what is now considered an "old fashioned" dinner party amongst friends? It's really a shame that sit-down dinner parties are slowly dying out. When is your party? We want pics! Oh, and I even got the guys to give up their beer and try wine for a change. Dave is the only one who objected and the other men shouted him down. LOL!

Honestly, it isn't that hard to do one of these dinners. You just have to plan out your menu ahead of time. I try to avoid things that have to immediately go from stove or grill to the table, and of course, anything that can be done a day or two ahead makes things that much easier. As for figuring out what dishes and flatware you'll need, just bring a written menu with you to your table, and go down the list pulling the pieces you'll need. If a dish will be plated in the kitchen, then pull the number of plates needed and have stacked in the kitchen ready to go. Set out only the flatware that will be needed for each course. Again, just run through your menu and pull the pieces you'll need. If you're not serving a soup course, no need for a soup spoon. Really easy! The idea is to ensure that each person has what they need to eat - not to bewilder them with flatware they won't use. I can't wait to hear the after-party reports! :-D

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:10 pm
by Miss Mary
Jen - it is a shame sit down dinner parties seem to be dying out.

2 of my SIL's are part of a rotating Dinner Club. Comprised of about 12 or so people. About 6 couples. Forget the exact number but they get together 3 times a year - January, May and September. 2 couples are paired together when it's their turn to host it. The two couples (let's be real honest here, you know it's the wives doing most of the work!) plan the menu, shop and prepare the meal. Then they're off the hook for 2 years or so. The reason they chose Jan., May and Sept. was to avoid the xmas holiday season and then summer vacations. Each time they explain how this club works, it sounds like a good idea.

I should add that when it's your turn to co-host this dinner party, you can make it as simple as ordering pizza or Chinese. The idea is when it's not your turn to co-host, you just show up and everything is provided for. You don't have to worry about what dish to bring.

I think only one time they ate pizza. Usually the meals are well prepared and everyone has a good time.

You could try this option for your friends!

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:08 pm
by JenBayles
You're gonna love this one Mary! My Coonarse friend, Clarissa, who does a fine job of single-handedly disposing of a good 10-15 pounds of crawfish, has invited us along with another couple to her parent's place on a nearby lake this weekend for a crawfish boil. OK, we all accept, and guess what? Come to find out yesterday that neither her parents, nor Clarissa, knows Jack about boiling crawfish! They're from freakin' HOUMA, LA for Lord's sake! :eek: So guess who is bringing the tables, chairs, newspapers, boiling pots, propane tanks, and doing the boiling? ME. Again! At least I refused to buy the doggone mudbugs. Sheesh...

We all love Clarissa to death, but this is a Classic Clarissa move. Make big plans and then all her friends have to bail her out to pull it off. <sigh> You'd think we'd all know better by now. I can tell you exactly what will happen too. Patty and I will work our ever loving buns off all day Saturday, and Clarissa and Dave will end up eating, drinking and making merry and then wonder why Patty and I have retired by 8:00 p.m.! Lord help me - I'm gonna be destroyed....

Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:58 pm
by Miss Mary
Welllll......she does know who to go to when she needs expert help!!!! You could take this talent to the Food Network channel ya could be the next Rachael Ray!!!! Hey, I know, you could start a brand new show to reinstate the 13 course meal (or heck, a 7 course meal would work well too!). Just a thought.....he he

You'd better rest need to call on Clarissa's help sometime. She has to be expert at about helping you with Spring yardwork?

Have fun........I've got this terrible head and chest cold. It got up to 72 today and guess what, I didn't even open a window. That is how miserable I felt - cold and chilled. The dog must have been getting uncomfortable. I've been in a real fog all day. I'll trade you - this dinner party for a head cold!!!! J/K....


Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:53 pm
by Miss Mary
Does anyone have a really good Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe? I've made one for years (it was my dad's favorite) but I'd like to try to duplicate this cake, using a cast iron skillet. And possibly rum. A family member prefers this cake made in the skillet ("fried" is how it's described) so I thought I'd try it. I browsed on the Food Network Cable Channel's website. I see several recipes that would work, some call for fresh pineapple, while others call for buttermilk.

Just wondering if anyone here has an excellent recipe, that's tried and true. The recipe I referred to is literally worn out in my Betty Crocker cookbook (printed in 1975) and I know it by heart. But I wouldn't mind trying tweaking this recipe!

I also wonder if fresh pineapple is better than canned. I've just always used canned, in heavy syrup.

Thanks everyone!


Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:17 am
by Pburgh
I love fresh pineapple but for a pineapple upside down cake I'd use the canned. You could add a few shots of rum to the brown sugar you put in the topping (Which is on the bottom when it's baking). Do you have a cast iron skillet?

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:30 pm
by Miss Mary
Karan - yes I actually was given my MIL's cast iron skillet when she passed away. This is the same skillet she used to make my FIL's favorite cake. So I feel obligated to at least try it.

Thanks for your help. I've just always used canned too. I prefer the heavy syrup type since it makes for a better batter, I think. Not watery.

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:54 am
by Pburgh
Ohhhhh, I can smell it baking from here. I love those really old, well seasoned cast iron skillets. I have my great grandmothers cast iron dutch oven. It cooks the best swiss steak!!!!

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:22 pm
by JenBayles
I am SO jealous of you folks who can use cast iron. I'm stuck with one of those flat, electric, glass cooktops that are just USELESS. I wish someone would explain to me why we have gas for the clothes dryer, hot water heater, furnace and fireplace, but stupid electric only for the kitchen? How I would love to find the idiot that designed my kitchen and bash him over the head with a cast iron skillet - had to have been a man who made that decision after all.

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:38 pm
by CajunMama
Jen, call a plumber. He can run the gasline to your stove. I have a gas cooktop/electric oven. I love cooking with gas.

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:18 am
by Pburgh
Jen, I use my cast iron on my glass top electric range!!!

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:36 pm
by Miss Mary
I've never cooked with gas but my first mother-in-law swore by it. Saying her pot roasts came out just right. Since she had several homes before I knew her, I'm guessing somewhere along the line she had to put up with electric. I still smile at images I have of her standing by her gas stove and oven, cracking the door just a bit in the dead of winter. Until her husband would say - cut that out! She also said boiling water was so fast, for tea or vegetables. And finally, in a power failure she could still cook. She had 8 children so she needed to put meals on the table! She is the only one I ever knew who loved cooking with gas. Thanks for the nice memory of her - to this day I still miss her (had to divorce her son). I've had the good fortune of having 2 wonderful mothers-in-law!

Sorry, got on a gas stove tangent there didn't I? LOL

Karan - I'm hoping to make the pineapple upside down cake this weekend.


Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:00 pm
by Miss Mary
Here's another recipe that my family loves.

Chicken Stew with Artichoke Hearts

3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and halved.
1 cup chopped onions (or less depending upon taste)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup white wine
1 to 1 1/2 cups good chicken stock (comes in a carton)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Cut up chicken, set aside. Drain and halve artichoke hearts, dry well, set aside. Chop onions. Heat skillet on med-high, adding olive oil. Brown hearts on both sides. Remove to a plate. Add chicken, salt and pepper to taste, cook 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate. Add onions to skillet, with cinnamon and spices, cook for 5 minutes. When good and browned, quickly add wine, mix well. Then add chicken stock, return chicken and hearts to skillet. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered until chicken is cooked through.

Serve over cooked white or brown rice, in large bowls.


Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:22 am
by Miss Mary
Here's the latest recipe my family likes (found in a recent People issue).

Preheat oven to 500.

Fish Provencal

- 4 sheets of foil, approx. 12" by 16" size
- 4 pieces of firm white fish (we prefer Halibut)
- 3 thinly sliced carrots (pre-cooked for 5 min. in boiling water, drained)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 onion, sliced into strips (can be white, spanish or red)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup crimini or white mushrooms, sliced
- fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
- kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- juice of 1 orange
- white wine
- fennel seeds, generous pinch
- olive oil, 1 to 2 tablespoons

- Thaw fish, mix veggies in bowl with 1 to 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, add fresh thyme to taste or dried thyme, salt and pepper. Place 1 cup of veggie mixture onto foil, but off center. Drizzle 1 tablespoon each over veggies - orange juice and wine. Place one piece of fish over veggies, fold over foil, seal edges tightly but not too tight over the veggies. Allow enough room for expansion.

- Bake in oven, on cookie sheet (500 degrees) for 12 minutes.

- Place packets on dinner plates, serve with rice on the side. Open carefully.

Re: Recipes to Share!

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:22 pm
by lurkey
Does anyone have a recipe for homemade banana bread? Thanks!

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:26 pm
by weathermom
This is my mom's recipe, my kids like to add chocolate chips to it (they are teenage girls, they will add chocolate to anything!)

Banana Bread

1/2 Cup Butter softened
1 Cup sugar
2 eggs
1-1/3 Cups ripe bananas, mashed (3-4 medium ones)
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 Cups flour unsifted
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Cream butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Mix mashed bananas, milk and vanilla. Mix flour, salt and baking soda and blend in, alternating with banana mixture. Stir in nuts (and/or chocolate chips). Turn into greased 9x5x3 loaf pan. Bake at 350F for one hour and ten minutes. Cool ten minutes in pan. Turn out of pan and cool completely.

Re: Recipes to Share!

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:32 am
by knotimpaired

Even if Natural Gas is not available in your area almost all gas stoves have converter kits included to change them from NG to propane. Propane is used in 99% of the homes here on the island so when they are bought from PR and shipped over they are always already converted. I just bought a Kenmore Elite Convection Stove and the propane works great with the convection. It just requires drilling a small hole in the wall about 1/2" line to an outside to your tank. We have a 100 lb tank that lasts us about 18 months and the last time I filled it the cost was $85. And I do cook and entertain often.

That may be a option for you.

This I do know. The next time I have to buy a washer and dryer it will be gas. The electric kills me each month :double:

Re: Recipes to Share!

Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:53 pm
by Kalrany
Hi All
Just wanted t try to get a conversation going around here. Anyone up for recipe exchanges/postings? I'll start a new batch without loosing the old ones... Here is an entry:

Mashed Peas
2 leeks, washed and chopped
3 tbs butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bag of frozen peas
1/4 cup ricotta or mascarpone
1/3-1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Sweat/ lightly brown leeks and garlic in butter
Thaw peas in same pan
Mix in the cheese until melted
Puree with hand blender until desired consistency
Season to taste

My baby thinks this dish is out of this world and we like it too. Great as a side, spread on toast for crostini, or stir into cooked pasta as a pesto for a vegetarian meal.