I wanted a menu that could be easily made and done ahead. I also used tried and true favorites that I know everyone would like. I have one guest who cannot eat seafood, so I made Aloha Dip. The spread is a combination of cream cheese, I used Neufchatel, Wegmans brand blue cheese crumbles and crushed pineapple. The spread is both sweet and savory, a nice combination for summer weather. I was at Wegmans recently and they do a lot of food sampling, especially in the cheese department. The Tennessee Whiskey is one of those. It had such a lovely flavor from the infusion of the whiskey.
Our main course included both the tricolored fusilli salad and beef teriyaki that I’ve shared with you before. However, I was a bit confused as to the cut of meat to use. In the past, I’ve used boneless sirloin but this time I had the butchers recommending both chuck and top round. To confuse matters further, I checked various online recipes and got even more choices. I then decided to visit my local Pastosa Ravioli store. Don’t let the name fool you, not only do they have pasta, but they also have prepared food and a great butcher department. After consulting with one of the owners, Chris, I went with his suggestion of skirt steak. He recommended that I grill it 5 minutes on one side and about 3 minutes on the other for medium rare.
My guests really enjoyed the beef teriyaki. However, my husband got a piece of meat that was too rare for him. I should have not only flipped the skewers over, but rotated them around the grill to ensure even cooking. Overall the dinner was a success and everyone enjoyed what I had prepared.
The lentil salad also went over well. I doubled the recipe as it said it made 4 to 6 side dish servings. I shouldn’t have doubled the recipe as it was way more than I needed. Besides the lentils the salad had diced tomatoes, scallions, fresh dill, fresh basil with a red vinegar and extra virgin olive oil dressing. The dill in the salad gave it a refreshing taste. The red wine vinegar gave it a hint of tartness. It was a nice change from potatoes.
Dessert was the aforementioned marble cake. Previously I made Martha Stewart’s recipe for Marble Cake. This time I decided to try Lily’s Marble Cake, which is a recipe that Chef Gale Gand got from her childhood friend’s mother, Florence Shay and her mother, Lily Gerson. Martha’s recipe is for a loaf cake, uses cake flour and buttermilk. Lily’s cake uses butter, all-purpose flour and is baked in a 10-inch straight wall tube pan. My guest devoured this homey cake. The cake had just enough chocolate and wasn’t too sweet.
We enjoyed being together Saturday night. It’s been a while since the whole group has been able to get together. We talked about our time at the school and how things have changed since we left.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.