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A Peek at the Dinner Party

February 20, 2010

In all the excitement over the big Laser Tag victory of 2010, I forgot to post about last Saturday night’s Valentine’s Day Dinner.  It was a lovely little evening filled with good friends, good conversation and yummy food.  It was so nice to celebrate the love holiday with three other couples who all love each other a big bunch.

We decided to go with a simple menu:

Mixed greens tossed with Ile Rouge dressing,

topped with crumbled blue cheese, walnuts, cherry tomatoes & dried cranberries

Herb-Crusted Salmon

Tortellini with Sautéed Vegetables

Ranch Bread (recipe here)

Strawberry Cheesecake


I thought I’d share some of the recipes as a little belated love gift to all of you.  Enjoy!

John’s Famous Herb-Crusted Salmon

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

6 salmon fillets, skin on, each 6 to 7 ounces and 1 inch thick

Combine the parsley, cilantro and basil in a small bowl.  Add the chili powder, salt, pepper, olive oil and soy sauce.  Mix thoroughly to create a paste (my kids say the paste looks like dirt–but they think it’s yummy!).  Evenly spread the paste over the flesh of the salmon fillets.

Place the salmon fillets, flesh side down, directly over medium heat.  Grill, turning once, until just opaque at the thickest part, 10 to 12 minutes total.


Tortellini and Creamy Vegetables

 8 oz. carrots

8 oz. zucchini

9 oz. onion

1 tablespoon fresh basil

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic in oil

pepper to taste

9 oz. fresh cheese-filled tortellini

3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt

3/4 cup non-fat cottage cheese

Julliene carrots, zucchini and onion.  Chop basil.  Saute carrots, zucchini, onion, basil and garlic  in olive oil until tender, but not mushy.

Prepare tortellini per package directions.  Drain well.

In a blender, blend cottage cheese and yogurt.

Spoon vegetables over tortellini, drizzle with yogurt sauce.

Aunt Mary Ann’s Strawberry Cheesecake

Crust:  Mix 1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, 4 tablespoons melted butter.  Press into the bottom of a spring form pan.

Cream 3 8oz. cream cheese (softened) until completely smooth.  Gradually add 1 cup of sugar, blend well.  Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beat well after each.  Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, blend.  Pour over crust and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. 

Cool 10 minutes.

Topping:  Blend 1 pint of sour cream, 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Pour over cake and bake an additional 10 minutes at 350. 

Cool, chill over night in the refrigerator. 

Add fruit topping before removing the cheesecake from the spring form pan.




PS  I didn’t take pictures of the food before I served it, so I had to cheat and borrow some pictures.  The salmon picture is from here.  The cheesecake picture is from here.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    February 20, 2010 3:13 pm

    Sounds and looks absolutely delicious. I think I could do the cheesecake, but I’d need help with the rest. Sounds like a lovely evening. I will tuck this away for when I have a dinner party. Good thing you didn’t include Tommy’s dressing recipe! I can hardly wait to hear his comments tomorrow :). Hope your day is joyful, I know it will be filled with love and I’m sending some more to you,

  2. Cissy permalink
    February 21, 2010 12:03 am

    Um, you forgot to post the recipe for the delicious dressing on the salad! 🙂

    I know. I know. It’s a family secret. 😦

    What a lovely evening. Thanks for making us feel extra special. You and John are great hosts. xoxo

  3. Karen permalink
    February 23, 2010 3:59 pm

    Food was Fabulous, of course! but still waiting for that wonderful salad dressing recipe, please share!!!! It was a great time! Thanks for a great evening!


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