4/15/08

Something Old, Borrowed and Blue - Recipes & Music

There’s something about early spring dinners, when it’s not too hot, and there are few bugs flying around. When the grass is thick and fresh (no dry spots!), the flowers are beginning to bloom and there’s a breeze in the air. Where there’s an overall excitement because we’re eager to get outdoors and enjoy the Alfresco dining experience! (Read my Alfresco dining post w/Liz Curtis Higgs, here.)

This is exactly what we felt during our Something Old, Borrowed and Blue dinner that we had a few nights ago. As I promised I’d share the details, remember, just because I came up with a “theme” title for this post, this idea came to me after the party was over. Although there are a few ideas brewing in my head, I’m sure I won’t have many of these! We had such a great time though, so here’s a big CHEER for great friends, food, music and conversation!

The Food

Paul’s Dip: Paul makes fantastic dipping oil, fresh from our garden, that includes EVOO, sea salt, white pepper, plus herbs from our garden (lemon thyme, rosemary, mint). Delicious, especially when served with Roger’s Almost No Knead Bread, fresh out of the oven (Recipe from Cooks Illustrated).

Faye’s Salad: Faye’s salad consisted of greens, green onions, mandarin oranges and toasted almonds. Her salad dressing added a sweet, zingy flavor – perfect! (3/4 cup sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp. mustard (dry, Dijon or regular), 1 tsp. salt, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1 1/2 Tablespoons minced onion, 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds). I’ve made a similar salad, here.

Sandy’s Salmon: I love this simple recipe. And since my oven element went out, I was able to use my broiler! Arrange salmon on broiler pan and melt ½ stick of butter and the juice of one lemon. Pour ½ of each over the salmon, sprinkle with any kind of “fish” seasoning. Broil for 6 minutes. Flip salmon; pour rest of butter, lemon juice, more spice and 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese on top. Broil another 6-8 minutes, or until done. (For another salmon recipe, see my Fish on the Grill post, here.)


Potatoes Anna: Yummy potato dish – you can go back a few posts, here.

Gingered Snap Peas: Heat 1 T oil over medium-high. Add sugar snap peas and fresh ginger (chopped – I used sugar ginger). Cook for 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup water; reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring and scraping the ginger from the bottom of pan – about 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper (I use white pepper for cooking).

Jeannie’s Dessert: Jeannie is just one of those cooks who doesn’t use a recipe, and if she does, she’ll use 4! That is exactly what she did with our dessert – combining 4 recipes together, we had smooth, white chocolate mousse with rich, moist brownies. YUM!

The Music

Besides great discussions and heartfelt conversations, we had a different set up with music playing in the background through Paul’s laptop. I’ll let you in on our little secret! Have you ever heard of Pandora? It’s a great website where you build your own radio station around your favorite artist or song, or even style of music! For example, if you like jazz, Oscar Peterson or Ramsey Lewis – you type in their names and the website finds like-minded music in that category. How cool is that? Not having seen this before, our guests were enamored with a “new” type of technology (and FREE!)

You saw my “blue” table setting in the previous post, and even though this menu seems a little complicated – you have to remember that there were 4 cooks involved! I was only in charge of the main entrée! Salmon, potatoes and gingered peas! Now that is what I call an easy dinner party.

I will leave you with this last thought. Our friends of 25 years have no expectations when they come to our home. I firmly believe that cooking for people - inviting them into your home – is far better than ever handing them a gift. Because our traditional dinners offer friendship, inviting conversation and camaraderie. Our relationships with one another develop and deepen every time we’re together.

This night of alfresco dining was a great gift indeed!

25 comments:

Kari & Kijsa said...

Amazing!!! A truly fabulous dining experience! Two Liz fans here as well!! we have heard her speak at a couple different venues, and still comment on some of her amazing words! (laughed the night away!!!)

blessings,
kari & kijsa

Sue Cramer said...

That sounds fabulous!
Wish I lived closer!!!!

Grace said...

brownies with white chocolate mousse? yes, please!

by the way, your blog is terrific! :)

Wendy said...

That sounds wonderful!

paperjunk-lc said...

It all sounds grand! Have you given the recipe previously for the bread? It sounds wonderful and I have a meal to bring to a homebound friend soon and would love to take her and her family a loaf..

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Sandy, can I come live in your garden?

Seriously.

I have only had the privilege of visiting Oregon once, but I was completely captivated by the whole state. Your yard and table setting look divine. And the food? Oh my. My mouth is watering here. I can't wait to make that salmon.

Can we be virtual BFF? Even the stories of our marriages are similar.

Deborah said...

I love making salmon because the most simple recipes are usually the best. I really want to try out this one!!

And I LOVE pandora. I listen to it every day at work. So much better than radio!!

Monday through Sunday said...

Looks fabulous!

Tarrah said...

What a wonderful time you guys had! Thank you sooooo much for all the amazing recipes and ideas.

I love making bread and absolutely love those bread carriers. And thanks for the Ponderosa music idea, We'll definatly check that out. It's much better than having to rummage through your cd's all night :)

Jen said...

I totally agree with you on inviting people over instead of handing them a gift...talking is a gift in itself.

ValleyGirl said...

I must try that salmon!! We have a whole one sitting in the freezer ~ I'll have to see if I can modify it a little to suit. That sounds wonderful! I will be checking out Pandora, too.

Tammy said...

Oh, everything looks wonderful! And that salmon has my mouth watering!

I am going to have to check out that website...sounds great!

I posted Part 3 on our big vacation calamity...;)

Mrs. Darling said...

I made salmon last night too. I love the stuff. Your dinner looks absolutely divine!

Irritable Mother said...

That all looks wonderful! Well, except that I am NOT a fan of fish...but it still looks good. *grin*
I love Pandora, too!!!

Ornery's Wife said...

Lovely dinner and another winning idea. You are so full of good ones!
I actually came by because I have something for you at Miller Manor. Today is my blogoversary and I am having a little celebration. Thank you for all the comments you've left on my blog and for your wonderful inspiration. Blessings to you and your fam!
TM

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

As soon as I saw your blog highlighted on Bloglines, I knew I had to read it (even if I should be getting breakfast).

It has become a favorite!

My eighteen year old son came home from a friend's house recently and told me all about this new thing called "Pandora".

I looked at him and told him I already had seven "stations" set up on Pandora and have been listening for awhile.

I don't think my techy son has ever looked at me with such admiration. Hehehe... not often his 50 yr. old mom can trump him with the new technology. I love Pandora.

Sharon L Goemaere said...

Hi Sandy!
I found you over at Brenda's blog and I'm so glad I did.Your blog looks lovely as well as delicious.We're in Oregon too(Salem).Lovely place to live,is'nt it??? :-)Blessings~Sharon

Kirstin said...

I can't believe it...I thought I left a comment, and then realized I didn't insert my password correctly so I need to re-do it.

Anyways, everything looks amazingly yummy. I'd love to have the white chocolate mousse recipe...

I cannot wait to begin entertaining again...August can't come soon enough.

GiBee said...

YUM! It all looks and sounds delish! Paul's dip sounds very similar to mine, except... I've never tried mint! That sounds so good!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Ok, you've got me craving a good meal of salmon and potatoes! Sadly, we're having take and bake pizza. Blah.

Next time.

Thanks for the great party idea!

xoxo

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

Truly sounds like a magnificent evening. I'm starving for salmon now!

-Andrea

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

The recipe for the salmon sounds absolutely scrumptious! I'm just afraid to try it since I had such a severe reaction to "something" last time I ate it. I suspect maybe an allergy to salmon? *whimper*

This dinner looked absolutely wonderful and from the sounds of it you couldn't have asked for a better evening in regards to the weather! :-)

Nadine said...

I think I should move into your neighborhood. I have to get in on some of your dinner parties.

Krysta said...

Pandora is the best. I like more than itunes. Dinner looks wonderful.

Melanie S said...

What a lovely blog.

Melanie