The subject line of my sister-in-law’s email inviting us to my brother’s and her 25th wedding anniversary party. Their marriage is the same age as my oldest son – and coincidentally, John was at their place for their 21st anniversary, when he had just turned 21, in the midst of a cross-country trip with three other art students taking photos (this one is by John’s friend Adam; John is the model) and experiencing (that’s our car – I still use the blue chew toy key ring you can see on John’s belt loop in the prior shot). They had a good time in Seattle – things didn’t really fall apart until Vegas.
Anyways, last night was a different kind of party – a small drinks & snacks kind of thing at the dining club. It turned out to be almost a private party for about 4 couples, who’d coordinated. The wives are all teachers or principals (several retired) or other types of school administrators; the husbands occupations varied from lobbyist to contractor to doctor.
I had decided to make a variety of dishes – 3 desserts (but all tiny), 2 pâtés (1 meat, 1 vegetarian) and because it was a small group there was a good bit leftover – the only thing that got all the way eaten was the smoked salmon that I bought almost as an after thought. I wanted to try this potato spelt flat bread and thought the fish’d be good with it. I found the flatbread recipe by accident while looking for a plugin to put on my blog to make posts more printable, and liked the one that the blog with the potato bread uses, PrintFriendly. I made small batches of everything – no doubling any recipes – and halving others.
My favorites were the quesadillas, the goat cheese with sun-dried tomato, and the flatbread.
I also have to admit, Mark Bittman was right (sort of) about the crostini. I kind of have a hard time with Mark Bittman, because he’s such a know-it-all. And, I have a kind of a hard time with crostini too – getting them crisp instead of hard, but not too oily. I’ve tried olive oil sprays, softened butter, and Heidi has a nice method of tossing the bread slices in a large bowl with an oil/butter mix – but I think the time I tried it, I used a smaller baguette than Heidi had, because the oil to bread slice ratio was pretty high. The way Bittman was right is that in some interview or other, he was saying get rid of the cooking spray, even the fill it yourself olive oil spray, and go back to using a brush or your fingers. That’s what I did – put a little oil in a ramekin and brushed the bread. Worked better than all the other ways, and used less than the 1/3 cup of oil to 1 baguette in Heidi’s recipe. I didn’t measure exactly, but I’m sure I used 1/4 cup or less to one and a half baguettes.
So far, I’ve turned the leftover cupcakes into trifle, the sweet potato and edamame into a salad, with a dressing made of the parsley pesto that’s in the quesadillas, thinned with vinegar (but the edamame are still too crunchy; didn’t boil them enough) and gave a bunch of the vegetables and some peanut dip and some spelt bread to Rach. I’ve eaten too many malted milk balls, today, though, and feel kind of gross. Oh well, tomorrow’s another day to get back on the healthy eating program. Joëlle and I walked the CrazyLegs walk this morning, supposed to be two miles, but we Google mapped it, and it’s only two miles if you add on the additional distance to our house from the Stadium. We started on the Capitol Square by the Veteran’s Museum, and from there to Camp Randall Stadium only measures off to 1.6 miles. So not enough exercise to burn off all the treats.