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Monday, December 13, 2010

My Big Fat Greek 10th Anniversary

I never thought this blogging thing would be so difficult to keep up with. I mean, all I am doing is writing down my thoughts, right? So, with school, work, kids, wife, dogs, guinea pigs, Christmas, Thanksgiving, fantasy football etc., I should be able to write some words about cooking in a blog, right?

Ok, so I know I am finishing up Pastry this week and should be writing about these wonderful desserts I have been making, but I think I am going to change things up and write about a wonderful anniversary dinner I made. I am, of course, a little biased, but I think this is the best food I have ever made for anyone...and the plating was spectacular!

So I decided to go with a theme throughout the meal, My Big Fat Greek 10th Anniversary, corny right? Well, it seemed to get me a lot of points with the attendees of the meal. It was my wife (of course), kids, my sister-in-law and my wife's best friend.

Instead of giving the entire recipe in this blog, I will just simply link you to the recipes.

First, I started off my guests with a wonderful holiday cocktail, a Peppermint Cosmo. This was a wonderful bright red drink that really gave the guests a nice start to the evening. I added a couple green mint leaves to each drink so to give it a nice red and green look.

With the drinks, I made a wonderful Edamame Hummus with homemade pita chips and sliced red bell peppers. The hummus was this beautiful green color and placed with the red bells made this amazing red/green color. The hummus tasted fantastic and was a little healthier than the normal hummus made with chick peas.

For the next course, I wanted to give everybody a little sweet interlude. Instead of the basic salad, I plated some wonderful strawberries and drizzled a balsamic and fig reduction. I plated these on a lovely Christmas tree plate. The flavors really popped with the sweetness of the strawberries and the tart of the reduction.

We finally made it to the main course. I went to Central Market earlier in the day and bought a beautiful Mahi Mahi. I then took out the spine and divided it into six thick fillets. Then I made it into a Greek Mahi Mahi, with a very interesting crust. The melted feta-mayonnaise sauce was a perfect compliment to the fish. I also made an Israeli Couscous with Purple Asparagus, Sugar Snaps and Peas. I served this side cold. I know this part was great because everyone kept going back for seconds and thirds.

I concluded the dinner with some of Darcy and my champagne we drank at the wedding. (by the way, this particular brand keeps getting more and more expensive each year) I then put my pastry expertise (cough, cough) on exhibit! I made a Chocolate Moist Cake with a Peppermint Ganache icing. This was SO GOOD and a wonderful ending to a very important date.

So, how does this relate to everyone reading this? It doesn't. I just wanted to exhibit a little braggadocio on the meal. It is funny, the very first big dinner party meal I did was for V-Day last year. I was so frantic in the kitchen and made a complete ass out of myself, but this time was different. I was relaxed because I knew what I was doing and had a wonderful game plan. The cost of this entire meal was around $120, which is a drop in the bucket on what we would have spent going out to dinner for a meal of this caliber.

So when you are planning anniversaries or birthdays, think how you can make it special by just staying at home. Know what you are cooking and do not get out of your comfort zone. If you do this, then you will get a lot of points...points you can use for dog-house and honey-dos.

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