RSS Feed

Tag Archives: inspiration

Outdoor Summer Dinner Menu

Inviting friends for dinner is a stimulating experience! Dinner parties seem like an overwhelming task these days. You would be surprised what you can put together!  Look for your stimulation……..your garden is in early summer bloom…….a few recipes in a favorite magazine you want to try………….your favorite people are in town……………….the weather forecast is perfect…..anything like that… Here is my most recent menu:

Avocado and Raspberry Salsa with Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

Skewered Tiny Tomatoes and Mozzarella Balls

Fresh Summer Salad

Roasted Vegetable Terrine

Creamy Polenta

Lemon and Fennel Marinated Lamb on the Grill

French Bread

Fresh Fruit Tarts

Dinner Parties

Table Setting

We have hosted an unknown number of dinner parties……. As the clock approached 6:30 PM, there were times when my husband and I asked each other, “Why are we doing this?” Planning and coordinating schedules, menus, food shopping, food prep all take time. Since I tend not to plan my time well and had 3 children to care for, guests would often ring the doorbell while the kitchen was is in chaos. Slowly my kitchen is better prepared as guests arrive and we are enjoying the process more with each experience.

Our dinner parties range from a formal dinner club which meets every 2-3 months, to a gathering of last minute friends to a more complex coordination of special friends with busy schedules. I always wish we would make more time to share food and friendship in our home. Planning dinner parties is stressful, but also a creative way to share with friends.

Clean up: we all have our styles. I am careful to refrigerate leftovers during the dinner party. Most of the clean up is after they leave. The glassware waits until the next morning, a trick I learned from Mom and Dad’s dinner parties.

Treat yourself and your friends to delicious healthy food………..enjoy each other along the way!

Shrimp Korma with Brown Rice

This awesome recipe was worth making twice this week. After making it for dinner early in the week I made it again, a double batch, and  served it at a dinner party over the weekend! They all loved it! Full of flavor, authentic Indian cuisine and low in fat and calories! The only changes I made was as I usually do, double the spices: onion, red bell pepper, curry, garam masala, ginger, garlic… got the idea. If you are making 1 recipe, use 1/2 can light coconut milk in the Korma and add the rest to the brown rice with the broth!   I bought frozen shrimp from our local produce/meat market;raw, shelled and deveined, 16/20 per pound. I also added a few more shrimp than the recipe. p.s. India Tree brand Garam Masala from Seattle is an awesome brand!

I think it is worth replacing refined rice with brown rice. Saute some onion in olive oil, add the brown rice and saute a few minutes, add twice as much broth and/or light coconut milk and simmer 45 minutes! Perfecto! No gluten, no simple carbs, lots of fiber and a chewy nutty flavor much better than bland white rice. The  whole grain/high fiber brown rice carbs stick with you without the simple white rice/low fiber carb rush.

Plan to serve this dish in a bowl with a spoon……….you don’t want to miss a drop!

Top this dish off with Greek yogurt, Fage 0% fat is my favorite………..Enjoy!

The Menu

Avocado n Strawberry Salsa with Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

Marinated Fresh Michigan Asparagus Salad

Shrimp Korma with Coconut Brown Rice

Proseco and Fresh Fruit Terrine

A Collection of Recipes and Thoughts from a Citizen of the World

An outdoor market in Rouen France in the Normandy region north of Paris. Spanish Paella is a rice and seafood dish cooked in a shallow pan. It is made without stirring the ingredients to develop the desired crispy crust.