Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Dinner Success or Disaster?

I love to cook, I really do. But there are some days that things go wrong and it makes you want to smash all your dishes and and throw your hands up and say "let's just order a damn pizza." But that wouldn't have worked for me since I just made a pizza the other day, right? I decided I wanted to make spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread, roasted brussels sprouts and a chocolately dessert. In the end, everything was wonderful. It just took me awhile to get there.

I started prepping for the meal by making the table and cutting up all the veggies, etc. I put the tomatoes in my blender to puree them for the tomato sauce. But since I was wearing a silk dress, I realized I better put on an apron which was in one of the top kitchen cabinets. I grabbed a chair so that I could climb up and reach it. While standing up there I thought about this perfect dinner I was making and then had a bad thought...I was too smug and I was either going to fall and break something or something from the cabinet would fall and break. I spot my apron and start to pull it down when two huge light bulbs not in packages (I DID NOT PUT THIS IN THERE) came flying out and crashed down along the way. The glass managed to get all over my counters, floors, in my toaster, cabinets, and in some of my cooking utensils. My poor cats were terrified and didn't know what to do. See picture:

After some foot stomping, I carefully picked up and vacuumed all the shards. This also required me to do some kitchen cleaning and delayed my dinner plans. Finally as I get back on track and don my apron, I puree the tomatoes. I go to take the blender apart so I can pour the tomatoes into the pan with the onions and garlic I just sauteed and then the blender BREAKS APART and the tomato sauce goes all over me in my dress and apron and the rest of it all over my just cleaned kitchen. I think I had one of those my life is over moments. But after calming down and cleaning yet again, a grocery store run was made for more tomatoes thus delaying this dinner even more. But luckily after that, everything was back on track and the dinner came out beautifully. I've blogged this spaghetti recipe before but I'm sharing it again since it's so good. I'm linking up the recipes but at least I have some pictures! One tip: Buy San Marzano tomatoes if you can budget it. It really does make a difference! Oh and check your blender before you put them in there...

Spaghetti & Meatballs

I added some freshly grated parm after I took the picture.

Garlic Bread

No picture but the only change I made was to leave out the cheese and parsley.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Aside from the dessert, this was my favorite part of the meal. I know they look burnt but they are not. The charred part was pure deliciousness. The insides were really tender and the charred outside had a similar taste and texture to kale chips. This was the easiest part of the whole meal as well.

Dessert! This was the first time I made this and it was pretty much amazing not to mention so simple. If you need something easy to impress dinner guests, this is it. I did forget to sprinkle the sugar over the top though but cut me slack. It was a rough night!

Chocolate Spiced Cabernet Molten Cakes
My ramekins were about 4 oz. a piece and this recipe made three servings.

 1/2 stick of butter plus extra for greasing
2 oz. Semi-Sweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup confectioners sugar plus extra for garnish 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp Cabernet Sauvignon
1 egg yolk
1 egg
3 Tbsp flour
very tiny sprinkle of ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon


Use butter to grease ramekin dishes and preheat oven to 425. 

In the microwave, heat butter and chocolate for one minute. Whisk together briefly to blend. Stir in sugar, vanilla, and wine. Then add eggs. Lastly, stir in flour and spices until well blended. 

Divide batter into ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 13 minutes.  Let stand for one minute and then use a knife to loosen the edges. Invert onto a plate and sprinkle with the confectioner's sugar. Serve warm.

1 comment:

janet said...

Hahaha, I'm still laughing. I especially love the cat(or should I say tail) picture!
The dinner does sound and look fabulous though!