Saturday, January 30, 2010

Menu for January 31st

Bring on the comfort food!

Sesame Parmesan Twists

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
Organic Vegetable Medley - Carrots, Tomatoes, Green Beans

Brandy Raisin Bread Pudding

6/6:30 on Sunday, see you then, and bring a friend!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

NO DINNER January 24th

Wow,  last week was a little much. I've realized that the problem with cooking involved gourmet food in our tiny apartment kitchen is that there just isn't enough space for everything. As Brian so wisely said, the difficulty arises in the fact that I'm making things only to put them into something else. Making 3 separate components to put into one dish makes the whole staging thing a nightmare. Pecan brittle sits on the ottoman, while the brie hangs out over the sink, and the cornish hens are moved from the toaster oven to the counter to the stove to the pot. All while i burn up my recipe because i placed it on the burner for lack of another spot.

I'm going to settle in a little bit. Brian and I are going to do the appetizer addition to the meal, but i think i'm going to limit my insanity to one dish from here on out. One dish will be a new and fun and gourmet dish. The rest will be delicious, but simple. Okay with you? Okay with me.

However, you all will have to wait until January 31st to join us again. This Sunday is Brian and I's one year wedding anniversary and we'll be trying to escape you all. :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Menu for January 17th

New Year Week 2!


Baked Brie with Cherries and Thyme

Pear and grapefruit salad with poppyseed dressing
Carrot souffle
Cornish hens over creamy risotto

Apple pizza pie


Last Sunday night was so much fun. I really enjoyed setting the table with beautiful platters and serving dishes from our gave it quite a festive atmosphere. From now on Brian and I decided to incorporate an appetizer into the dinner. It will, we hope, be a perfect segway into the evening if people can walk in, get something to drink and snack and talk while dinner is being finished.

This French Techniques cooking class is proving to stoke the flames of my love for food. I'm picking up wonderful recipes from Marci Arthur and am going to try them out on all you guinea pigs. I eagerly await this Sunday night.

But in the meantime, here are a few requested recipes from weeks past. Enjoy!
(I use T to indicate tablespoon and t to indicate teaspoon, please email with any other questions)

lemony hummus with cumin
from Fine Cooking

1/3 cup plus 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, thinly slices
2 t ground cumin
2, 15 1/2 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 T tahini
2.5 T. fresh lemon juice, more to taste
1 T soy sauce
kosher salt

In a small saucepan, combine 1/3 cup of the oil with the garlic and cumin. Set over medium-low heat and cook until the garlic softens, about 3 minutes from when you can hear the garlic bubbling quickly. Do not let the garlic brown. Take the pan off the heat and let cook completely.
Put the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, soy sauce, and 1/2 t salt in a food processor. Use a fork to fish the softened garlic out of the oil and transfer to the processor (save the oil). Turn the machine on, let it run for about 20 seconds, and then start slowly pouring the garlic-cumin oil through the machine's feed tube. Be sure to scrape the pan with a rubber spatula to get all of the cumin and oil. Pour 1/4 c cool water down the tube. Stop the machine, scrape the sides of the bowl, and continue processing until the hummus is creamy and almost smooth. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice, if you like.
For best results, let the hummus sit at room temperature for an hour or two before serving so the flavors can meld. Or better yet, make it a day ahead, refrigerate it, return to room temperature, and adjust the seasonings before serving. To serve, spread the hummus in a shallow dish and drizzle with the remaining 1 T of oil and a sprinkle of parsley if you have it. It will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

Apple Cake
by my grandmother nena and passed on by my aunt terry

1 t cinnamon
3 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c vegetable oil
1 t vanilla
3 c apples, sliced
Mix dry ingredients together, then add the eggs, oil, and vanilla.Mix until well combined, doesn't need to be perfectly smooth.
Add the apples and stir just until well dispersed.
Pour into a 9x13 pan and bake for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees. Note: every oven is different and i've had this take anywhere from 25 to 50 minutes before.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve hot, warm, or cold....but i recommend warm with vanilla ice cream. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The New Year: Menu January 10th

Happy New Year!

This year I resolve that Chambers Family Dinner and this blog are going to receive my full passion and commitment. No longer will i post the menu on Sunday, just hours before i begin cooking. I will carefully select, marinate upon, and eagerly approach each meal with savory anticipation. It's time to take this to the next level.

So in honor of the first Chambers Family Dinner of the new year we are kicking it up a few notches. Please join us for a tapas/small plate dinner full of (hopefully) new and exciting choices and flavors.


Savory Lemon Hummus with Crudites and Homemade Pita Chips
Tomato Basil Soup
Bacon and Yam in Belgian Endive with Creme Fraiche
Stuffed Shrimp

Chocolate-dipped Grapes

Welcome at 6, dinner served at 6:30!