Company For Dinner

As I told you on Friday night, we were having friends over for dinner last night.  Yesterday definitely became a very busy day trying to get everything ready for dinner.  I really had no idea what to make for our friends.  My husband and my friend’s husband aren’t really too into fish, so that was out.  I don’t really like cooking red meat that much, so that was out too.  I knew it had to be chicken of some sort, but my usual chicken recipes just were not doing it for me.  Also, I wasn’t sure what we were going to do for the side items.  My sister actually helped me look for some recipes because I felt clueless.  I’m not really sure why I felt that way since I cook almost everyday, but I wanted dinner to be good, and I wanted our friends to enjoy it.  I actually cooked everything except for the rice from a real recipe.  I almost never do that. 

I didn’t take pictures of the apps, but we started with various Trader Joe’s eats.  Olives, Artichoke Tapenade, Eggplant Capponata, lite gouda cheese, stilton cheese with apricots, carrots, crackers, and hummus were all very good.  Again TJ’s didn’t disappoint me at all.

Then we sat down for salad.DSC01598  This salad was delicious.  It included apples, toasted walnuts, dried cherries, orange pepper, and a combination of romaine and young lettuces.  The recipe is from epicurious, and you can find it here.  The only thing about this recipe is that i definitely used more lettuce than what the recipe called for and I added orange pepper because I like pepper, and there is way too much dressing.  I only used about half.  You may want to cut down the dressing measurements if you don’t want to have leftover dressing, or you can just save it for another salad, which I definitely will be doing.

For the main course, we had chicken in a really great marinade.  DSC01601The recipe came from the I Am Gluten Free blog.  The recipe used orange juice, honey, pomegranate juice, and lots of spices as a marinade.  It had a great flavor and I would definitely make it again.  Next time though I would probably marinate the chicken for a little while before cooking it.  You can find the recipe here.

The side dishes included Lundberg’s Wild Rice cooked in chicken stock instead of water and Asparagus with Parmesan Butter.DSC01603DSC01600  The asparagus was delicious.  I’m excited for leftovers tonight.  This recipe is also from eipicurious and it can be found here.  I think next time I may add more basil.  The basil really adds a lot.  I think fresh basil might be finding its way into my food more coming up.

The most exciting part of my meal was this.DSC01593DSC01592DSC01591  Now, I have never made bread in my life let alone gluten free bread.  I really have been craving warm crusty bread, so I decided yesterday to look for gluten free bread recipes to see if there were any that seemed easy to make.  This one was one of the first to come up and I thought it was quite easy.  The only thing was that the recipe called for two loaves, but the dough was so sticky that I decided to just make one giant loaf.  This was the closest thing to normal bread that I’ve had in the last 6 months.  All of my gluten eating guests enjoyed the bread as well.  The recipe is from Gluten Free Girl and can be found here.

The final star of the meal were these desserts that our guests Rich and Briana went out of their way to bring to dinner from Mama’s.DSC01604  This is the same restaurant where Mike took me for my birthday last weekend, and had no idea that we had been there since it is so far from where we live.  I happily tried half a cannoli and a small bite of each of the chocolate desserts.  It was so yummy.  I really enjoyed the cannoli.

This was such a good night!  I really enjoy entertaining and hope to do it again soon.

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