Today was our annual "Dinner with the Parents". After two days of cooking, I'm finally getting a chance to sit down (incidentally, just in time for The Sopranos). I'm freaking beat, but it was worth it. Everyone seemed to have a good time (and, more importantly, enjoyed the food). We started off with some appetizers (sausage-stuffed mushrooms, peppered garlic confit with prosciutto on Italian bread, garlic-stuffed olives, pepperoncini, and soppressata). After this, I wasn't even hungry, but I ate anyway. What are you to do? The main course was herb roasted cornish hens along with the sides of lemony asparagus-mushroom stir fry, sage risotto with fresh mozzarella and prosciutto, and a Moorish-style salad with cumin and smoked paprika. All of this was washed down with some Pinot Noir (from Pepperwood Grove and Brancott Vineyards) and Chardonnay (from Monkey Bay). The Chardonnay was particularly good. And, to think I almost didn't buy it because it had a monkey on the label! Almost forgot...I made a white cake with Italian meringue icing for dessert. I have yet to have my dessert (maybe tomorrow for breakfast).
I went all-out for this dinner. It was definitely more work than when I cook for a holiday, but I only do this once a year so it's kind of fun for me. Jake and Brian were gone all day yesterday, so it gave me a chance to hang out in the kitchen all day and work without interruption. In the past, I used to go all-out every time we entertained, but I usually ended up tired and irritable and that is no way to be when you are having guests. I have since learned to put forth a more balanced effort and this makes the rest of our entertaining more fun for me. But, this one time of the year, I like to show off my skills. And, I know our parents appreciate the effort, so who better an audience?