Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dinner Party

Last night, a group of my husband's co-workers (including his new boss, who was in town from Atlanta) came over for dinner.  There were seven of us in all, and I made enough food to feed at least 20 people.  Oh well, I'd rather have too much than too little.

I didn't take pictures of anything; I was a bit too busy for that.  The menu included:
  • Flatbread pizzas; one with a fresh tomato, sun-dried tomato, pepper bacon, fresh mozzarella, and basil topping... and one with a caramelized onion, gorgonzola, bacon and honey topping.
  • Lasagna made with ground turkey, spinach and large portabella mushrooms (half had mushrooms)
  • Cream-sauce pasta with onions, garlic, shallots, chicken, baby portabellas and marsala wine
  • Italian salad with romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, jumbo black olives, red onion slices and peppercorncini
  • Rosemary and olive oil breadsticks
  • Homemade tiramisu
The tiramisu is something that I recently discovered to be very easy to make and incredibly delicious.  I could not, for the life of me, find ladyfingers at any local grocery store, so I substituted frozen pound cake; you can't tell the difference!  I'll post the recipe here and will try and remember to take a picture the next time I make it.

  • 8 oz. tub of marscapone cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of amaretto liquor
  • 3/4 cup of strong espresso or very strong coffee
  • 1 Sara Lee (or comparable brand) frozen pound cake
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. Start by taking the frozen pound cake and slicing it into 1/4" slices.  Set these slices aside and allow the cake to thaw
  2. In medium-sized bowl, combine the marscapone cheese, sugar and amaretto and beat on medium speed until creamy and thoroughly combined
  3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whip the cup of heavy whipping cream on high speed until stiff peaks form; this will take about 3 minutes
  4. Gently fold the cheese/sugar/amaretto mixture into the whipped cream
  5. In an 8" x 8" glass baking dish, pour the espresso (coffee) and quickly dip each slice of pound cake into the coffee mixture, flipping over so both sides absorb the liquid
  6. Once all the coffee is absorbed, place a layer of pound cake slices in the bottom of the baking dish (you might have to "squish" some of the pieces and cut a few in half to make them fit evenly in the dish) and top with 1/2 of the whipped cream/cheese mixture
  7. Place another layer of pound cake slices and top with the remaining half of the cream/cheese mixture
  8. Dust with unsweetened cocoa powder - I use a mesh tea strainer to do this; simply put a teaspoon of cocoa in the tea strainer and tap the strainer over the top of the cheesecake - voila!  a light, even dusting of cocoa powder!
  9. Cover with foil and refrigerate until you're ready to serve

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