You can work and make a great dinner
If people believe it’s not possible to work until 5:00 p.m. and then have guests at your home for dinner at 6 p.m. and only have an hour in the kitchen for prep, I can tell you it is indeed possible!
Prep time! All in the Planning
I stopped work at 5 p.m., went into the kitchen:
- got out the chicken breasts from the freezer
- put them into the microwave to partially defrost
- mixed up the Bruschetta Topping
- sliced the baguette, brushed with olive oil and garlic and put in the oven to toast
- chopped the veggies for the rice pilaf and put them on to cook
- rinsed the salad greens and wrapped them in a tea towel and placed them in the fridge to chill until needed.
Then I chilled the Chardonnay and poured myself a glass Cabernet, sat down at 5:50 p.m. and cooled my heels until our guests arrived.
Janet and Brock arrived a bit later which was fine with me. We’d told them that unlike this blog’s title, Dress4Dinner, we are Casual for Dinner on both arrival time and dress.
Happy hour first
When they arrived, we started chatting and Bill got drinks. The “boys” each had hard liquor and Janet and I enjoyed glasses of wine while we caught each other up on the week’s events.
After about 45 minutes, we sat down at the table (and I forgot to designate that Bill photograph our plates so there are no images of our lovely dinners or our guests enjoying dinner.) Our conversations ranged from family to business to leisure topics.
When Harry Meet Sally Redux
I do wish I’d had an audio recording for our groans of pleasure over the glory of our dinner. For a quick dinner, this is one that I’m putting on my list of best dinners I’ve ever prepared.
While I had seared the chicken to get a nice color on it, I had turned it to the lowest heat setting to cook every so slowly, glazing it with the Orange Rosemary Sauce about 5 minutes prior to servicing. This very slow cooking, and the partial defrost led to a chicken that while completely cooked through, was juicy, tender and so incredible. To plate, the chicken was placed akimbo, with thicker end atop a mound of rice, with the salad on the plate rather than on a separate salad plate.
The Orange Raisin Rice Pilaf was packed with flavor and the raisins gave it a touch of sweetness that married well with the celery and onions in it.
We discovered that Janet’s favorite ice cream is strawberry! So she was very happy with the dinner we prepared.
Racing after dinner is just right
"Two Lovers" was a great chick flick to watch after dinner with my client and friend.
After dinner, we adjourned from the table and the “boys” went in to give Bill’s racing rig a try. All I can say is that I thought my two sons were living here again, because the whoops of boyish delight and sound of cars that came from that room of the house left no doubt that the guys were enjoying a bit of racing.
Janet and I decided to watch a movie. We selected “Two Lovers” and quickly settled in to enjoy that.
Normally, we don’t end a dinner with this type of activity, but all I can say is that it too was perfect for the evening. After they finished racing, the guys, returned to the living room, grinning from ear to ear with the shared delight of racing imaginary cars around a virtual track.
After the movie, Bill and Brock picked up their guitars to play a couple of songs together. Brock is an excellent guitarist who plays in a Rolling Stones cover band. We has so much fun singing those two songs and Brock just fell right into the songs. There is definitely going to be another dinner with the two of them as entertainment before and after dinner.
The next morning, Bill woke up and after a good morning, he exclaimed, “That was the most fun I’ve had at dinner!” Enough said!