DINNER 182: Saturday, July 1, 2006

This evening was the first Saturday Wine Dinner at the Iron Horse Inn in Glendale, Ohio. Wendy & I attended with Bob & Sharon and had a really nice evening. Here’s the menu…

Clos Du Val Winery Dinner
July 1, 2006, 7:00 p.m.
Special Guest: Mary Horn from The Lion Group

First Course
Chicken and Shrimp Satays with Three Sauces: Mustard Sauce, Peanut Sauce, Fruit Sauce
2005 Domaine de Nizas, Coteaux du Languedoc, Rose

Second Course
Maine Lobster Roll
2001 Clos du Val Ariadne

Third Course
Smoked Pork Tenderloin, Crimson Red Lentils, Braised Cabbage
2003 Domaine de Nizas, Old Vine Carignan

Fourth Course
Rack of Lamb, Wild Mushroom Demi-Glace, Creamy Blue Cheese Polenta, Roasted Plum Tomatoes
2002 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Chocolate Berry Trifle
2003 Taltarni Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

DINNER 183: Sunday, July 2, 2006

This evening, Wendy & I went to her clients/friends Tammy & Johnny’s housewarming/fireworks show at their new log home in Batavia. It was nice to hang around on their large plot of land, and their new house is really awesome.

We dined on burgers, bratts, and dogs, along with other items brought by other guests at the party. I made an Herbed Goat Cheese Spread that was pretty darned good. After dinner (and several rounds of Cornhole and enjoyable antics by their dogs), a fireworks show was presented and was very nice.

With this meal, we’ve crossed the halfway point in this year-long exercise! 

Here’s the recipe:
-= Exported from BigOven =-

Goat Cheese Spread with Herbs and Olive Oil

Serve with good crackers or slices of walnut bread. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and celery, cut into sticks.

Recipe By: FINE COOKING magazine, April/May 2006, page 41
Serving Size: 6
Cuisine: Uncategorized
Main Ingredient: Cheese
Categories: Quick, Fine Cooking Magazine, Easy, Hors dOeuvres, Appetizers

-= Ingredients =-
11 ounces Goat Cheese
2 tablespoons Heavy cream ; more if needed
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil ; plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons Dry white wine
to taste Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons Fresh herbs ; chopped (choose two or more: parsley, chives, tarragon, dill)
1 tablespoon Lemon zest ; finely grated
1 ea Celery ; cut into sticks — for dipping
1 box Crackers ; good crackers — for dipping
1 pint Cherry tomatoes ; for dipping

-= Instructions =-
Put the goat cheese, cream, olive oil, and wine in a food processor (or mix in a bowl with a wooden spoon). Pulse just to blend. The mixture should be spreadable; if it’s too thick, add 1 or 2 tablespoons more cream and pulse again. Season with salt and pepper, pulse again, and taste, adjusting the seasoning as necessary. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the herbs for sprinkling, add the rest to the processor. Add 2 teaspoons of the lemon zest. Pulse once more to blend.

Line a small (about 1 1/2 cup) round bowl or cup with a sheet of plastic wrap and fill with the cheese mixture. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

To serve, invert the bowl onto a serving platter and peel off the plastic. With the back of a spoon, level off the top of the cheese and make a small shallow depression. Drizzle olive oil over the top, filling the depression. Sprinkle with the reserved herbs and lemon zest. Arrange the crackers or bread slices, tomatoes, and celery around the cheese and let guests serve themselves.

** This recipe can be pasted into BigOven without retyping. BigOven.com ID= 161325 **
** Easy recipe software.  Try it free at: http://www.bigoven.com    **

DINNER 184: Monday, July 3, 2006

We went to a party at the house of one of Wendy’s tech’s parents this evening. They host an Independence Day party each year, and we were pleased to have been invited.

Dinner was Montgomery Inn Pulled Pork sandwiches and lots of side dishes. I prepared a Diplomat Cake (with a new, improved buttercream icing) and a batch of Glazed Honey Bars. Both were very tasty!

The hosts shot off a bunch of fireworks and we enjoyed them very much. We’ve been impressed this year with the level of ‘home’ firework shows we’ve seen. I remember them being …less spectacular… than they were this year.

Here’s the recipe for the Glazed Honey Bars…

                      -= Exported from BigOven =-

                          Glazed Honey Bars


Recipe By: Paula Deen, Food Network
Serving Size: 16
Cuisine: American-South
Main Ingredient: Honey
Categories: Kid Friendly, Bake, Easy, Snacks, Desserts

-= Ingredients =-
2/3 cup Vegetable oil
1/8 cup Honey
1/2 cup Sugar
1 ea Egg
1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1 cup Self rising flour
1/2 cup Walnuts ; chopped
~~ Glaze ~~
1 cup Confectioners Sugar
1 tablespoon Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

-= Instructions =-
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 by 8 by 2-inch pan.

In a mixing bowl, beat the oil, honey, granulated sugar, and egg until well blended. Stir the cinnamon into the flour, then stir this into the egg mixture and mix well. Stir in the nuts. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let stand while you make the glaze. In a bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, mayonnaise, milk, and vanilla. Pour the glaze over the cake and spread it with a metal spatula. Let cool, then cut into bars.
** This recipe can be pasted into BigOven without retyping. BigOven.com ID= 161315 **
** Easy recipe software.  Try it free at: http://www.bigoven.com    **

DINNER 185: Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Superman Returns posterWendy & I were flexible today. That was the word for it… We’d originally discussed going to a movie with Paul today, but he didn’t answer his phone, so we invited Dave & Robin to come along. A late lunch was at Pappadeaux (yummy Lobster Bisque and a Shrimp PoBoy for me). Dave went over and bought their tickets during lunch to make sure they got them, and it’s a good thing they did — the usher said that the showing, which was in the iMax theater, would certainly sell out. Wendy & I had pre-purchased tickets to the show via MovieFone, so we felt like we’d be okay just swooping in, picking up our tickets at the Automated Box Office, and dashing into the theater.

After lunch, we headed over to the 3:00pm showing of Superman Returns at our local cinema. I attempted to retrieve my tickets from the automated box office, but there was no reservation. I went to Customer Service to find out that I’d bought tickets at the wrong theater (smart move on my part!). We found out how resolve the problem once the movie was done, and bought two tickets to the correct show at the theater we were standing in. Shortly after our purchase, we heard on the loudspeakers that our showing was sold out. Because the theater is reserved seating, we wouldn’t sit near our friends, but we were happy enough. Heck, it was going to be in 3D, funny glasses and all!

We piled into the theater and the show started. We got to the part when Clark Kent was running out of the bar where he and Jimmy Olsen were sitting. He was about to tear open his shirt and reveal the big “S” on his costume. The projector …died. It just died. They came in to fix it, and about 10 non-successful minutes later, offered us refunds and passes because the problem was not going to be a quick-fix. The four of us decided to see the non-iMax version of the movie and got right in and watched it — and we were able to sit together, too. We also got passes to another iMax show that we can redeem in the future.

Superman Returns was pretty good. Probably a 6.5 or a 7 out of 10. Worth seeing for sure, but it’s overly long, a bit sappy, and the story isn’t that great. See it at matinee prices and you’ll be happy.

A quick call to the theater’s customer service line and my ticket purchase was refunded. No trouble, other than the embarassment of having to tell the representative that I’d booked the wrong theater. She reassured me that it happens all the time.

Wendy & I had talked about buying stuff from Jungle Jim’s to make for dinner this evening and I was looking forward to that. However, we got home later than expected so decided just to call LaRosa’s for Cibattas and Hoagies and call it a night.

DINNER 186: Wednesday, July 5, 2006

When I got home this evening, I suggested to Wendy that we go to the Iron Horse Inn to sample their new Grill Menu, which we both thought sounded pretty good. We had to wait to make sure a couple of Wendy’s clients who were returning from vacation could pick up their dogs from boarding. Once they were on their way home, we headed over to the Iron Horse and were surprised to find the restaurant’s parking lot empty. Robert, one of the owners, and Eric, one of the employees, were sitting out front having a few drinks and invited us to share a drink with them, which we did. We found out that the Iron Horse was closed for Employee Summer Vacation, the five days around July 4th. The restaurant had been cleaned from top to bottom and Robert & Eric were relaxing before moving all the tables and chairs back to where they go.


Iron Horse Inn


Robert explained to us that other employees were due back to the restaurant to help and invited us to stay for ‘family dinner’. We sat and chatted for a while, then I got good-and-hungry so Eric & I went into the kitchen and fired some steaks, some Cous-Cous with Asparagus and Tomato, and some Chicken Wings. We served it all, along with some Olive Salad we’d found, to Robert & Wendy. Shortly after that, Andrea (another Horse employee) and her friend Brittany showed up, so more food was prepared and consumed, along with more drinks. At some point, Robert & Wendy walked to Robert’s house (a couple blocks away) to get the charger for his cell phone and came back with Roxy, Robert’s very-cool dog. No other employees showed up while we were there.

We ate and chatted, chatted and ate, and then moved all the tables back into position for lunch service the next day.

As we got home, Wendy said, “So much for our quick dinner!” It was a good time, a very enjoyable adventure! Thanks to Robert for allowing us to hang out and eat!

DINNER 187: Thursday, July 6, 2006

Our second week of SALSA CLASS was cancelled at the last minute, so Wendy & I had an unexpected evening off tonight. We ran to Kroger’s to do some shopping (Wendy’s office is cooking out for lunch tomorrow and she had to pick up a few things) and we came home to watch television and enjoy a quiet evening together. I heated up a Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza and ate that for dinner.

DINNER 188: Friday, July 7, 2006

This evening, Angel, Wendy, and I went to the Iron Horse Inn, this time to really try their new grill menu (unlike Wednesday when we were …derailed in our effort).

We sat in the red room (downstairs), though the weather was certainly mild enough to sit outside. We liked the rather-empty red room instead of the considerably-crowded patio for dinner tonight. We sampled Bacon Wrapped Sirloin and Gorgonzola Skewers; Prime Rib Chili; Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf; the Big Eddie Burger; and Firehouse Grilled Cheese. Everything was really good, and we enjoyed chatting with S-Brett, Jeff, Robert, and everyone else (including a last-minute appearance by our dining buddy Joe!).