Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

September 23rd, 2009 browsing by day


Meatloaf, Taters and An Ugly Cake

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

I love having folks over on a weekday. It saves them from cooking and means that I get to spend more time alone with Mr. Eric on the weekends. Last night, we invited 7 friends for dinner and ended up with 3. Which meant there were 5 of us at the table, including Eric and me. Since it had been flooding here in Atlanta and our darling Crystal is the spokesperson for the Georgia DOT, she and her sweetie had to decline. She was at work trying to dry out the state. One had a last minute project at work and the last just didn’t show up. That happens. Those who were there had a great time and there were leftovers to take home.

The menu was simple. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, fresh green beans and cake. I thought after all this rain, we could all use a little comfort. My only snafu was the cake. I made a vanilla cake, filled it with raspberry preserves and iced it with chocolate frosting. Now, I don’t claim to be a wonderful baker, and while it looked good, the layers kept sliding all around while I was trying to frost the little devil. Here’s a photo for you:

It tasted delicious and no one made fun of it, so I was happy. It’s always nice to have very polite dinner guests.

Hope all of you are staying dry!

xoxo, Patti

Duck and Cauliflower

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Eric and I had a super easy supper Monday night. We had been shopping at Super H and spotted a vendor selling roasted ducks. We purchased one and brought him home.

I don’t know why I didn’t take photos of this – it was not like buying a chicken at the grocery store. When the time came for me to take him out of his bag and heat him up, I was surprised by his little ducky head. I’m not used to looking my food in the face and have to admit, this was a bit disconcerting. But, kitchen girl that I am, I good naturedly took the head off while trying not to think “Aflac!” at the same time. He tasted really, really good. And as we were trying to keep it simple, we decided to try a roasted cauliflower recipe that has had my interest for some time. I don’t normally care for cauliflower, but we scarfed up every morsel – it was that yummy. Here’s the recipe from the nice folks at

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely minced
  • Lemon juice (from 1/2 or a whole lemon)
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut cauliflower into florets and put in a single layer in an oven-proof baking dish.
  3. Toss in the garlic. Squeeze lemon juice over cauliflower and drizzle each piece with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. If the oven hasn’t reached 400°F yet, set aside until it has.
  5. Place casserole in the hot oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Test with a fork for desired doneness. Fork tines should be able to easily pierce the cauliflower.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

xoxo, Patti