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

Solo In The Kitchen

Written by Patti on January 7th, 2010

Good Afternoon, Darlings!

I am a little distracted by the thought of snow coming our way and have spent most of my day reading about the snow or running to the window to look for snow. I am snow obsessed.

It’s a perfect day for getting into the kitchen and doing a little cooking and baking. For me, being alone in the kitchen is something akin to meditation. I chop, stir, season and taste test. Old R&B is on the radio. No one needs my time. It’s just me and the stove. Well, and the dogs. The dogs love the kitchen (something might fall on the floor!)

Yesterday was one such day. With Diane and beau Jonathan joining us for dinner, I spent the day in the kitchen readying for their arrival. Now, I know to some that sounds like drudgery, but for me it was bliss. Especially after being down for the count over New Year’s. First, I visited the grocery store for last minute items. Then home for prep. Here is the menu:

Seafood Dip and Crackers

Beet, Peppered Feta & Toasted Walnut Salad

Fresh Baked Bread

Butternut Squash Soup with Sour Cream and a Proscuitto Crisp

Homemade Twix Bars

Pinot Noir

I roasted the butternut squash, arranged the salad, baked the shortbread for the base of the twix bars.  The bread dough was shaped and laid out to rise.  Squash went into a pot with 4 cups of chicken stock, onions, garlic and chili powder. Shortbread baked, cooled and covered with caramel and set in the fridge to firm while I melted chocolate chips for the topping.  Topped caramel and shortbread with chocolate and put the whole thing in the freezer for hardening…..(not sure if I can recommend doing this, as it was a devil to cut with a fork, but it was sure tasty.)

With food all taken care of, the table needed setting.  I whipped out my silver chargers (plastic, but they are painted a lovely silver color…lol), dinner plates, soup bowls, wine glasses and flatware.  I finally had a chance to use the beautiful silver napkin rings I found over the holidays.

Back to the kitchen for last minute touches. The soup needed blending and the bread needed to bake.  I put the seafood dip in a pretty cut glass bowl and filled a plate with Wheat Thins (don’t you just love Wheat Thins?)

The candles were lit and there I was. Alone. In the kitchen. This is a funny time for me, this little twilight hour before the guests arrive.  I poured myself a chardonnay and thought about how the house would soon be filled with laughter and sated appetites. This bit of time reminds me of when I am almost awake in the morning, but not quite. It’s all quite dreamy and verges on surreal.

Or it could just be that I was having my first glass of wine in eight days. Either way, it’s a nice time for the cook.

Now, let’s take a look at that twix bar, shall we? I found this on Dana Moos’s blog, via Foodgawker. I think it’s a keeper recipe.

Almost Exactly Like the Real Thing!

Almost Exactly Like the Real Thing!


7 Comments so far ↓

  1. Leanna says:

    I love to cook alone in my kitchen as well. It is like a free trip to therapist with a tasty reward at the end.

  2. Patti says:

    It’s so true, isn’t it Leanna?

  3. Dana Moos says:

    Thanks so much for the mention. Hope you loved the shortbread bars! Microwave a piece for 7-8 seconds and the caramel layer will drip down – a great gooey thing 🙂

  4. tammie reed says:

    Hey chica love your blog too fun! Adding you to my blog roll

  5. Diane says:

    When I met Jonathan for the first time I was eating a Twix. Teehee

  6. Patti says:

    Hi Dana, Your twix bars made everyone swoon and they are going with me to a football party on Sunday! Thanks!! xoox, Patti

  7. Patti says:

    Tammie, you are the bomb(shell!) Can’t wait to see what we get into in 2010!