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

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You Guessed It, Didn’t You?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Did you guess where I was on vacay?

Did you?

Valentine’s Day Dinner

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Welp, today’s the day. The day we make those who are so special to us feel even more special. This does not mean you have to have a significant other – or more specifically, it means that a significant other can mean lots of different things.

It could be your best friend, your child, your dog. Doesn’t matter. Just give someone you love a big hug and enjoy the day together. And tonight, cook up something special.

Eric and I love to cook together and it’s a rare occasion on a weeknight. But tonight at our house it will be crab cakes and pasta with cream sauce, fresh green salad and lemon souffle for dessert. Crab cakes are one of those fab dishes that are super easy and impress everyone. Just add bubbly! Here is a great recipe from Miss Paula Deen, who knows what we southerners like. I would omit the bell peppers, but that’s just me. And I would let the cakes rest in the fridge before I dipped them in flour and fried them, just to make sure they keep their shape. And one more note: I like buying big king crab legs instead of the canned crab. This way I know where the meat came from and there is less chance of shells. You just cut them up the middle and pull out the crab meat. Easy peasy.

Paula Deen's Crab Cakes, Courtesy of Food

1 pound crabmeat, picked free of shells
1/3 cup crushed crackers (recommended: Ritz)
3 green onions (green and white parts), finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
Flour, for dusting
1/2 cup peanut oil
Favorite dipping sauce, for serving

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, except for the flour and peanut oil. Shape into patties and dust with flour.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes, in batches, in pan and fry until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve warm with preferred sauce.

Don’t they sound good? See? Now go impress your loved ones. And don’t bother baking – let your neighborhood bakery do the work.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Ella Fitzgerald – That Old Black Magic

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I was thinking of you all this Saturday morning, and just had to share this dessert I made last night for 7 of us.

Maureen, our dear friend from high school, was in town and I decided on a Taco Bar to welcome her to Atlanta. I cooked all day (what a luxury to putter around in my swell kitchen) and then promptly forgot to take any photos. That’s how much fun we were having.

But, I would love to share the bread pudding recipe with you. It’s from Paula Deen, so you know it is going to be yummy. The recipe says it feeds 10, but I would say at least 12. It’s huge…and rich. Instead of french bread, I used a loaf of brioche…because, you know, it needed more richness. As if. And I made my own whipped cream to top it with.

It was super yummy. And easy. Easy is important. This would be a fabulous dish to bring to a potluck. Trust me on this one.

Miss Paula's Bread Pudding

Chocolate Bread Pudding
courtesy of Miss Paula Deen

  • 1 (1-pound) loaf French or Italian bread, cubed
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup coffee flavored liqueur
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Directions
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

    Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and place the bread in the dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, and liqueur. Using another bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder and mix well. Add the sugar mixture to the milk mixture and mix well. Add the vanilla and almond extract, and cinnamon to the beaten eggs. Combine the egg mixture to the milk mixture and mix well.

    Stir the grated chocolate into the mixture. Pour the mixture over the cubed bread in the pan. Let the mixture stand, stirring occasionally for approximately 20 minutes or until bread absorbs most of the milk mixture. Bake pudding for 1 hour or until set. Check pudding by inserting a knife through the middle and it should come out clean.

    Serve the pudding warm, or refrigerate and serve chilled with whipped cream if desired.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Darlings!

    xoxo, Patti

    Today blogging to Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing