IT’S DINNER DATE TIME! Frankie cleaned during his lunch break, Tuggs looked super dapper and adorable in his sock monkey bow tie, and the smells of my roasting chimichurri covered potatoes and blistering jalapeños have soaked into the walls of our apartment. Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking for myself and my man (with some safe, freebie tastes to the pup), but there is definitely a moment of personal pride when I get to truly adult and share my passion for cooking with my friends. This is also the time where my very organized side comes out to play in full force. I make sure there aren’t food allergies or aversions to keep in mind, I make sure I have all my ingredients the day before so I can just come home and cook, and I read, re-read, and re-re-read recipes to try and plan out the timing of what I’ll be making and when. Very unlike my normal come home from the grocery store after work and start my mis en place self. I’m not sure how to transfer this more obsessive self over to my more normal self, but I like to think that every time I host, I get just a little bit better about my planning and my timing, though most of the time, I just like to go slow, really live in the moment of my cooking and not worry so much about when things need to be done. Sometimes that kind of mentality pays off, but not when I have people coming over in two hours…
And having people over is a time when Frankie gets to shine and play host, which is one of his favorite hats to wear, the close second being grill master because my man knows his meat. Just look at those steaks! Aren’t they gorgeous?! Plus, any excuse to bust out the awesome serving platters I’ve started to collect from HomeGoods (my favorite store in the whole wide world), and put a dent in the copious amounts of wine and alcohol we have left over from our annual Christmas party, is a good one! I even got to use my new fancy photographing plates too!
Now, here’s where things get tricky and I hope you can forgive me…I am definitely a multi-tasker, but when I have hosting in mind, and then guests actually in my home, photographing the ends of our efforts didn’t really stand at the forefront unfortunately. So, yes, I forgot to take a photo of the finished product, but imagine there is a nice, black crust on those steaks, and they are incredibly tender. If you can’t, never fear, we have two more and will make them at some point, and I promise to photograph them accordingly. And no, I will not tell you how much Frankie spent on them. What I will tell you is that they are Tomahawk steaks with the bone trimmed off, so you can guesstimate on your own how much they were. But you know what, they turned out great, and we ate all of it, so definitely some good money well spent! Additionally, I will also admit to forgetting to snap the really delicious Elotes (Mexican street corn, which I have an awesome recipe for off the cob, aka. esquites, which I’ll provide at another time) and Key Lime Pie (from Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits) that our incredibly gracious guests brought along! [Note: That pie was the best Key Lime Pie I’ve ever tasted…hands down.] And I wanted to be able to share our friends contributions because the elotes completed our plates, and the pie was just bomb-diggity! But one thing leads to another and I led myself right into dessert without a second thought. So with that I will apologize to you readers, but not too sincerely, since the point of dinnering with friends is to, in fact, dinner with friends, which I think I did rather successfully too!
But the wine flowed, and the whiskey for the steak followed, and we spent hours conversing and story telling till just after midnight. And it is that moment of feeling completely satisfied, not only physically with the good food I have put in my belly, but emotionally and mentally satisfied from laughing at jokes, to variety of discussions, to learning more about good people who make our lives just a little bit better, a little bit brighter, especially after a long week at work [or in some cases, just a really long week of news coverage]. But really, there is almost nothing better than that, and if you want to come over for dinner and spend time eating good food, and playing with our cute pup, hit us up!
Note: One of our guests has an Argentinian background, so yes, we did theme our dinner for her just a little bit, a nod to challenging my own skills and diversifying our normal “Friends to Dinner” menu. Getting out of our comfort zones is always exciting and I like to think that catering toward their heritage, with the option of them bringing another dish they want to share with us, makes the meal all the more special and unique! So, included below, is the zucchini & carrot fritter recipe I found from Good Dinner Mom, as well as instructions on making chimichurri potatoes!
Hope everyone had a safe and delectable weekend! Cooking Maggie Out!
Carrot & Zucchini Fritters with Basil Chive Cream from Good Dinner Mom
- 1-2 bags of baby gold potatoes
- 1 1/2 cup of chimichurri sauce
Instructions: Toss 1 cup of chimichurri sauce with uncooked baby golden potatoes. Spread out on nonstick baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes (until fork tender), tossing every so often. Serve with additional 1/2 cup of sauce.