Dinner Party

This is Cat. See Cat cook.

Hello foodies!

Last night I hosted the first of what I hope will be MANY dinner parties at my new apartment. This one was for my friend Cat, who is leaving for two weeks to have enforced family bonding time. Fun?

Anyway, in attendance were Cat and her boyfriend Phil, our friend Cami (another MBC grad), my bf, and myself. Nice small group and thank goodness, because I realized after agreeing to host that we only had 4 actual dining room chairs! oops. I ended up on a desk chair. No worries.

Here’s the Boyfriend. He was feeling handy and
built me an Ikea shelf. Thank goodness for handy boyfriends.

Cat LOVES when I cook for her, and I have a suspicion that if I were a guy, she would leave Phil for me. She has two favorite meals so far: first is homemade macaroni and cheese, and second is clam sauce with linguine. Both are, as boyfriend puts it, “mom food”, meaning my mom’s recipes. πŸ™‚ So I can see why she loves them so much! My mom is an amazing cook. So while I toyed with the idea of a super impressive veggie lasagna for last night, I ended up making mac and cheese, salad, and strawberries with balsamic reduction. Mmm. Low effort. Maximum impact.

Below is a quick look at the progression of a basic white sauce, which is the base of many wonderful and not healthy things that I love making. This mac and cheese, however, was as healthy as it gets. I used low carb elbow macaroni and low fat cheese. I also used skim condensed milk because I wanted to make this a little creamier.

Melt one stick of margarine


Add 5 tablespoons of flour

Whisk together until it forms a paste

Add 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 2 cups
of condensed skim milk or 2 cups of 1% milk.

This is your white sauce. Pour it over cooked macaroni (2 cups uncooked) and stir in 2-3 cups low-fat cheese. Top with a little extra cheese and back at 350 for 40 minutes.

Strawberries with a Blackberry Balsamic Reduction
Serves 6

2 clamshell containers of strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
1 tsp. Splenda
1/2 c. Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp. Blackberry jam

Toss the strawberries in a bowl with the Splenda (or sugar, whatever. I’m on a diet.) Let them sit out on the counter for approximately 25-30 minutes. This will draw out the juices and make them soft and lovely.

Simmer the balsamic vinegar and jam in a small frying pan or sauce pan over medium high heat. You will notice as it goes on that it will start to reduce in volume, which is what you are trying to do. This will intensify the flavors and take out all the vinegar taste, leaving it surprisingly sweet. Reduce it by about half, which will take approximately 5-8 minutes. Just keep and eye on it and don’t let it get tooooo thick! Taste it and if you like the taste, take it off the heat. If not, let it reduce a little more.

You can either toss this with the strawberries or serve it seperately. I chose to serve it seperately because my guests were a tad apprehensive when they found out that the sauce was made of vinegar. Silly kids. Obviously it’s going to be delicious if the Italians invented it. πŸ™‚ This was a HUGE hit and everyone asked me to make it again next time! Unfortunately it disappeared too quickly to take pictures of, but maybe next time.

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4 Responses to “Dinner Party”

  1. Ample Goddess Jewelry Says:

    I never would have thought the balsamic vinegar would go well with fruit. What a neat idea.

  2. Ample Goddess Jewelry Says:

    I never would have thought the balsamic vinegar would go well with fruit. What a neat idea.

  3. Difficult Woman Says:

    I might not leave Phil for you, but I would definitely leave my mother for you, hehe. And who was nervous about vinegar? Phil and I have a recipe for it that we’d been dying to try, so I know it wasn’t us… we’re Italian, we don’t fear food, we worship it! πŸ˜‰

    You rock, thanks so much for cooking! It was fabulous, I loved the little yellow tomatoes (where did you get them again?), and it was so good to see everyone!

    I think we are going to have to start having rotating dinner parties– I love to cook, and assuming the house thing goes through (cross your fingers), we will be doing lots of entertaining very soon! It could be like a club… everyone takes a turn hosting. So much fun! Love you!

  4. Difficult Woman Says:

    I might not leave Phil for you, but I would definitely leave my mother for you, hehe. And who was nervous about vinegar? Phil and I have a recipe for it that we’d been dying to try, so I know it wasn’t us… we’re Italian, we don’t fear food, we worship it! πŸ˜‰

    You rock, thanks so much for cooking! It was fabulous, I loved the little yellow tomatoes (where did you get them again?), and it was so good to see everyone!

    I think we are going to have to start having rotating dinner parties– I love to cook, and assuming the house thing goes through (cross your fingers), we will be doing lots of entertaining very soon! It could be like a club… everyone takes a turn hosting. So much fun! Love you!

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