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Dinner Party: Cornish Hens & Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

We decided to throw a dinner party this weekend and it went splendidly. The food was fantastic, and the company even better. I may have gone a little bit overboard in making it fancy, but we had a great time. Honestly, the only thing stopping us from doing this on, say, a weekly basis is the cost of the food. Apologies in advance for the blurriness of some of these photos… the amount of wine I consumed may have contributed to a slightly shaky camera, and the inability to notice at the time. Without further ado, here’s what we served:


Amuse Bouche
Warm Brie with Sun Gold Tomato preserves, served on water crackers.
wine Paul Masson Medeira (California)


First Course
Greek Salad with Orzo and Black-Eyed Peas
wine Winking Owl Chardonnay (California)


Second Course
Cornish Game Hens with Blackberry sauce; Sweet Potato Souffle
wine Tilia Malbec (Argentina) and Fat Bastard Shiraz (France)


Third Course
Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake
[that’s chocolate cake, dark chocolate mousse, and mocha whipped cream]
wine Winking Owl Cabernet Sauvignon (California)

farmers’ market inspiration

On Sunday afternoon, we made our first trip ever to the Glenwood Sunday Market, the weekly farmers’ market here in Rogers Park. Yes, we’ve lived here for two years already, and never been. Bad us. But, give us a little credit for finally getting our butts in gear.

We headed over intending to buy some produce for a nice, meatless dinner. However, as we arrived fairly late in the day, most of the veggies and all of the fruits had already been purchased. Which was sad. But – we did get a nice little bunch of garlic scapes. And we discovered a few different vendors selling local, grass-fed meat. We have some ideas in the works for later this week with that stuff, but tonight we bring you our inspired, veggie dish:


Seasoning and Grilling the Tomatoes


Dinner is served: Pan-Grilled Tomato and Feta Salad with Lemon-Parsley-Garlic Scape Dressing and Green Beans… (Click for recipe)

…accompanied by Fried Chickpea Patties – which, for the record, were much tastier than they appear. (Cindy’s creation)

We also plotted a quick and delicious dessert – some fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream!

Whipped Cream  – Cindy’s recipe, everything is approximate/to taste: Whip 2 cups heavy cream, 2 tablespoons sugar (your choice granulated or powdered; I prefer granulated), and 1-2 teaspoons vanilla in a standing mixer with whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Swipe a fingerful and make sure it’s good before feeding to others!


(How to eat fresh strawberries and whipped cream – straight from the bowl.)