Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Dinner Party

Last night the hubby and I had some friends over for dinner.  
I tried a bunch of new, but easy recipes - some that are definitely keepers.

The appetizers included falafal chips with roasted red pepper dip:

And bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos:

Simply clean out jalapenos, fill with cream cheese, wrap with 1/2 slice of bacon, bake for about 30 minutes at 375.  I found the recipe here.

And brie stuffed mushrooms:

Wash and stem button mushrooms.  Heat 2 T butter in a pan and cook mushrooms until browned.  Remove from pan.  Fill with brie cheese and then bake until melted.  Top with sauteed garlic and green onions if desired.

The salad course was a watermelon and goat cheese salad with balsamic reduction.

Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Slice 6 rounds from a block of goat cheese.
Use a similar sized round cookie cutter to cut out 6 pieces of watermelon.
Reduce 3/4 cup of good balsamic vinegar (in small pot on lowest heat for about 2 hours).
Lay goat cheese on the watermelon and drizzle with the reduction.

The soup was a broccoli cheddar beer soup served with banana pepper and cheddar bannock.  

The main course was ribs and deluxe mashed potatoes.  I basically mashed a bunch of potatoes with cheddar, cream cheese, milk, butter, bacon and green onions and then warmed them in the oven the next day.

I made two desserts.  One was Jessica's S'mores Pie:

The other was called burnt grapes.  This recipe has apparently been around forever.  It is super easy, and it tastes a lot better than it looks.  If you haven't tried this, you must.

Burnt Grapes

5 cups seedless red grapes
2 cups sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar

Clean all grapes.  Mix together sour cream, vanilla and sugar.  Gently stir the grapes into the mixture.  Spread into a 9x13 pan. In a small saucepan, bring the butter and brown sugar to a boil.  Immediately pour over the grapes, but DO NOT stir.  Refrigerate for 3-4 hours.  Serves 6-10.

So which dish would you go for first if you were at my dinner party?

I think I could eat the jalapenos all day.


  1. You always throw the most elaborate (and delicious) dinner parties -I'm so impressed!

  2. Those jalapeno poppers are my alltime favorite appetizer!

    What's a bannock--you said you served your soup with a bannock...

  3. I'd go straight for those burnt grapes - they look so unique!

  4. The watermelon goat cheese salad... be still my heart!

  5. I'm with you on the jalapenos! They look delish! :)

  6. I'm intrigued by the addition of beer to the broccoli cheddar soup, that's right up my alley. And also, this makes me want to throw a pretty food party too!

  7. I want to be a dinner guest please!!

    Maybe we should have a virtual dinner party?!?! hehe :)

    I would go smore cake first! YUM!

  8. Yum. You throw the most amazing dinner parties. Your guests must feel so dang lucky to be able to enjoy the meals you prepare!!

    I would love it all! Main course looks amazing - I am a sucker for mashed potatoes of any sort!

  9. wow! these are some extremely unique and interesting dishes. thanks for sharing!

  10. If I lived closer I would be inviting myself over for dinner. The jalapenos look so good!

  11. put out some really great recipes!!!! The burnt grapes are very interesting! Have a great weekend:)

  12. Everything looks great -- especially those mushrooms! I'd definitely go for those first. I SO needed to read this post today! We're having about seven other couples over for dinner/dessert later this month and I want to wow them without being a slave to the kitchen. Thanks for the ideas! =)

  13. All of those recipes look AMAZING!!! What a fun dinner party!

  14. You throw the BEST dinner parties! I'd go for the poppers first - they are my favorite!

  15. I say this every time but I want to come over for a dinner party one of these days. YUM!

    I love those jalapeno poppers. I've made similar kinds before. So good!

  16. I made the Burnt Grapes tonight after reading your blog yesterday. OMG. To die for!! (I have the ingredients for the S'more pie for tomorrow!) Thanks for sharing!

  17. wow I am so impressed by all of these recipes! The smores pie looks SO SO SO GOOOOOD. Ribs and mashed potatos, also a winning combination :D

  18. burnt grapes...ok i am intrigued b/c i love everything in it.

    would you say it's sweet, sorta sweet, texture-wise is it more mushy or more crunchy...fill me in! :)