Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Party like it’s 1997!

My parents are out of town so Curtis and I decided to throw a (dinner) party at their house. It brought back great memories of the parties Jason and I used to throw when they left town (and us unattended) when we were in high school. Only this time was a bit different… we had permission, mom and dad knew what we were up to and they probably would have approved of at least 93% of what was going on! We’ve come a long way!

It was a great weekend getaway. On Friday night we just chilled (read: the girls sat around talking and reading magazines while the boys played video games on the big screen). Saturday the boys golfed at Gold Mountain while the girls and Paul watched a movie at Bainbridge Cinemas (thanks, Jeff!) and then hit up all the cute Bainbridge Island stores.

And Saturday night we had a multiple course dinner with each couple in charge of a course. We didn’t coordinate what so ever, ended up consuming massive amounts of wine and even though there was a lot of broccoli involved the end result was a fabulous dinner and it was really fun to see what each couple came up with.

We started out with a cocktail bar courtesy of Ryan and Nicole along with Nicole’s adaptation to our famous crack salsa.

After we had our appetizers and before we sat down for dinner Anthony, Ali and Curtis treated us to an impromptu concert. It set a great mood for the rest of the night!


Poppin’ Homemade Jalapeno Poppers (click here for the recipe)
~Missy, Kelly and Cuddy Buddy

Roasted Leek and Butternut Squash Soup (recipe coming soon)
Baked Potato Soup (we ate this on Sunday while watching the Hawks game)
~ Paul and Jen

Broccoli and Grape Salad (recipe below)
~ Ali and Anthony

Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage, Caramelized Onions and Roasted Veggies (recipe below)
~Emily and Curtis

And as Missy aptly put it:
One crazy good fudgy gooey chocolate "I've-died-and-gone-to-heaven" cake with Dolce de Leche Ice Cream (click here for the recipe)
~Hillary and Morgan

It was wonderful having a dining room and table big enough for all 12 of us to sit together, eat a wonderful meal and toast to a great life and close friends! Thanks mom and dad for letting us crash your house!

Ali and Anthony’s Broccoli and Grape Salad

Several large bunches of broccoli, cut into flowerettes (about 2 to 3 quarts)
2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 lb. bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

This can be prepared ahead of time. Refrigerate.

Dressing (may also be made ahead of time, but refrigerate, and do not toss with salad until shortly before serving.)

2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons white vinegar

Stir until thoroughly blended. Add to salad ingredients shortly before serving.

1 cup sunflower seeds

Sprinkle over salad immediately before serving.

Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage, Caramelized Onions and Roasted Veggies

Penne Pasta
Italian Sausage
Olive Oil
Mascarpone Cheese (Trader Joe’s)
Broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
Red, Yellow and Orange bell peppers, sliced
(really, any combination of your favorite veggies will work)
Parmesan Cheese

Caramelize the onions and add Italian Sausage until cooked through and a few scoops of mascarpone cheese, until creamy. Put a little olive oil, salt and pepper on the broccoli and roast it in the oven at 425 for about 10 minutes. Stir the bell pepper slices in with the sausage mixture. Cook the penne pasta until al dente (about 9 minutes). Drain and mix everything together. Liberally grate parmesan cheese over the pasta.


  1. Wow, don't I look proud of that cake?! I think my excitement directly correlates with the "massive amounts" of wine consumed on Saturday. That party was a ridiculous amount of fun!! I loved ALL the food. :-)Thanks for being such great hosts.

  2. Again, again! Let's do it again! That was such a feel-good fun foodie weekend, thanks Em (and parents, and Jeff)!!

  3. I love it! This post is like reading a storybook (until the part with me licking the wine bottle)! That was a weekend that I will always remember! Thanks guys!!

  4. Looks like you all had a great time! Love all the recipes- will be trying them out soon!

  5. looks like more than just massive amounts of wine...I saw several shot glasses in there....Looks like a lot of fun!

  6. Hi Emily, this is Heidi (ryan's wife). I just wanted to let you know that the bread bowls were actually store bought (gasp!)... ha ha. There is a grocery store here in town that bakes them. I'm sure if you found a bread bowl recipe it would work...just add orange food coloring and a little green blob of dough on top before baking. :) good luck!