This was the theme of my friend Jennifer‘s birthday party: eat, eat, and eat some more.
And I’m using the term “party” very loosely. It was more like two friends descending on the birthday girl’s home and cooking a feast that could have fed 12, but just fed us. I’m still full, and this was a week ago.
We ate so much that I cannot fit it all into one post. I’ll do dip and dinner here, then dessert later. Such is life, always waiting for dessert.
First on the menu was a devastatingly naughty and delicious Buffalo Chicken Dip that I found on Tasty Kitchen. I have seen many variations of this dip plastered all over the internet, but this is the one I picked because it’s served warm. And it’s chilly up North. I followed the recipe (click on the dip title above) except that I baked the dip instead of making it in on the stove. There’s nothing worse than trying to scrape melted cheese out of a saucepan. The recipe made a TON of dip, so I would halve it next time. But it worked out because I left half at home for the abandoned family’s dinner.
Along with a lovely salad tossed with toasted walnuts and dried cranberries, foodie friend Nicole conquered the daring task of Italian Sausage and Wild Mushroom Risotto. There is a bit of mystery surrounding risotto. Many foodies are intimidated by it and think it takes too long to make. I can personally attest to the fact that it does not take forever and is not difficult. The only demanding part is where most of us fall short: risotto needs constant attention during the 20 minutes or so of its cooking. You cannot leave it like other grains then return and stir. Undivided attention. Don’t we all need some of that?
See? Doesn’t Nicole look so peaceful and happy cooking the risotto? No stress at all.
Did I mention the garlic bread? I took some softened salted butter, mixed it with a mashed clove of garlic and some Italian herbs, then spread it on the halves before broiling. One half of the bread also had some Asiago cheese. Yum.