02 December 2011

Great Finds!

You know how sometimes, when you least expect it, something or someone comes along and you grab on and find out that it/they are the best thing since ... ??????

I am feeling this way today. I'm agog ... in a pleasant way. Last evening I had a little gathering of friends ... talk about great finds! These are wonderful friends! Cathy, Leah, Harold ... stalwart pals, fun friends, fellow food fiends. I was going to make them venison, as Cathy has never had it, but for whatever reason, I got it into my head to make chicken. Venison has been an almost every other day affair around the grey cottage of late. So, I made my excuses and did a complete about face ... chicken tikka masala, rice with caraway, and a green bean/summer squash/sweet onion medley with lemon juice and Indian spices.

I am not blogging those dishes ... you know how dinner parties are. Your friends walk in the door, the volume increases exponentially, drinks are poured, folks want the latest gab, then they want to help out in the kitchen, one thing leads to another, and before you know it you're knoshing and pouring a second bottle of wine. Yup ... that's the way it spins at my house! So ... knowing that I was making this really good Indian meal, I opted to show you more great finds in the way of starters and dessert.

Check this out! I should be so creative as to have cooked this idea up on my own! I didn't, though! You must go see Alejandra @  Always Order Dessert. Talk about a great find! I had so much fun looking at her blog yesterday afternoon when I was looking for pointers on making molded mousse desserts. The minute I saw this cheese ball starter, I knew I had to make it ... and I actually had the ingredients! Kismet, right? Well, I'll tell ya ... after we got over the cute factor, we all knoshed the apple down to 'core shape'. It's tasty, as well as cute! Perfect too, because it's gluten-free and Harold's my GF guy.

I used a smoked Gouda and New York Sharp Cheddar blend in the cheese ball and mixed a paprika coating of half sweet paprika and half smoked paprika ... perfect with the Gouda! Okay! I'll stop raving. I want to move onto dessert anyway ... check it out.

This is a double whammy dessert. I wasn't sure if folks would want heavy or light, so I made both and cut the cherry oatmeal bars really narrow ... the pumpkin mousse is pretty fluffy light. I wished the design of the little containers that I found at the newest local consignment store was more defined in the mousse surface, but you can hide a lot of mistakes with a sprig of holiday holly ... what can I say? These little half-cup molds are so sweet, though. Another great find!

SB made a big pot of tea at the end of the evening and we knoshed Ina Garten's pumpkin mousse and the cherry oatmeal bars that I adapted from the back of a bag of Bob's Red Mill oat flour ... more gluten-free cooking. It was neat to see Harold's face register 'I can have whatever I want!' pleasure throughout the whole evening. So much fun to give someone a care-free dining experience!


  1. I have made Ina's pumpkin mousse tart before and it was delicious. I think mine might have had a banana in it though. Dinner at your house must be a blast. I bet your friends are always thrilled to be invited over for a supper party. The mousse cups are a great find.

  2. @ Susan ... Yup! banana and orange zest ... so tasty!

  3. I want to come to your house for a dinner party! What fun! What good food!

  4. Sounds like it was a lovely get together! Isn't it nice to get together with friends who appreciate good food!

    Love your dining room and those cute little molds!

    Happy Weekend!

  5. I love your dining room and the way you've set your table... so stylish, so chic... and that cheese ball.. genius!

  6. What a beautiful and inviting table welcoming your guests Susan - you are such a good hostess (was there ever a doubt? NEVER)

    LOVELY to have a dinner party (or a brunch) with dear friends and yes give up the blogging for one night..and revel :)

  7. Wow! That cheese ball looks amazing! I will have to try making it one of these days...thanks for the inspiration!


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