Dinner Party

The week of Valentine's Day, we received a love package from Doc's parents.  In that package?  Two new cookbooks! So what do you do when you've got a couple new Martha Stewart cookbooks?  Well, you invite some friends over and try out not one, but six new recipes.  You warn your guests that dinner could either be totally awesome, or a total flop.

Lucky for us, it turned out to be totally awesome.

But before we could even think about eating, everyone had to meet Miss Lolli.

She was a good little fluffer-bunny for our friends.

Ok, enough of that.  Now let's get to the food.  Doc had the day off (President's Day) so he spent the day picking out new recipes and doing the cooking.  He decided on two appetizers, two entrees, and two desserts.

Up first?  Hot Spinach Dip and Mozzarella and Grape Skewers.  The skewers are the only thing I can say I helped on, and all I did was assemble.

Red grapes, mozzarella cheese, and prosciutto - a tasty combo.

The dip was scrape-the-dish-dry awesome.  We finally got to use the little casserole dishes I bought forever ago, so each couple had their own dip.

While we all stuffed our faces, Doc manned the stove and got the entrees ready.  And before we knew it, we were at the dinner table with big bowls of Pasta with Proscuitto and Peas...

...and Linguine with Sausage and Peppers.

Yuuuummmm.  Not only were these both very flavorful and delicious, but the recipes also made so much that all six of us were able to eat the first night, my parents and I had it again the next night, and there was still some left for my mom to take it for lunch on the third day.

Now, for the best part - dessert.  As I mentioned earlier, Doc decided to make two desserts instead of one - he sure knows how to make a girl happy!

First was a real Chocolate Mousse, not just a quick and easy three-ingredient mousse that I would make.

The mousse was good - really good - but the other dessert was A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie:

The picture may not look like much, but trust me - this pie is GOOD.  So good that I've already requested in for my birthday dessert.  And since I love you guys so much, I'm going to share the recipe.  You should make it.  Trust me, just do it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

  • 30 chocolate wafer cookies (Doc couldn't find them so he used Oreos minus the filling)
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream

1 - Preheat oven to 350.  Process cookies in a food processor until finely ground (to yield 1 3/4 cups).  Add butter, and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened.

2 - Transfer crumb mixture to a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.  Press firmly into the bottom and up the sides.  Place pan on a baking sheet; bake crust until set, 15-20 minutes.  Let cool completely.

3 - Meanwhile, place the water in a small saucepan (off heat); sprinkle with gelatin.  Let stand until softened, 5-10 minutes.

4 - In a food processor, combine brown sugar and peanut butter; process until smooth.  Add cream; process until mixture is light and holds soft peaks, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed.

5 - Places softened gelatin over very low heat, stirring, just until dissolved.  Add to peanut butter mixture in food processor; blend to combine.  Transfer filling to cooled crust and smooth top with a flexible or offset spatula.  Chill until set, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

The recipe suggests chopping roasted unsalted peanuts to sprinkle on top of the pie, but Doc did chocolate shavings and I think they make the pie even better.  Use whatever you like, but I definitely vote for chocolate shavings.

All of this good food just wore little Lolli out!

Full and happy friends makes for a successful dinner, I think.

The first pic of both of us with Lolli.

Is anyone interested in any of the other recipes?  If so, let me know in the comments and I'll share them, too.  I just don't want to go to the trouble of typing them out if no one's interested.