Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dinner Party Extravaganza and Try-em Out Tuesday

Okay so I decided to combine these two posts as kind of an explanation to my slackerness for this week's Try-em Out Tuesday!
First, although the Hubs has been stationed at the same base for three years we haven't met a lot of people around here! We recently moved on base which makes me feel a little more connected to the Hubs job and makes me feel safe when he is gone..yay!

However, our lack of connections (ie friends) can get a little lonely at times. Now, don't get me wrong, the Hubs and I love to spend all of our free time together and are still not tired of each other, but it would also be nice to have some friends around us to have cookouts and hang-out times with. So in an effort to meet new people on base and form new friendships the Hubs texted me on Friday to set up a dinner party date with a guy he works with and his wife that live two houses down from us! They are in the same life-stage as us (been married a few years with only dogs as kids) and they live by us ..score!

The ironic thing was that after we set up the party for last night the Hubs found out that they are moving next week!! Welcome to Military life :)

Oh well it was still a lot of fun!!

Here are some of the highlights/lowlights ...(oh totally forgot to take pictures and since i had never met them before i didn't really want to be flashing the camera for my blog all night...didn't want to scare them away)!

- This was the first dinner party that I have thrown in our new house/kitchen and it worked out very well! One of the hardest parts was planning the menu since usually I cook for people I know and know what they like. Here was the menu:

Braised Beef Ribs with a Horseradish Creme Sauce
Sweet and Hot Mustard Roasted Salmon
Sauteed Spinach with Bacon, Balsamic and Caramelized Pearl Onions
Smashed Baby Golden Potatoes with Chives
Bourbon Peach Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream

- Let's just say that on Sunday I hadn't cleaned the house or done any of the grocery shopping for the next night so yesterday was a mad dash to get everything done!! I tried to do like my mom does and write out a timetable for the everything that needed to be done..but well it never made it out of my head!! Oh well, I had everything done except the fish by the time they arrived and with only a few minor hiccups it went over pretty good!

- One of the funny/stressful parts was that I had been trying to get the hubs to check and see what they like to eat but as of Sunday night I still didn't know so I planned the menu out (everything except the salmon) and got all of the recipes ready! Then on Monday morning the hubs texts me to say the wife doesn't really eat red meat but eats a lot of salmon. okay time to find a new recipe to add to the menu..thank you robin miller for your quick turn around! Then I realized that although I like salmon I don't eat it that often and have never cooked it before..yikes! The only type I had worked with was the frozen pre-portioned fillets that you get from costco, so imagine my stress level when I went to the commissary and they only had salmon with the skin on (I couldn't get the frozen anyways b/c it wouldn't have time to thaw)! Needless to say it made me a little nervous. I did everything the recipe called for but for some reason it didn't seemed cooked enough..after putting it back in the oven a couple times and delaying dinner I decided it must be ready! I tasted pretty good and she ate a lot of it but when they left I noticed that the thicker part of the fillet might not have been fully cooked...oops..i think I just served a potential new friends partially cooked food!! Maybe she didn't notice?!

- other than that we had a really good time with a lot of laughs (they are awesome people)...too bad their moving :(

It didn't deter me though, I really enjoyed planning my first real dinner party for unknown guests and I look forward to many more in the future :)

Now on to "Try-em Out Tuesday"!!

Since I had a crazy last few days I was a bit of a slacker and failed to try out anything for this week!! So I decided to showcase on of my favorite products that I have been using for over a year now. I am a huge veggie (well mostly broccoli) freak and for a long time I had a hard time trying to figure out an easy way to steam my veggies without making them into mush! That's when I found this amazing product....
Glad Steam Bags!!

These bags literally have changed my life!! I have tried the ziplock brand as well but I like the glad ones a lot better. They hold a good amount of veggies and they steam them to pretty much perfection with little clean up! I usually use the bag two times and then throw it away. They are not too expensive and I just love them. Oh and you can believe me when I say that I go through a lot of veggies...I am embarrassed to say that I use one bag for myself each night and I go through about two big costco-sized bags (I think they are three pound bags) of broccoli a week by myself..I know I'm sick! The Hubs just laughs and shakes his head! I would be totally content to live off oatmeal and broccoli for life (I think I mostly do)! These bags are not just for veggies, you can also steam fish, chicken or beef and even add in seasonings or sauces to make an easy meal! I give this product an A++! I totally recommend that you keep some on hand for those night where you want an easy healthy meal or side dish!
Thank you guys again for helping validate my new favorite hobby and following me on my crazy life events and recommendations!!
Have a wonderful Tuesday ;)


  1. Wow I love dinner parties! What fun times too bad that they are packing up and leaving next week. Sounds like a great dinner even though the fish wasn't cooked all the way!

    Stopping by from SITS to say Hi!

  2. Never be ashamed of eating too many veggies! I do the same thing, with the big Costco bag!

    I left you something on my blog:)

  3. mmmm im so in the mood for steamed ANYTHING right now haha. thanks for posting :D

  4. i'm so impressed by your dinner party even though you aren't! i think it sounds fantastic. i would have had to get take out and put it on my plates!! come teach me!

  5. Aww, glad you had a fun dinner party. I know it's hard planning when you are not sure what people like and then having to change a few things, but it sounds like you pulled it off! :) Those bags seem brilliant. What a great idea and glad they are working out for you!

  6. I'm going to have to try those. I don't eat a lot of veggies but I need to make them for Julianne. Now, if only they would invent something that gets rid of the smell of broccoli. Yuck!

  7. Wow that's a very impressive menu for your first dinner party! Sounds like it was a hit (even with the fish snafu). I'm glad to know about those bags, we'll definitely be trying them out!

  8. So I have a question about those steam bags...are they safe to microwave? Before you say "duh!", what I mean is, they say not to microwave in plastic b/c of the whole BPA thing and all that so wouldn't the bags be considered plastic?? That's always been my fear about trying those...but I've never researched it. I do want to tell you that I recently got a steamer (from Pampered Chef, but I'm sure you could find a cheaper one elsewhere) and I LOVE it! We used to microwave our veggies also, but now we use the steamer on the stovetop and they are extra yummy! Especially broccoli! :)

    So glad your dinner party turned out well...and bummer that your new friends are moving! :( I've never cooked fish either so I give you kudos for attempting it, especially at the last minute!! (Sorry for the xtra long comment! :)

  9. i know a certain couple who lives about an hour from you and would be more than willing to be your 2nd attempt at a dinner party ;) the menu sounds amazing!

  10. i've always wondered if those bags really worked! now i know!! glad your dinner turned out, it sounds so yummy!

  11. Your menu for the dinner party sounds so delicious! I think it's ok to eat rare salmon - it sounds icky but I've seen chefs on Food Network cooking it that way. It sounds like a great success! That's too bad their moving away.

  12. yes, yes, yes - LOVE the steam bags except i was in a renter and had no microwave. your dinner party sounds great!!

  13. Hey guys! In reguards to whether the steam bags are safe b/c of the concern with microwaving plastic, I honestly don't know! I am the kind of person that only pays attention to concerns if I personally start seeing negatigve effects. I know that is probably not the best philosophy but I haven't had any problems and they work great for me! thanks for voicing you comments, concerns, and encouragements!!

  14. Hey there! Just visiting over from SITS---giving you some following love! Great blog----love my steamed veggies---especially in the summer!

    Come visit me---I have been away for about a week, but am going to get working on a new post today....also---check out my post on the upcoming blogger get together----in Conn.----or I will be down in NJ a few times this summer...

    Keep in touch!