Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sonal's Birthday Feast

For Sonal's birthday this year, we decided to throw a pot-luck picnic in Central Park. It of course rained the whole afternoon (as it has done every time we decide to throw a pot-luck picnic), so we moved the party indoors to a bar. The owner was more than happy to have 12 people fill her otherwise empty bar at 1pm on a Saturday. They don't serve food at this bar and completely welcome outside food. It's the perfect place to relocate a pot-luck picnic. I made:

Chocolate Fudge: Uber easy -- who knew! I keep telling it's as easy as making rice krispee treats (something I mastered at age 10). The other nice part about making fudge was that I could make it a few days in advance.

Tomato, Corn, and Avocado Salad: this is my new favorite dish! So quick, hardly any mess to clean up. I actually had a bunch of leftover ingredients, so I made it again for dinner later in the week.

Macaroni Salad
: another new favorite. there's something so yummy about the way this tastes. I made it with whole wheat noodles, so you don't feel so bad eating all those carbs. Again I had leftovers of most of the ingredients so I made it again for lunch one day. I didn't have any prosciutto left, so instead I sliced up some chicken breast lunch meat and put that in. It worked really well. I might have even liked it better that way. A couple tips:
  • don't toss all the goat cheese in before you put the noodles in. The heat from the pasta kinda melts everything (in a good way b/c the pasta gets really well coated with the sauce), but its nice to have some un-melted pieces of goat cheese too. I put about half in before and saved the other half to add later, once the whole thing cooled down a bit.
  • double the quantity of tomatos, cheese, and meat that you use compared to the pasta otherwise you end up with mainly noodles. I caught that tip in the comments people left on the recipe so I just did it, but I can easily see how it could happen.
Strawberry Cream Cake: This was our birthday cake. I'm going to admit - I made the cake part from a box mix to save time, but I used to rest of the recipe for the cream and strawberries. Also, don't listen to them when they tell you to whip the cream until you get "soft peaks" -- its a lie. You need "firm peaks" - as any other whipped cream recipe will tell you.

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