Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dinner Playdate

Last night we had Avery and her parents over for dinner. We met her parents-to-be through our adoption agency last November at a Waiting Families Gathering. Little did we know at the time that we would all have babies in our lives in a matter of weeks! Avery is a month older than Ian and as cute as they come! Is there anything better than baby giggles?

Avery's mommy is an avid blogger (yeah) and introduced me to the most wonderful thing...Google Reader. Ahhhhhh ahhhh ahhh ahhh, do you hear the angels singing too? Google Reader allows you to subscribe to blogs and websites and such and notifies you when there is new content. By some standards, the 30 or so blogs that I read regularly do not make a long list. But checking them everyday to see if anyone has posted an update was becoming tedious. Especially when many bloggers only update monthly. (You fortunate readers, on the other hand, are blessed with two posts in one day thank you very much!) But thanks to Google Reader, I just open one folder and bam, there are my notifications. Quite the time saver! So of course, I had to pass along this tip to you. What can I say? I'm a giver.

Okay, back to the dinner. Since you seem absolutely fascinated by my pot pie recipe, I'll pass along a couple of test drives we took last night. Calm down, don't get too excited. Remember your blood pressure. And yes, I'm the idiot who likes to try out new recipes on my unsuspecting guests. Wanna come over?

I'm a fan of the slow cooker for school night dinner playdates. In fact, I was able to prep most of the food the day before.

Easy Slow Cooker French Dip
lonwolf32 (from

10.5 oz can condensed french onion soup
10.5 oz can beef broth
12 oz can/bottle beer
4lb rump roast

Dump everything into the slow cooker on low for 7 hours. Let rest, slice and arrange on toasted french rolls with the au jus the meat cooked in. Voila, dinner is served.

Smoked Turkey Wrapped Asparagus
Ellie Krieger (from

Smoked Turkey
Olive Oil

Trim ends of asparagus (just bend and it will snap where it should be trimmed). Shave the large end of the stalks with a peeler. Coat asparagus with olive oil. Wrap 1/2 slice of smoked turkey (or smoked tofurkey in my case) around the center of the asparagus. Roast at 400 for 10 min.

Annie's Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
Ann Page (from

2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and chopped
3 Kiwi, peeled and chopped
1 lb fresh strawberries, chopped
8 oz fresh raspberries
3 T fruit preserves (I used organic raspberry)
1 T brown sugar
2 T sugar

I made it a day ahead so I put some lemon juice on the apple chunks to keep them from browning. Just mix everything and refrigerate. I made the cinnamon chips with flour tortillas cut in wedges, sprayed with Pam and dredged in cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 for 8-10 min.

I can't honestly tell you how the french dips turned out because I didn't eat them. That's the curse of cooking meat when you're a vegetarian I suppose! Jeff's no help, he gave them his usual "fine" review. So on to the dishes that I did eat. The asparagus was delish and oh so simple. Definitely a recipe to repeat. But my fav has to be the dessert. And it's not that unhealthy! In fact, you could leave out the sugar and use all-fruit preserves and it would be down right good for you. I also made herbed roasted potatoes but that's not rocket science so I'll save you the recipe boredom.

Well, that was our dinner playdate in a nutshell. Simple food. New friends. Good conversation. And hey, the babies even looked at each other once or twice.


Megan May 8, 2008 at 1:39 PM  

I can confirm that the roast beef sandwiches were indeed delicious! Thanks so much - we had a great time!

Emily May 8, 2008 at 1:43 PM  

Wow thank you for the tip on the blogging. That's awesome.
You know what's funny? When I first got my blog I was thinking, "wow, I'm gonna be updating so much people are gonna get sick of it." But now I get on it just about every day and realize it's been almost a month, which for me is way too long. But if I could only think of something interesting to post. I planned on sharing what we are learing in the apologetics class but for some reason I am so bad at explaining stuff so I'm trying to write it in a way it actually makes sense. I do have several posts in drafts :)

Thank you for sharing all your yummy recipes! I really need to learn how to brother actually is very good at it. But I'm more the box and canned food girl, not really creative enough to make "real" food. But, my brother is the opposite. He will be sitting there trying to figure out how to cook a frozen dinner, and I'm laughing cuz it says right there on the box. He teases me because I don't know how to cook, but now I can tease him right back.

Wow, this is getting long so I better go. Bye!

Beth May 8, 2008 at 6:57 PM  

THANK YOU for the Google reader tip!!!! That will save a ton of time. I am such an avid reader that I kind of have a routine, so it might take a little while to get in the habit of not checking all of them :) Thanks again. I am also looking forward to trying your recipes.

The Tucson Gang May 15, 2008 at 12:23 PM  

Yum, I'm going to have to try those recipes...I LOVE french dips and it sounds oh so yummy and easy! I found a super simple and yummy dessert too. With a couple of easy substitutions (ie. fat free strawberry cream cheese, instead of plain w/sugar and vanilla added) it could be pretty healthy too. It's perfect for those Oregon summer fruits coming into season. It's both pretty and yummy. I leave off the glaze - it doesn't need it - so I left that portion out of the directions below.

Here's the link:

Fancy Fruit Pizza
1 (18 ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sliced fruits of your choice. I used strawberries, kiwi, mandarin oranges and blueberries

On a greased 14-in. pizza pan, press cookie dough into a 12-in. circle. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over crust. Toss bananas with lemon juice. Arrange fruit over cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour.



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