Culinary Dorks Dinner Party!

Yesterday I raced out of class to see glorious sunshine and summer-like temperatures!  It was the perfect way to go into a long three day weekend.

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I hurried home to get my house in order for our DINNER PARTY!  I decided a few weeks ago that I needed to get all my old classmates back together again.  Now that some of us have moved on to sophomore classes, our original crew that has been together for 6 months is all spread out, and we have all been missing each other.  Always loving to play the hostess, I was happy to have a class reunion dinner at my house.  Plus I finally got to put all my new table linens to good use! :)

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Kitchen was spick and span and ready to cook in…

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I even bought pretty flowers just for the occasion – ranunculus!  One of my absolute favorites (just behind peonies, but it’s not quite time for them yet…)

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A few of my classmates came over to help me cook.  Nothing like a couple of culinary students getting together to make dinner – good times! 

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The boys were sweet and brought me more beautiful flowers!  So pretty – I am so excited that spring is here and we have COLOR all around again.  Thank you, Sid!

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And a wonderful smelling Easter lily!  I needed something to spruce up our screened in porch, and this is just the thing.  Thank you, Jeff!

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I offered to make veggies, salad, and sides if someone else wanted to make a meat or fish dish.  My friend Jeff brought over mussels and sausage, and joked that he was filling our vegetarian home with the most horrifying animal smells possible!  :)

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I made veggie and tofu kebabs that I marinated in a balsamic mixture.  I used peppers, zucchini, tofu, and mushrooms, and grilled them for 20 minutes or so.

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And then brought them inside and finished them under the broiler, mmmm.

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For the rest of our dishes, Dan brought homemade macaroni and cheese, made from scratch…

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We had Jeff’s mussels and sausage, and BUTTER dish, with bread for dipping…

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I made my favorite bulgur with ginger and orange recipe, which turned out good as alwa
ys.  I originally tried to make it with quinoa (to be gluten free!), but it turned to MUSH – not sure what went wrong.  Luckily I had enough time to try again, and do it the right way with bulgur.  Confession – I cheated on gluten free month and ate the bulgur.  Good at the time, but I am feeling bad for cheating, not to mention I think going GF is actually working for me!  Don’t worry, I am back on track.

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Of course there were the tofu and veg kebabs…

IMG_4383 (800x600) I also had leftover Israeli couscous salad that I brought home from the event I worked on Wednesday night.  Never one to let good food go to waste, I was happy to take it home and serve it for dinner.  One less dish I had to make!

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Casey made a really yummy romaine salad with cranberries, strawberries, and walnuts.  All the toppings kind of fell to the bottom so you had to DIG, but it was worth it…

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And after dinner the girls headed to the kitchen to plate up dessert.  Since we are all in the Advanced Dining Room class right now, we joked all night about serving each other and plate presentations (read: huge culinary dorks). 


Beth was nice enough to bring brownies, strawberries, and pound cake – so we did our best to make some cute individual dessert plates!



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While we plated, the boys hung out at the table and talked.  It was so fun for me to have Casey get to know all the people I work so closely with each day – my two worlds coming together.  Love it.



After LOTS of eating, stories, laughing, and good company, the group finally retired and headed home.  It was SO fun to have everyone over and relax outside of the classroom.  I love these guys!


I am starting to get really sentimental and weepy about culinary school coming to an end so soon.  I started in September, terrified beyond belief with no idea what to expect.  I really can’t even fathom how quickly it has all flown by, and I’m trying to soak up every last minute while it’s still here.

I knew that by going back to school I would learn a lot about food and cooking, and my expectation was that I’d be pretty far removed from the social scene as a commuter student.  I never imagined that I would meet friends I will keep for a lifetime, and have the opportunity to grow so close to such an amazing and diverse group of people.  I am so grateful to have made such great friends. :)

Here’s hoping that the next chapter is just as fun as this last one…