hollow square remnant at rear

hollow square remnant at rear

In May, I had some friends over for a house singing. I made four things to eat and they all came out well. I’d had some trouble with under-cooking the chicken at a couple of these events, so this time I made sure this wouldn’t happen by not making any chicken.

Two recipes came from Smitten Kitchen, one was a variant of a David Lebovitz dish, and one was based on a delicious salad Nancy Werlin (famous authoress) (follow her true-life comic!) had made at the mini-reunion I’d been to the week before.  I recommend any or all of them for a party.  My guests brought fruit, super chocolate desserts, and chocolate covered almonds; we finished the evening with obscure liqueurs and the nuts.   

ristotto, lasagne

risotto, lasagne

Artichoke risotto (made with barley, not freekeh, because I am trying to use up the mad variety of grains and pastas in my house before buying any more).  Frozen artichoke hearts from Trader Joe’s.

Mushroom lasagna.  I was low on mushrooms by the last layer but no one complained.  Timing issues: I put it in the oven at the break, and then it was done 45 minutes later but the singing wasn’t; it would have been better if I’d timed it to come out right before we came to the table.  Nevertheless, it was delicious. New experiences: I’d never made a garlic béchamel before (nor, for that matter, a barley risotto).  I used no-boil lasagna noodles as that’s what I found, but I soaked them a little in hot water before layering them to fend off dryness, as warned in blog comments.  And I made use both of my brand new pot

new pot

new pot

and my ancient Mouli grater.

grater, descended through the matriarchal line

grater, descended through the matriarchal line


Salad, slaw


Broccoli slaw.  An opportunity to break out the food processor, obtained under latke duress in December.  I used red onion throughout, and soured milk instead of buttermilk.  The cranberries for sweetness and chewiness, and the almond slivers for crunch, are important. 

Nancy’s salad: Romaine lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, canned salmon, avocado; lemon dijon dressing. 


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