137.0…and a GIVEAWAY!

How is it Sunday already!?!
Yesterday’s breakfast was an egg beater & cheddar cheese sandwich on a toasted sandwich thin and a side of cantaloupe:
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Then I went to Great News for a FABULOUS cooking class. My favorite instructor, Phillis Carey, teams up with another great instructor, Diane Phillips, to do a duet cooking class each holiday season. This year’s theme was New Years Eve Dinners.  I miss it every year and was determined to make it this year. So glad I did!! I got to eat so many delicious things and watch Phillis and Diane work their magic in their silly tiaras and t-shirts. Diane’s t-shirt was the best: “You had me at ‘bacon’”.
Phillis Carey is the queen of chicken breasts (the secret is to pound your chicken breasts each time so that they cook faster and stay juicier) and her recipes are simple and delicious. Diane Phillips is the Do-Ahead Diva….she specializes in simple, casual things that can be made ahead.
As usual, if you want a certain recipe(s) for any of these, please don’t hesitate to ask.
The first plate contained two of Diane’s appetizers:
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Prosciutto and Melon with Cracked Pepper and Mint (left) and Ricotta Drizzled with Truffle Honey Served on an Orange Crostini (right).
The prosciutto and melon weren’t my thing….I know it’s probably blasphemy but I don’t like melon with my prosciutto. You know me….I’m weird with my fruit. :) I did like the ricotta and crostini though. Excellent and simple appetizer!!
Next up was a Phillis recipe: Chestnut Soup with Blackberry Gastrique Swirl Topped with Seared Scallops and Chives:
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This may be one of the best soups I’ve ever had. I could do without the blackberry swirl but otherwise, the soup was so amazing!!!!!!
Check out Phillis flambé!!
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Nice! It’s fun to play with fire!
Back to the recipes…I had a salad next from Diane: Field Greens with Roasted Golden Beets, Toasted Walnuts, Cranberry Vinaigrette and Crumbled Goat Cheese:
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Aside from the beets, I really liked it!! Great dressing and you can’t go wrong with goat cheese.
Next up was the main course by Phillis:
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Individual Beef Wellingtons with Prosciutto and Duxelles Filling and Green Peppercorn Sauce (top); Dijon Cream Roasted Potatoes (left) and Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts (right).
The beef wellington was AMAZING. Oh.my.God. Can I have some more?? The potatoes were delicious and the brussels sprouts were great too…they totally took on a different flavor when shredded like that.
The main course from Diane was next:
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Lobster Mac and Cheese (left); Corn, Snap Pea and Bacon Sauté (right); and Cranberry Corn Muffins.
The lobster mac and cheese=heaven on a plate. Can I make this for you? You have to try it. I loved the veggies too! Of course….it had bacon..how could it be bad? The corn muffin was a good idea with the cranberry inside but I found the muffin itself a little dry.
I guess all good things must come to an end. A good ending though….
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Dessert! On the left was Phillis’ Chocolate Cappuccino Hazelnut Torte with Bailey’s White Chocolate Sauce. On the right was Diane’s Chocolate Mousse, Drizzled with Caramel and Sprinkled with Fleur De Sel with Toasted Pecan Shortbread Cookies.
Wow…..chocolate overload! Both desserts were equally rich and delicious!
Did you know that you are supposed to keep Bailey’s in the refrigerator once it’s opened? I didn’t. Guess I need to check on that opened bottle in the liquor cabinet. RIP.
Oh yeah….I mentioned a giveaway didn’t I? Well, you deserve one after surviving all that cooking class craziness! I am giving away one of Phillis Carey’s Fast and Fabulous Entertaining Menus Cookbook! She even signed it for me! I have this cookbook and it’s fabulous!!
“In an era when even discerning cooks are pressed for time, Phillis Carey comes to the rescue with a cookbook that takes the planning out of the entertaining equation. With 50 full menus including over 250 recipes to choose from you are sure to find just what you want to prepare for your next party, whether that party is dinner tonight for the family, an elaborate buffet or even an elegant feast for the boss.”
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All you have to do is leave a comment about what your favorite style of entertaining is….are you a casual cook or do you prefer to pull out all the stops?
I will randomly choose a winner on Sunday! 
As you can imagine, I did not eat dinner last night. :) Instead I watch USC kick some UCLA booty. Nice!
Breakfast was a breakfast burrito that consisted of egg beaters, leftover spanish rice and salsa:
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Nice combo! Afterwards, it was time to get my nails done and come home to make lunch.
Another burrito:
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This one had leftover shredded chicken from the roast chicken I made Friday night with some black beans, salsa, chili powder, cumin and cayenne. It ended up being really small so I threw a quesadilla in there for good measure:
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We have our Holiday Member Party tonight at our club so I need to get ready soon! Have a great rest of your weekend and don’t forget to enter the drawing for the cookbook giveaway!


  1. Can't resist a free cookbook...my first instinct was to say I prefer a casual cooking/hosting environment but, when I actually think about it, I am probably the most elaborate person on the planet, most times. Let's just say half and half :)

  2. Somewhere in the middle? I like to go with some tried and true favorites, but I also like to be creative. Unless I'm short on time...then it's "Trader Joe's Catering" all the way!

    That event looks like it was SO fun.

  3. I love the salad with the beets! And the lobster mac and cheese! I definitely pull out all the stops when it comes to entertaining - and I go overboard. I'm trying to tone it down a little!

  4. I am somewhere in the middle as well! I like to be casual but also like to pull out all the stops when it's a special occasion. Thanks for the giveaway! Love your blog as usual!

  5. Hmmmm I think I prefer the casual cooking environment, but also like pulling out all the stops on very special occasions! I'm not going to cook fancy on Super Bowl Sunday, but I'm not going to cook casual on Christmas!


  6. Casual is usually my style although occasionally, I'll cook a fancy meal. My favorite way to entertain is to make several appetizers and have folks just graze.

  7. Depends on the party I am throwing the dinner party for! Sometimes I like buffet style, and other times fancy and elegant! Either way, I love adding decorating touches to both!
    Thank you!


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