Party Weekend Recipes!

Please forgive me for being scarce these days and for not stopping by your blog as often to say hello, but it will pick up after the 1st of the year.  I’ve been extremely busy with culinary classes and events.

Wow! What a busy weekend.  I was so exhausted.  Our whole family is in town right now and it’s SO nice.  My daughter came in town from college for Thanksgiving, 4 days earlier than she had scheduled (Yah!) and my sister, her husband and kids came in town to celebrate my moms 90th birthday.

In addition to everyone being in town, my husband and I had planned a dinner party for his biking buddies and their spouses and girlfriends.  Our dinner party was scheduled for Saturaday evening and I felt so bad since my daughter changed her flight from Tuesday to come in on Friday instead.  I like to devote all my time to my kids when they’re in town but it worked out just fine.  My daugther and son spent the evening (Saturday) together for dinner, movie and drinks.  It’s great that they had special time to catch up.  They’re great friends.

On Sunday we celebrated my moms 90th birthday. Her birthday isn’t until the day after Christmas but since much of our family will be all over the place we decided to celebrate it this weekend when all would be here.  We had a wonderful time and I feel so blessed to have my mom still with us.  She’s in great health, her mind is still sharp as a tact, and gets around perfectly.  Parents are a treasure and I feel so fortunate to have a healthy, loving and caring mother.  Although my dad passed away one month before the birth of my daughter just over 22 years ago, I have fond memories of him and feel so lucky to have been raised by both of them.

With 2 dinner parties back to back I’ve been so busy this past week plus planning for Thanksgiving this Thursday and a handful of culinary classes over this and next month.  I’m worn out just thinking about all that’s in store for the month ahead – but looking forward to it all!

Of course, I didn’t take any photos of any of the food I prepared for both dinner parties (being caught up in the moment), but do have photos of the dishes either from the sources I got them from or from previously preparing them.

This was our second annual biking dinner party and everyone brings a dish.  I make the entree while guests bring, appetizers, salads, sides, desserts and wine.  This year it was requested by several of my husbands biking friends that I make my Sweet & Sour Brisket again,

always a favorite of those who try it and quite simple to prepare.  In addition, I made a dish that I often teach in my culinary classes that gets rave reviews.  It’s a stuffed chicken breast with a roasted red pepper coulis.  The appetizers and sides, etc. were all over the board with lots of luscious dishes for all to sample.

Everyone had a great time and I find it amazing that the blend of people get along so well.  It’s such a nice diverse mix, that it’s now become an annual event.

After cleaning the house all day and cleaning up after everyone left, I went to sleep only to wake up Sunday morning ready to do a repeat performance for my moms birthday party.  This time however, we were having the party at her home where my sister was staying with her family.  Sunday nights dinner was a boneless standing rib roast that I’ve made before from a 2000 issue of Bon Appetit.  This dish is so easy to prepare with outstanding results that it’s almost embarrassing since everyone always thinks it must be difficult.  I know many people prefer not to eat meat so I also prepared my Salmon Roulade

which I’ve made numerous times as well as on TV.   With sides of a rice dish, roasted veggies, salad and my moms favorite cakes the party was a huge success and she was all smiles.

This morning I woke up and although tired, started going over my menu for Thanksgiving and Decembers culinary classes.

All the recipes I’ve linked to were loved by all.  Although I served two entrees for both dinner parties, that isn’t necessary to do.  I did it because I wasn’t sure about the dietary habits of the bikers but knew for my family not all would induldge in beef or fish so the combo would satisfy everyone.  Apparently it did, because the dishes at both parties were gone.

With holiday events coming up over this next month I hope you’ll attempt to try one of these entrees.  Both dinner parties had between 12 -18 people.  The recipes truely are simple to prepare but as always if you have any questions don’t ever hesitate to contact me for questions, and remember to adjust the recipes for the number of people in your party.

I hope you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Cooking!

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  1. You are real lucky to celebrate your mother’s 90th birthday. Parents are real treasure and they are always there as a guide. I am sure you had blast at both the parties with your family and friends. I checked each of your recipe and the salmon roulade especially caught my eye. I read every little detail but yet to watch the video. Salmon is the only fish I enjoy so I will try this dish after watching the video.

    I am @

  2. You are real lucky to celebrate your mother’s 90th birthday. Parents are real treasure and they are always there as a guide. I am sure you had blast at both the parties with your family and friends. I checked each of your recipe and the salmon roulade especially caught my eye. I read every little detail but yet to watch the video. Salmon is the only fish I enjoy so I will try this dish after watching the video.

    I am @

  3. Hi Vicki! How lovely to have so much family over and Happy Birthday to your mom! The food sounds fantastic and you KNOW you’re having a good time when you get caught up in the moment and forget to take pictures! Have a great week and we’ll see you next time!

  4. What a wonderful way to celebrate, especially making awesome cherished memories, happy birthday to mom, may you havet he best year to come ever…. love the roast! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours~

  5. Vicki, with your crazy schedule I can’t believe you’ve even had the time to write this post! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful recipes with us! I will be checking them out as I know they will be treasures! Have a blessed Thanksgiving with your family and hope you get a bit of time to put your feet up!

  6. 90th Birthday..that’s really special. Happy Birthday to your mom! Salmon roulade looks gorgeous!

  7. Busy, busy, busy! Thanks for taking time to post, but how did you find the time? Congrats on your mother’s 90th birthday – my father’s 91st is next month!

    Your Salmon Roulade recipe looks particularly interesting. It reminds me of one that Julia Child did with Patrick Clark years ago – but your method is easier (particularly the cooking). I don’t see this recipe around much – good to see someone is making it! I haven’t done this in years; probably time to have it again. Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Sweet and Sour Brisket sounds delicious…love to be at your house for a party! Hope you have a wonderful – and restful, sounds like you need it – Thanksgiving!

  9. What a wonderful meal for such a special time – so great to have so much family and all turning up! I’m sure they all very much appreciated it!
    Mary x

  10. So glad that you are spending time with your family, even if you have been crazy busy. And your moms 90th, wow a very happy birthday to her!
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday…

  11. A nice meal, the sweet and sour brisket must be so flavorful and your salmon roulade looks picture perfect. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family!

  12. Dear Vicki,

    No need for apologies for being busy, we are all guilty just the same! Love the look of that salmon roulade, spells of summer with that wonderful looking gazpacho salsa!

    Hope you are having a great Thanksgiving!

  13. Happy 90th to your mom! Everyone is busy around this time of year- celebrating with family and friends is important. 🙂 The recipes you posted sound delicious! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  14. What a lovely post, Vicki. I hope your Mom enjoyed her day. You asked about Paula Wolfert’s books. I tend to run counter to trend, so I’d have to say my favorite is The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen. Her book on Morocco is wonderful, but I can only eat so much of a single cuisine before tiring of it. My bad! Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  15. Thank you everyone for all your comments. I’ve been so busy as I’m sure you all are as well. Hope you try some of these luscious recipes.

  16. Hi Vicki! Wow your life seems a lot busier than mine and I thought I was busy. LOL. Enjoy your time with family because that matters most in life anyway. 🙂 Happy 90th birthday to your mom! It’s so wonderful that your family could get together to celebrate. I hope you had wonderful Thanksgiving. I still need to try your roulade. It’s going to be fun cooking it. 🙂

  17. Happy Birthday to your mom! You make such wonderful dishes Vicki! sHow wonderful to celebrate with friends and family!

  18. Thank you again for your comments. I hope you try one of these recipes and as always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask me.

  19. Lovely Boneless standing rib roast, Vicky!
    Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, as we also did!
    Your salmon roulade is beautiful, and the presentation is superb!
    Happy Birthday to your sweet mom!
    90 is quite a milestone:D

  20. @Elizabeth – thank you. My mom had a wonderful time. Her birthday isn’t actually until the day after Christmas but since my sister came in town with her family for Thanksgiving we thought it would be the perfect time to celebrate. It was great!

  21. Happy birthday to your Mom. Wow, 90 is a huge milestone. Look like she celebrated most deliciously, too. 😉

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