“I realize that I was wrong…”

I don’t often like to admit when I’m wrong. It’s human nature, everyone likes their “I told you so!” or “In your face!” moments. But sometimes, I can be the bigger person and admit when my impression of someone misses the mark, or maybe they’re not as cuckoo as I first thought. What am I talking about? Gwyneth Paltrow, and the fact that yes, Erin, she CAN cook…Or at the very least, she’s got good handlers and ghost-writers.

Outside of Seven and Iron Man, I can’t think of anything else I’ve even seen Gwyneth Paltrow in. The nicest thing my mom’s ever had to say about her is that she’s a better actress than her mother was. Still, it was really nice of Kerry to giveaway the cookbook, and I do like both free stuff, as well as cookbooks. I read them like regular books.

After I returned from the grocery store yesterday, I got to work on what would take the longest. The roasted tomatoes portion of the Arugula Salad with Mozzarella & Slow-Roasted Tomato Crostini. I used 3 pounds of Roma tomatoes, so it took about 7 hours to get them roasted down, but they were worth the wait:

They were SO good on the crostini.

I took my time with getting everything set up–I figured things could start around 7, giving Jessica time to get back to town and be able to join us. I set the table ahead of time, and this was the “fanciest” table setting my dining room has ever seen:

I was joking about the number of “courses” we had & how often Jay & I did multi-course dinners, and how this was the first. Everything was really good, though. The toppings for the Chicken Milanese were a hit.

Avocado & Tomato Salad. I realized when I was typing up the recipe that I’d forgotten to add the cilantro–I ended up having to buy a HUGE bunch of it, but by the end of the day, I couldn’t remember what I’d gotten it for. This particular topping contains onions, so I didn’t try it, but everyone else split their chicken in half so they could try both, and said it was really good. I had the Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Arugula:

And this was excellent. The tomatoes were super-sweet and balanced the peppery arugula. I would eat chicken with this every day.

And due to the size of the breasts once I pounded them out, I got to use my large serving platter for the first time:

I was going to make 9 breasts, but after pounding them out, and seeing how large they got, I figured one each would be enough. I got the impression, though that Ernie probably would’ve liked seconds and Jay told me himself that he would’ve liked seconds. Oh well.

I was skeptical about dessert–Berries with Caramelized Cream. I don’t really know why. I wasn’t sure the caramelization of the cream would work or that it wouldn’t be all that great. I was wrong.

I probably could’ve left it in a minute or two longer, but I was also afraid it would burn. Ernie dug in right away & so did Jay–They both agreed it was excellent, and they both had seconds!

Warm berries are good anyway, and with the addition of cream & mascarpone, they’re even better! The recipe calls for the addition of seeds from a vanilla bean, but I never have vanilla beans on-hand. I thought I’d just toss some vanilla extract in there. When I actually got to work on the dish, I ended up splashing a tablespoon of Amaretto over the berries before I poured the cream over them. I have no idea if it made any difference, but I thought it was a nice touch anyway.The night before last, Katie & Ernie had entertained some folks from Germany (I think in a roundabout way Ernie works with them), and they brought chocolate:

Which Ernie so kindly shared with the rest of us!

Melissa, gods love her, brought over 2 bottles of wine, and Jessica brought over one. We didn’t test out the $3 vino, but we opened these two:


They were both good. I know nothing about Spanish wines, but I liked the fact that the name of it was “Tempra Tantrum.” Melissa said she often does what I do when picking out wine & is drawn to a silly or unique label. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t!

All in all, the dinner itself was good…MUCH better than I was expecting. By the time I brought out dessert, I’d told everybody that I was actually both disappointed in the fact that none of the dishes flopped, but also pleased, just because I wouldn’t have enough food to feed everyone! I was kind of hoping that at least one thing would be less-than-stellar. But no, everything really was excellent! Which is a good thing, especially if I can get Jay and more importantly the bambino, to eat lighter & healthier!