Saturday, September 20, 2008

Weekend with Friends

Last weekend I invited our old friends the Shepherds over for dinner. We used to see them every week back in the day, but since they had their daughter Alannah, they disappeared from the earth! haha, no they just don't get out that much. She is seven I felt like seven years was long enough! Let's hang out already!

Paul thought it was time to pull out the 12 year old Jamesons...Steve couldn't agree more!

I set up a little craft station for their daughter Alannah (pictured above with her mom and my dear friend Roxanne)...I went up to my craft room and pulled out markers, stickers, stamps, papers, puffy paints, glitter and glue. What was really funny was that I lined my table with this scrap paper my friend Dena gave me. She used to work at a car dealership and they had this form that they stopped using, so she gave me a big bundle of it to use as scrap paper for under my stamping projects. it had lots of places to check and sign, Alannah had more fun filling out the form and asking us to "sign here" than using the craft supplies. I remember asking my mom to take a bunch of the deposit slips from the bank so I could play with them when I was a I could totally relate! :)

For dinner, New York Strip steaks, roasted broccoli and cauliflower and scalloped potatoes. Believe me when I say that the scalloped potatoes were the star of the show and you should absolutely TRY THIS RECIPE if you like cheese, or potatoes...YUMMY!

I went to Food Network and found this basic recipe by Emeril. I altered the cheese a bit and I think it made all the difference. I totally think this cheese base would work amazingly on mac and cheese too. It had such a deep rich flavor and so cheesy...and sometimes home made mac and cheese is blah!

Cheese Scalloped Potatoes
Adapted from the Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup grated Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese, plus 3 tbsp reserved for the top
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup shredded Peccorino Romano cheese, plus 3 tbsp reserved for the top
4 potatoes, skin on and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook onion in butter until soft, add flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking. Whisk in milk and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup of cheese, stirring until melted; season with salt and pepper.

Spray the bottom of your baking dish with a non-stick spray. Begin to layer your potatoes in the bottom of the dish in rows. sprinkle the layer with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then cover the layer with 1/3 of the sauce, it is ok if it doesn't go all the way to the edges, as it will all meld together as you continue to layer

Continue to create layers of potatoes and cheese sauce. Sprinkle the top with remaining cheese. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Is this not beautiful???? We started eating and then I realized I hadn't photographed the finished product! It was so good, we couldn't help ourselves!

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