Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sixth Annual Fall Feast

This Saturday I am hosting our sixth annual fall feast. It is a special dinner I like to give for my closest friends and family where they can come and eat a nice meal without having to worry about cooking it or paying for it. It’s a small thing, but it’s something tangible I can do to express love to them.

This year, I am making braised beef short ribs, mashed potatoes, polenta, acorn squash, roasted asparagus, and pumpkin cheesecake.

Interestingly, when I called Cub to see about the short ribs, the butcher told me they haven’t sold beef short ribs since sometime last year, and he also said most Twin Cities grocery stores don’t carry them. That got me nervous. But after calling around to a couple other places, I found that the “nicer” or more specialty stores do carry them. Lunds/Byerly’s does, but they cost quite a bit more (almost double) than where I have ultimately decided to buy them: Widmer’s in St. Paul. The butcher I talked to was very knowledgeable and the price was right at $4.99/lb. He said he’d cut them how I wanted when I go and pick them up. Great service.

Here is the recipe I’m planning to use (scroll down for the recipe): I’m making the ribs gluten free by using rice flour for dredging the meat so my dear friend Jamie can eat a gluten free meal.

All of the recipes I’m using seem to be fairly simple, and that’s on purpose. I am 18 weeks pregnant and still not feeling the greatest, so I’m trying to make the meal a little simpler than usual. I am also using paper plates this year. They are nice looking and heavy duty, and I think they’ll hold up just fine. But that is 16 less plates to wash! I’ll probably do the same for dessert plates and save myself another 16 plates worth of dishes.

Here are links to the other recipes I’m using.

I’ve never made polenta before, and I may decide not to make it for the feast. I’ll see how the day goes.

Acorn Squash
I am trying to decide whether to make this recipe as is or modify it to make a squash puree instead.

Roasted Asparagus
Simple but, I’m sure, delicious. I love asparagus.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
I made this cheesecake one other time and it was very good. I will make a Maple Pecan drizzle to go over the top using the top commenter’s recipe. Yum.

I'll be posting details about the party next week, including a cost breakdown and how each recipe turned out!