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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Potlucky II

Tuesday night was Round Two of our quarterly D.I.E.T. potluck party.  It was Deena's turn to host, which meant she picked the theme: Italian:

After making goo goo eyes over Deena's baby girl, Hayden, it was time to get the party started.  Ira was in charge of the appetizer, so he kicked off the evening with a cheese course.  He picked out five cheeses from Murrays, told us about them, and then we made a little game out of picking our favorites.  I am happy to say Ira introduced me to a new preferred fromage, and I know he relished the experience of educating us.
For the main meal, Deena prepared a caesar salad and lasagna.  The lasagna was amazing, but I couldn't figure out what it was that made it so special.  Deena revealed her secret was mixing pesto into the spinach.  This little trick gave the lasagna a whole new personality.  I was on side dish duty and remembered that we had zero green on our plates at the last potluck, so I wanted to bring a vegetable.  I made green beans with a lemony sour cream sauce and fresh shaved pecorino romano.  The sauce was tangy, the green beans were crunchy, and the pecorino was the perfect salty topping.  It isn't really something that can be made in advance, so I to make a quick stop home to assemble before heading to dinner.  No problem - it took me literally 10 minutes, start to finish.

Unfortunately, it looks like the dessert is cursed.  You may recall Deena called in sick during our first potluck.  While Elyse was a great substitution, she wasn't able to bring dessert on such short notice.  This time, it was Emily's turn to bring the sweet treat.  She spent a full day laboring over Magnolia Bakery's signature banana pudding, a recipe that takes hours.  It was perfect...until the snow caused the paper bag she was carrying it in to get wet and fall out from the bottom.  Splat!  Banana pudding all over the 23rd street E stop.  Once again, we settled for ice cream as our dessert.  Minus the dessert debacle, we seem to be settling into a good little potluck groove, which means our next dinner in the Spring will probably be pretty darn close to perfect.

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