Ever since January--when we moved to our "big" apartment that could fit more than two people at one time, and I had a fun evening with Brian at Brandy's piano bar--I have been wanting to invite my siblings and their spouses over to experience a New York City evening with dinner at my place followed by a sing-a-long at Brandy's. Eleven months later, it finally happened. Some dreams do come true.
My siblings live in the 'burbs and I always like the opportunity to show them the way I live and how great the city can be.
When it comes to entertaining, I am exactly like my mother. I used to bust her chops for putting so much effort into everything and going completely overboard, but I am the same exact way. I don't know how to be different. Not that I am complaining because despite all the hard work, I think it is fun and rewarding.
Friday, I spent a good part of the day cleaning the apartment, planning my menu and grocery shopping. (I know you're SUPPOSED to make recipes you are familiar with when you have guests but I never do.) Saturday, I was in the kitchen all day making classic cheese lasagna (I would have made the homemade noodles but I don't have a pasta maker). I baked a chocolate cake that I have been dying to make since I first got this issue of Bon Appetit. It required making a caramel sauce (my first time ever!), which of course I burned the first time (it's very sneaky because there is like two seconds between when it's okay and when it's bad!), but the second batch came out great. The four-layer cake assembly was a little nerve wracking because the cake was so soft, I was afraid it would crumble apart, but it magically came together. I also made a salad, fruit salad and garlic bread, which were no-brainers. Dan kept me company by playing Nintendo Wii the entire time. Yes, that would be hours and hours of Wii.
But all that work was worth it because the meal was great, the company was greater, and Brandy's was just as much fun as it was back in January.
I hope it won't take another eleven months to get the crew back here again.
Annette and Jen dig into dinner.
Pete and me at Brandy's.
Kent, Annette and Jen.
Dan took a break from Nintendo to enjoy the music.