Thursday, February 18, 2010

Food Blogging Buddies

One of the fringe benefits of blogging that I hadn't counted on is getting to know a whole community of folks I might otherwise not have an opportunity to meet.

While I initially pooh-poohed twitter, I now view it as a way to find out what other food bloggers are thinking, talking and writing about.

As a newcomer to the food community, it's essential that I have an unofficial group of advisers to whom I can ask questions (on days when my mom isn't available).

When I asked my "computer friends" what to serve for dinner at my first-ever dinner party, one friendly food blogger, Pamela Goldsteen a.k.a. "perryarla", responded with this sage advice:

I think it's always best to serve something that you can make a day ahead. Stews are good for this, as they actually taste better the second day. (Carbonnade, anyone?) Short ribs are nice, or a brisket; this southwestern pulled brisket is my current favorite.

Soups are good this way too, but I don't like to serve soup at dinner parties, as it can be messy to serve, and eat.

At very least, something that doesn't require a lot of fussing at the stove. I like to keep it simple and down home. Roast chicken is always a good choice. If that seems too boring, I love, love, love Jamie Oliver's chicken in milk, which gives roast chicken a bit of a twist, and Oh My Lord, is it good.

I've served Ina Garten's Indonesian chicken to guests before; tasty, and easy.

I don't do a ton of courses; usually just appetizer, entree, dessert. Sometimes, I'll serve a slightly more substantial nibble with drinks, skip appetizer and go right to entree.

Do one more complicated course, and keep the other parts of the meal simple; if the entree is a little labor intensive, I do an easy roast vegetable rather than something that needs stove top treatment, and then, something from a bakery, or homemade brownies, or ice cream and nice cookie for dessert.

This is assuming you're serving omnivores, not vegetarians. For vegetarian meals, I go to casseroles, especially, baked pastas; I can give you some suggestions along those lines if you like.

Thanks for your helpful hints, Pamela. By the way, you've got the best bio:

Pamela Goldsteen is, among other things: a wife, mother, homemaker, yogi, blogger. In a previous incarnation, she was an art historian and a grant writer. She likes cream in her coffee, the Arctic Monkeys, and being upside down. She finds cilantro, Doo-Wop music, and cold, wet sponges extremely disagreeable.

Does anybody really like Doo-Wop? I must say, however, that I'm surprised you don't like cilantro.

By the way, I'm already beginning to think I need to start hosting dinner regularly (maybe monthly?). If so, I'll have to invite you and some other blogger friends I've never met (such as dinner party expert Lisa Cericola) to the next one. Then again, perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself...

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