Actually, make that shrimp (also a cheap alternative) in our case...allow me to explain.
This past Saturday marked another fousin foray into the kitchen and I couldn't be more pleased with our results. Upon hearing that our favorite China doll (Christina) would be journeying our way for the weekend, I knew we must make plans post haste to kick it old school and cook up a little dinner while enjoying each other's exquisite company.
*If I haven't said it before, getting in the kitchen with my fousins has become one of my most favorite things in life. I love to try new dishes and experiment with new flavors ("there's nothin' like experimentin'...who's ready for some chromo-magnificence"), and actually having a group to cook for/with makes the entire experience so much more rewarding. In addition, it's also fun to cook with those who are open to expanding their food horizons and who like to have impromptu dance parties while working in the kitchen. And finally, cooking a meal it home is extremely cost effective and it's always more enjoyable to dine at your leisure. I love to linger at the dinner table for at least an hour.
The menu was set several days in advance and featured:
spinach, pear, blue cheese and walnut salad
baked shrimp with feta and tomatoes
baked sweet potatoes
roasted green beans and artichokes
Upon arriving at the Mendez chateau, we promptly got busy in the kitchen sauteing, chopping, mixing and the like. All hands were on deck as we prepped the feast and I can honestly say I loved every minute of it. I wish we could do family dinners everyday. Wouldn't that be a treat?
In between the arduous manual labor, Haylee got in on the action and had some special fousin time herself. Not only did she join in the dance party, but she also got tossed in the air repeatedly by China who made the mistake of doing it once. Children are never satisfied with experiencing something fun only one time. They want you to do it over and over and over again.
With all that dancing and toddler tossing, we really worked up some hearty appetites. Suffice it say, when the dinner bell rang, we loaded our plates with the delicious goodness and ate to our heart's content. Twas delicious indeed and the conversation was equally delightful.
We rounded out the night by watching Jim & Pam's wedding, and we all agreed the final scene made the entire hour of mediocre content worth it in the end. And to be honest, I think I could do anything with my fousins and it would be a grand time.