Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The "Savor the Moment" 10th Anniversary Dinner Parties!!!

As you may have heard, the "Savor the Moment" 10th Anniversary Dinner Parties were held this past Saturday, April 24th. This year's parties were in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the publication of our James Beard Award-winning cookbook, "Savor the Moment." The tasty menus were based on chapter themes from the cookbook and hostesses were asked to choose a menu, invite some willing participants and assign each person a delicious dish to prepare and bring to the party. Started in 2006 as our New Member Project, the Dinner Parties have been a great way to familiarize both League members and supporters with the exciting menus, inspirational entertaining ideas, and great recipes from our celebrated book. Having participated every year, I have to say, these parties are a lot of fun and this year was no exception!

We selected the "Casting off the Day" Menu, a delicious selection of hors d'oeuvres, desserts and cocktails including Brie in Puff Pastry, Shrimp with Cajun RĂ©moulade Sauce, Chicken Satay, Bali Wings, Ginger Chicken Rumaki, Toasted Coconut Cake and Fabulous Fudge Cake accompanied by Sea Breeze Cocktails and a variety of other beverages. Not a bad lineup, eh? I had made some of these recipes before, but not all; the Chicken Satay (shown here from Greta Gillis' party), Bali Wings and Fabulous Fudge Cake were new to me. I prepared the Fabulous Fudge Cake (pg. 252 ) and, while not the most beautiful cake (the icing is tricky), what it lacked in looks it more than made up for in flavor! Between the cake and the frosting, the recipe calls for 3 sticks of margarine. Now, I have never purchased margarine before and have been under the impression it's a pretty unhealthy product compared to butter. However, after doing a bit of research, it turns out that is not necessarily the case. Margarine is made from vegetable oils, so it contains no cholesterol and is also higher in "good" fats than butter is. Butter, on the other hand, is made from animal fat, so it contains cholesterol and high levels of saturated fat. I suppose as long as you're not eating this or any other chocolate cake every day, a little bit of either margarine or butter is probably ok. After making this delicious, chocolaty cake with the margarine, I have to say, it is definitely worth it!

I'm occasionally asked why I never talk about the "mishaps" or "mess ups" I've experienced during this project so far. To that, I say it's because there really haven't been any - not necessarily due to my exceptional talent in the kitchen, mind you, but because the recipes are just very well written and user friendly. Might there have been one or two that weren't to my "taste?" Yes, but any disparities such as an ingredient substitution or timing snafu I have fully disclosed! I am happy to report all of the dishes prepared by our dinner party guests were delicious - really! One of the highlights of our menu was the Toasted Coconut Cake brought by Reagan Such. Having made that cake before, I appreciate all the work that went into it. Reagan did a fabulous job, even decorating the cake with orchids from her fabulous orchid plants (you should see this girl's orchid collection)! It was also the perfect birthday cake for one of our party girls, Caroline Angstadt, who happened to be celebrating her birthday that evening.

After an evening of sampling delicious dishes, sipping Sea Breezes and other assorted libations, and sharing lots of laughs, our party drew to a close around 2am! I believe a good time was had by all and while saying goodnight to our guests, "Casting off the Day" CD in hand, I found myself savoring a very fun evening with friends. As it turns out, all the other Dinner Parties were a hit as well! Thanks again to our fabulous hostesses, especially Karin Bice, Joyce DeVita, and Greta Gillis for their help in promoting the Dinner Parties, not to mention all our adventurous attendees for rocking the recipes of "Savor the Moment." I'd also like to propose a toast to all the wonderful women who put so much time, effort and talent into creating this amazing book - cheers to all of you! The Cookbook Committee is presently at work planning our Fall event, but more about that later...I need a nap!


  1. Sounds like a fabulous party! :-) What a grand assortment of yummy things. :-)

  2. Congratulations! Looks like a wonderful time. I saw you on Lazaro Cooks and thought I'd stop in. So glad I did. I'll be back soon for sure!

    Alex aka Ma What's for Dinner

  3. This looks like so much fun! I'm impressed with the fantastic menu and the fabulous coconut cake.

  4. Fun, Stephanie! Love Regan's coconut cake effort..I've made it too, it's divine! Hers is decorated so beautifully!

  5. Putting together an award-winning cookbook must have been so much fun. Congratulations on 10 years!


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