Dinner For 4: Part II, The Recipes

  If you are just tuning in, I am sharing the recipes from the Dinner Party for 4 we catered this past week.  Head back a Post to see photos from the dinner:

Shrimp Martini Appetizer’s

(click title for printable)

Adapted from Southern Living cookbook


  • 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled
  • 1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice, about half a lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 8 pimento stuffed Spanish olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

Cook shrimp in boiling water until it turns pink.  Drain. Place shrimp in ice water until chilled, drain again.

In a small bowl combine cilantro, tomatoes, olives, jalapeno, garlic and salt.  Squeeze lemon juice over all and stir.  Add shrimp and toss gently.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time. Spoon shrimp mixture into 4 martini glasses, garnish with a toothpick of Spanish olives.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

(click title to be taken to Tasty Kitchen for easy printing)

Creamy Mushroom Soup


  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Onion, Minced
  • 2 whole Dried Bay Leaf
  • 20 ounces, weight Fresh Mushrooms, Chopped (Shiitake Are Amazing, Crimini Or Button Or A Combo Would Be Delish)
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 quarts Chicken Stock
  • 3 cups Heavy Cream
  • 4 Tablespoons Minced Chives

1. Heat a pot with butter over medium high heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add onions and bay leaf. Saute for about 3 minutes or until onions are translucent.
2. Turn the heat to high and add chopped mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes until mushrooms are cooked and soft. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
3. Add the stock and cream. Bring to a boil and immediately turn heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. Garnish with fresh chives and serve after removing with bay leaf.

This creamy soup is so easy and tastes delicious! It’s very brothy, which I LOVE, but feel free to adjust liquids or add some corn starch in cold water to thicken per your liking.  We served this for an appetizer, but when serving for supper, I recommend you eat it with Pioneer Women’s Buttered Rosemary Rolls, made in a cast iron skillet.  The combo is simply AMAZING, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to Heaven!

Crab Cakes

by Gutsy Gourmet


1 pound  Dungeness or Chesapeake Bay crabmeat
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon crab seasoning (Eileen used Old Bay)
1 cup fresh grated bread crumbs

Put crabmeat in mixing bowl, leaving large pieces intact. Add beaten egg. Mix lightly. Add remaining ingredients in order listed.
Form the crab cake mixture into the desired size. Fry in skillet with olive oil on medium to high heat (about 1/2-inch of oil in bottom of skillet). Fry on one side until golden brown and turn over on other side to get the same.

Yield: 6 servings

Oven Roasted Bacon Dripped Asparagus

(click title to be taken to Tasty Kitchen for an easy printable)

Oven Roasted Bacon Dripped Asparagus


  • 2 bunches Garden Fresh Asparagus, About 50 Stalks
  • ½ cups Bacon Drippings (You Can Substitute Olive Oil, But There Is No Comparison In Flavor)
  • Generous Amount Of Kosher Salt, Or To Taste
  • Cracked Pepper To Taste

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

After you wash the asparagus, lay out on a tea towel and thoroughly pat dry. This is important so you don’t steam your asparagus. We’re going for roasted here.

Get out a cutting board and knife, you’ll need to remove the hard end of the stalk. Do test cuts in tiny increments, starting at the bottom of the asparagus. You’ll know where to cut by when knife easily slides through.

Line up your asparagus on a couple of baking sheets, or your Pampered Chef bar pans work excellent! Drizzle with bacon drippings and generously sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked pepper. (Kosher salt will make all the difference in something like this, you want the large-grained crunch and the mellow flavor this salt brings.)

Roast asparagus for about 10 minutes, then test, so that you don’t overcook it! You want to maintain a bit of crisp still, but with tender insides.


Hot Buttered Rum Batter

(click title to be taken to TK for easy printable)

(adapted from All Recipes)



  • ½ pound Sweet Cream Butter
  • ½ pound Brown Sugar
  • ½ pounds Powdered Sugar
  • ½ quart Vanilla Ice Cream, Softened
  • ½ Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in sugars. Remove from heat, and whisk in the ice cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour mixture into a plastic container, seal, and freeze. When ready to serve, set out to soften and stir as it separates.
In a coffee mug, measure 1/2 cup Hot Buttered Rum Batter and 1 fluid ounce of Captain Morgan’s Rum, then fill cup with boiling water.
Enjoy your Hot Buttered Rum!

*Apple Cider can be used in place of water.
*Rum can be eliminated as well, but use Apple Cider, not water for a delicious non-alcoholic drink.




Dinner for 4: Part I, An Evening of Elegance

  I was asked by my mom-in-law, who runs a scrumptious restaurant in town, to help cook, serve & photograph an elegant party for 4. I was so honored to be asked and promptly said, “Yes!”  (Dale says this is a great way for me to work off my speeding ticket….Thanks honey, thanks.

Son of the Year Award, goes to Alan from Oregon, who gifted this dinner party to his parents for Christmas: INCLUDING the fresh Crab he had shipped here just in time!!!!!!

  Here are the photos from our evening:



First up, wine:


  Time to start supper prep, we had such a beautiful space to work in!


Elegant Dinner party for 4 is under way…..


Sweet Jo-jo was not sure just WHAT was going on!


Next up, Shrimp Martini Appetizers:



Working on the Oven Roasted Bacon Dripped Asparagus:068




Then, bowls of Creamy Mushroom soup served with 3 cheese Artisan bread and dilled butter:


Then, the Main course, Crab Cakes made from big chunks of Fresh Crab!
2 big thumbs up to Eileen, who spent hours shelling the crab and putting together these Crab Cakes that got RAVE reviews!!


Dessert plates:  Lemon Cream puff with Raspberry sauce, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Almond Bites.


Hot Buttered Rum finishes the evening off right:


  We had such a lovely time, what a fun job this would be!!!!!  After we were asked for our business card, which we didn’t have since we aren’t part of a company, Eileen and I were teasing that maybe we SHOULD go into business: 

“Dinner for 4” Catering Company:All the Fun of Entertaining Without Any of the Mess! Helping to meet your small dinner party needs.

Elegant Encounter Catering Co: Helping you Host Amazing Dinner Parties in Your Home.
Home Gourmet Catering: Helping you Play Hostess Without All the Headaches.

    Hey, a girls gotta dream, right?! 🙂


  If you are interested in any of the recipes from this post, head on over to Post 2 for today.