Before I jump into our last Family Dinner, let me take a moment to talk about the most helpful kitchen assistants we have….. our Fur Babies.
And by most helpful, I mean, the most unhelpful.
I asked Leia to chop some apples and instead, she chose to take a nap.
All. Day. Long.
But aren’t those rolls just simply glorious???
I asked Bella to whip up some cream and instead, she chose to guard the oven. I mean, sure–there’s always a chance someone will come in and steal the chocolate cake.
Whelp, at least they are darn furdorable.
Speaking of furdorable, I mean adorable – look at my little man. Those dimples….
Here’s Lucasaurus hanging out, waiting for his cousies to come over to play.
And while we were waiting for everyone to come over, we caught seestrah N pilfering some of T’s succulents.
My family is rather obsessed with succulents.
Here’s her six pack of succulents to-go.
And while she did that, I poured us a cocktail— Apple Cider Sangria.
This, my Friends, is one of my favorite cocktails lately and it’s really easy to make.
Just fill a large pitcher with apples, pears, white wine and apple cider. I also added some Calvados (or just some regular Brandy or Cognac if you don’t have Calvados on hand), a few splashes of OJ and a few cinnamon sticks. I let all the goodness chill out in the fridge for several hours and then stirred in some Prosecco before serving.
So dang good and it goes down really smooth. So be careful–it packs a punch!
Cuddles… my non-food favorite thing about Fam Din.
Then it was time for some appetizers! And this month was filled with them — 3 different kinds!
Sometimes we’re heavy on appetizers (like 3 or 4 different ones) and sometimes we’re heavy on entrees (like 2 or 3 different main dishes!). What can I say, we love to eat!
N took a spin off of Trisha Yearwood’s (yup, as in the country singer) Shrimp Croquettes.
And let me tell you…
Oh. My. God.
They were so freaking good!
She tweaked the recipe a bit (as we always do!) and they came out beautifully!
Perfectly crispy on the outside and shrimpy–and somehow creamy–on the inside. We think the milk may have been the cause to this?
But whatever the reason—these will definitely be made again!!
I have no idea what the kiddos are doing here. But there’s no bickering, no yelling, no crying — so this Auntie is a happy camper.
Appetizer number 2!
L brought these Burgundy Pepper Beef Skewers that we grilled — which is kind of funny because she doesn’t eat red meat.
But for us, all-kinds-of carnivorous eatin’ peeps, we were VERY happy with her decision!
She also brought a bunch of fresh oysters and whipped up a classic mignonette to accompany them.
And as always, our resident shucker, Nini got to work. I think she shucked her first oyster at 10 or 11?
If you love fresh oysters, I highly suggest training your munchkins early on how to shuck. Not only does it give them some fantastic life skills but it REALLY helps out with family dinners.
And it gives me some extra time to sit on the Wicker Throne to enjoy some vino.
Now on to the main course.
Seestrah T has been talking about her Chicken Pot Pie for ages now as it’s been a staple for her household. She uses her 40 Garlic Clove Chicken as a base and throws it into a dish before covering it with some puff pastry. After a quick bake in the oven–wham, bam! Chicken Pot Pie!
T has been raving about it for so long that we decided to task her with it for Family Dinner!
Below is her 40 Garlic Clove Chicken ready to shred up. I love it and do a hybrid of Ina Garten’s and Alton Brown’s recipes when I opt for this wonderfully savory and rich dish. My version can be found here.
Once she shreds up the chicken, she mixes it up with carrots, peas (edamame this time) and some of the rich sauce from the chicken.
In a few of the dishes, I stirred in some cubed potatoes because I’m a potato-monster.
For quick pot pies, T opts for some store bought puff pastry. I love that too–buttery, flaky goodness. But this time for Family Dinner, she whipped up some pastry dough to cover up the dishes.
The girls helped to roll out the dough and made little leaves for decoration.
The end result was wonderful! Rich, hearty—total comfort food.
And then we did a bit of clean up before for dessert.
Meanwhile, I love this picture. Maya is screaming while Leo has the look of total indifference. I know…it’s so blurry but totally captures the shenanigans of our Fam Din.
And then it was finally time for dessert!
We’re a chocoholic kind of family so when I was deciding on what sweet treat to make, it was a no brainer to opt for something chocolate based.
And what screams chocolate more than a Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake!
Our family loves the Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake from Porto’s. The best thing for a chocoholic! It’s been on my to-do list to try and bake for some time now. And I’ve been holding on to the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated FOH-EVAH.
No day but today!
It starts with a dense and rich chocolate cake base. Next, it’s slathered with a light and airy chocolate mousse before it’s topped with an equally light (and decadent) white chocolate mousse.
Wowser, wowser, WOWSER!
Gang…it’s perfection. Easily one of my favorite types of chocolate cakes.
Yup, I’ll definitely be making it again.
After dinner, R whipped up a fire because it’s what he does.
Anyone else feel like Sirius Black’s head is going to pop out of the flames to give us some sage advice on how to defeat the Dark Lord?
If not, shame on you. You need to go back and re-read (or rewatch) the entire Harry Potter series.
Look at them.
How could your heart not swell with love?
They are our Reason.
And just like that—it’s a wrap!!!
With ❤ from our Foodie Fam Bam to Yours!
This Month’s Family Dinner Menu
Cocktails: Apple Cider Sangria, Various Wine
Appetizers: Shrimp Croquettes, Burgundy Peppercorn Beef Skewers, Fresh Oysters with Mignonette
Entrees: 40 Garlic Clove Chicken Pot Pie
Dessert: Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake