Entertaining NY-style

Our New York Cousin came for dinner at the weekend & we’re classing him as our first ever New York guest  (sorry visitors who’ve stayed & I’ve cooked) because he arrived, buzzed, ate, chatted & left all on one night.

So with our limited food supply, very limited pot/plate/dish & glass supply, none of our recipes & some uncertainty about the easy location & identification of ingredients we might need, we did wonder a while about what to cook. Settled on a simple menu that had the chance of being impressive & that didn’t require recipes. Cousin is like 6 foot trillion tall & made the point that he didn’t get to be that tall being a fussy eater so we didn’t have to worry about the meal being anything other than an Orange Kitchen one-pot special!

Canapes with pate & caramelised onions
Spinach lasagne & salad greens
White chocolate mousse with summer berries

So off we went on a very hot day to a sweltering Union Square (into the middle of a protest on the Arizona law change to challenge anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant) to get our ingredients – of most concern to locate & identify (not because we didn’t think it existed, just a recognition/name thing when it came to packaging) were ricotta & gelatin, & of next concern re pack size were frozen spinach & mozzarella (there is SO much frozen stuff & cheese ‘stuff’ here that those items had the chance to be troublesome). However, we got everything we needed & even saw Mario Batali signing books in the crowded Union Square. Thought he might notice us because I had our orange Moore Wilson’s bag, but he didn’t!

Union Square

Then we cooked all afternoon in our glass house with one rest stop to Fika for afternoon tea. All went well: no oven dish but the onions caramelised nicely in 2 Pyrex dishes (which then had to be recycled for the lasagne), not much spinach was lost down the plug hole after draining in the giant-holed colander (no sieve), The Mister still has all his fingers after slicing the mozzarella with a blunt knife & I made a make-shift whisk out of one of the beaters from the electric beater!

Turned out we did need one recipe, for the white chocolate mousse – iPad to the rescue! Lucky I’m such a clean cook though & there were no splatters!

iPad recipe

Bit of a dilemma when it came to what to serve the mousse in – we found some great shaped plastic cups in the cupboard, a bit like the glass parfait glasses in the original recipes – but with these being plastic we worried Cousin might think we’d just bought ready-made ones, so chose the lady’s tea party floral teacups instead!

Cups for mousse

The Mister did a fine job assembling & presenting the canapes – the caramelised onions were delicious.


Was *very* impressed to see actual layers in the lasagne – our dish at home is solid so we never get to see this. Not bad!

Spinach lasagne

The mousse definitely looked handmade & impressed Cousin so much he prompted me to photographically document the evidence – voila!

White chocolate mousse


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