Sunday, October 3, 2010

Project Food Blog: Challenge #3

Hot diggity!  I never thought I would even make it past Challenge #1, and here I am, at Challenge #3!  All thanks go out to you guys!  Without your votes, I wouldn't be here, and I GREATLY GREATLY appreciate the love!

Challenge #3 is as follows:

"You'll be asked to channel new and exotic flavors for a luxurious dinner party menu. Voters will pick which feast they'd like to RSVP to." 

One thing I love about cooking, is the end result of feeding people.  So naturally, I love to have people come over and eat!  And of course, my co-workers, jumped right on the bandwagon to come on over!
I blogged earlier this week that my favorite season was now upon us - the fall!  And so it's truly the fall season that inspired this menu.  I wanted to bring out something that my guests would enjoy, and would be new to them.  Turns out, 3 of my guests had NEVER had duck before, so that just made this main course all the more perfect!

The first course was just a group appetizer:  Carmelized Onion Dip w/ House Made Pita Chips.  I love the simplicity of this and it allowed for the guests to "share" and converse with eachother before the other courses rolled out.

Second course was a simple salad of Arugula, Baby Greens, and Watercress.  Topped with freshly sliced strawberries, goat cheese, and a raspberry vinaigrette.  It was a nice refreshing salad that brightened up the palette and had a great depth of flavor. 

Main course was the entree of Roasted Duck Breasts with a Pomegranate-Chile sauce.  Served with a brown rice pilaf that included golden raisins, dried apricots, and walnuts.  There was also a side of sauteed swiss chard.  The "Duck Virgins" said that they really enjoyed their first experience with duck and one of them even said that duck may be their new favorite!  Score!

The fourth and final course was the dessert:  Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Caramel Bourbon Sauce & freshly made Whipped Cream.  This was a perfect night cap to end the dinner.  The cheesecake was thin and light, with an Oreo crust that matched perfectly with the pumpkin cheesecake layer.

At the end of the dinner, I asked everyone what their favorite course of the meal was, and it was a unanimous vote that the Duck definitely reigned supreme.  I'm glad, because personally, it was my favorite as well!
I want to thank my awesome sister, Frances, for decorating our back deck, also!  She did such a great job and really made it look elegant and classy!  My guests were awesome and at the end of the day, all you need are great friends and great food to have an amazing time!

 If you guys dug the menu and found yourself drooling the whole time, please please please, don't hesitate to vote for my entry in Challenge #3 of Project Food Blog (you can either click the link or check out the right sidebar to vote!)!  And thank you thank you SOOOO much for getting me this far!  You guys are awesome!


  1. The dinner was absolutely amazing. The atmosphere and food was better than any restaurant experience I have had. Thanks again for a wonderful evening.

  2. Um, how did you know I was drooling throughout this post? I love the look of that pumpkin cheesecake! I am also a duck virgin, and that dish looks so darn good!! Yah, I'd RSVP in a heartbeat.

  3. That all looks AMAZING! The food, the decorations, the obvious fun everyone is having. Great job! Can't wait to vote for you. :)

  4. What a wonderful meal! I love the simple elegance, my kind of meal. That cheesecake looks simply amazing... my husband is a bourbon fan (we visited Maker's Mark when we lived in Louisville!) and loves pumpkin as well. I know this will be a hit. And the dip is something I would love as well. Nicely done! Congratulations and good luck!!

  5. What an amazing pulled this off beautifully, and I loved seeing the pictures of your food and your guests (all of which were stunning) But what I loved the most? The cheesecake! Talk about heavenly! You will have my vote first thing tomorrow. No questions about it!

  6. delicious dinner~~~ I can't agree more on " all you need are great friends and great food to have an amazing time!" :)

  7. I love having arugula in a salad. I actually planted some in my garden this year, but I planted it behind the tomatoes. Bad idea. Every day is an opportunity to learn I guess! Best of luck!

  8. the meal looks delicious! congrats on the third challange. you totally got my vote for this. your guest looks really happy :) good luck on your fourth !! soon soon :)

    Have a fabulous week!
    jen @

  9. Wow, your duck looks perfectly cooked... kudos on pulling that off when you had so many other dishes on the go. Definitely the kind of dinner party I wish I'd get invited to!
    Good luck with the challenge. You've got my vote!

  10. wow! that duck made my mouth water! it looks awesome!

    hope you had a great time and best of luck! I am voting as we speak!

  11. What a great menu - you've made me want to make Pumpkin Cheesecake now!
    Good luck - I voted for you... here's to making challenge 4!

  12. You've inspired me to one day to make duck. VOTED!
    ~ Mary

  13. Your menu sounds delicious! Hope we both make it to the next round! :-) You have my vote!

  14. Delicious menu, and how lucky you are to live in a place warm enough to entertain outdoors! Very jealous. Onion dip is a standard at my dad's Thanksgiving, but it's made from powdered onion soup, so thank you very much for the link to a REAL onion dip recipe!

  15. The duck looks just marvellous! Perfectly roasted! It's definitely my favorite red meat...



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