Entertaining On the Run

Before I worked at Sherman Provision I was an insurance adjuster.  I worked out of my Mauri-1home.  I had so much freedom.  I could come and go as I pleased.  As long as my work was done, it didn’t matter when it got done.  Being at one location for set hours was very foreign to me.  This can lead to a lack of socialization.  By the time you get home, you don’t really feel like entertaining.  We planned a get together with some very special friends.  They were coming over on January 19th at 6:30.  We close at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday so I knew I would have to be organized to pull this off.  All week I tried to decide what to have for dinner on Saturday.  Beef Roast sounded good.  I looked in the freezer, and low and behold, I found the elusive Beef Roast that I had previously cooked and frozen.  I pulled it out of my freezer.  I wanted to do something special.  I checked with my friends to see if they liked mushrooms, and got an enthusiastic, “Yes”!

I had frozen strawberries so I decided to make strawberry shortcake.  I would buy an angel food cake, and dessert was handled.

For side dishes, I had some frozen stir fry vegetables and red skinned potatoes.  If you know anything about me, you know I love red skinned potatoes because you don’t have to peel them.  I also had beautiful tomatoes, and cucumbers.  I completed my menu.


Beef Roast with mushrooms

Mushroom gravy

Smashed red skinned potatoes

Blackened stir fry vegetables

Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, grated parmesean cheese in Italian dressing

Strawberry Shortcake

On Friday night I put the cooked Beef Roast in the crock pot on high with about 1 1/2 pounds of sliced frozen mushrooms, and let their flavors blend together.  I let them cook for about 2 hours.  I cooled them and then put the removable crock in the refrigerator.

On Saturday afternoon, I picked up an Angel Food Cake on my way home.  When I got home, I put the crock with the Beef Roast and mushrooms on the counter to get it adjusted to room temperature.  I took my dog, Baker, for a walk.  About 40 minutes later, I got home and put the Beef Roast with mushrooms on low in the crock pot.

I took about 2 tablespoons of butter and melted it in a skillet.  When the butter was melted, I added about 1 pound of frozen mushrooms, that I had previously thawed.  I whisked about 2 tablespoons of flour into 1 1/2 cups of milk.  I added this to the mushroom/butter mixture.  I stirred with the whisk until it reached the desired consistency.  I thinned it out a little with the broth from the Beef Roast and mushrooms.  My Mushroom Gravy was ready.

In the meantime, I washed and cut the red skinned potatoes into quarters.  I put them in a small sauce pan, covered them with water, and put them on a medium hot burner.  When they boiled, I turned them down to low and allowed them to cook for about 40 minutes.

I took my frozen Stir Fry vegetables, and put them in a casserole dish.  I drizzled Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the vegetables along with about 1 1/2 teaspoon of Blackened Seasoning.  I put these in an oven preheated to 375 degrees and allowed them to cook for 35 minutes.

I cut up 3 whole tomatoes, I added 1 large cucumber which I sliced 1 inch thick and then cut into quarters.  I drained a 15 oz can of small Ripe Olives and added them to the mixture.  I then grated some aged parmesean cheese over the tomatoes, cucumber and Ripe Olives.  I topped this off with some delicious Italian dressing.  I put this in the refrigerator to blend and rest.

Everything was looking good.  I took about 1 1/2 pounds of the frozen strawberries and mixed them with just under 1/2 cup of sugar.  I allowed this to sit out on the cabinet so the strawberries would be thawed and ready to go over the Angel Food Cake at the right moment.  I also had a choice of vanilla ice cream or  whipped cream to top off my Strawberry Shortcake.

Things were looking good.  Everything was ready and waiting for my guests.  The only thing I did when they arrived was to drain the red skinned potatoes, add 2 tablespoons of butter, about 1/4 cup of milk and smash them with my potato masher.  My smashed red skinned potatoes were ready and waiting.

We had a great evening.  I know if you wait for everything to be perfect, you will never have anyone over.  Friends are so very forgiving.  They don’t care if everything is perfect.  They just want to see you.

Let me know some of your favorite hostess stories.  I love to hear from you.  Until next time…From our Butcher Block, to your Table.





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