Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summer Tapas & Game Night

Two weekends ago we had our friends, Al & Jordan, over for dinner & game night. My sister, Kim, had given me some salt blocks for Christmas this past year & thought this would be the perfect time to try them out. So, we decided to have a tapas night. Anthony titled the menu "Five Course Summer Tapas"

We started out with a salad of fresh spring greens, napa cabbage, carrot, red bell pepper, & cucumber with a fresh Ginger Peanut Asian Dressing. I made the dressing based on a recipe I found at The Cafe Sucre Farine blog. Let me just say, this is now one of my staple dressings. It was AMAZING. I may use it as a marinade for a chicken stir-fry soon as well.

For the appetizer, Anthony made Polenta Pizziolis. He made the polenta himself & then added some marinara & fresh mozzarella. They were amazing. This was my first time having polenta, so, true to my picky palate, I was a little nervous but, oh my gosh, sooooo good. Also, Jordan brought roasted tomato crustini that were amazing as well. She had roasted some super sweet cherry tomatoes. As a person who never eats tomatoes unless they are in ketchup or sauce, these must have been amazing because I couldn't stop eating them.

Then we brought out the super hot salt block & Anthony proceeded to cook the shrimp on it. We had three sauces to dip them in: a basic cocktail sauce that was hardly touched, a honey sriracha sauce that Anthony made, & chipotle barbecue that was another Anthony concoction. The two Anthony sauces were super flavorful & delicious but also quite spicy. The salt block salted the shrimp perfectly & was a very cool process. Below is a video I tried to capture to give you an idea.

For the entree, we used some of our left over wedding beef brisket & made street tacos. They were good, as well, but by this time we were all starting to become rather stuffed. ;)

To let our food settle a bit, we decided to play a few games before the desert of an assortment of Blue Bell ice cream (Kroger had a sale). Also, at this point, I would like to say I am so sorry for those of you who do not live in Texas & cannot get your hands on Blue Bell ice cream. Nothing compares except maybe what Baptist church ladies make for Baptist ice cream socials. 

We played board games the rest of the night, which has become our thing now, & into the the wee hours of the morning...which didn't make getting up for church the next morning the easiest task. ;) Al has begun collecting board/card games so we always get the opportunity to try out one or two new ones & play some of our favorites. 

This night, one of the games we played was a German murder mystery game called Mord im Arosa. Very fun & clever game. 

We also played a firefighting game called Flash Point. It is a cooperative game which means all the players work together, there is no one winner. Not being a super competitive person, I tend to like these games; however, I also don't like being told what to do, so sometimes they can be a bit irritating for me as well when a couple of strong personalities want to play for me. Then I just want to say what is the point of me being here. ;) Just another reminder of the human pride that infects me & that the Lord is continuing to sanctify in me through His grace & mercy. 

Then the rest of the night we played Dominion that has become a bit of an addiction of our little group. Al has now completed the entire game with all the expansion packs. They have an online version of the game, that, if you ask me, stinks. I get ridiculously frustrated with it however, some people seem to really enjoy it. :/ There is an iPhone/iPad app that I enjoy & I also, interestingly, find I am much more vicious in since I'm only playing the computer & not a real person. I wish they would hurry up & come up with a computer game of it though. 

Needless to say, it was a great night with great friends!

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