Monday, January 30, 2023

Winter Dinner Party

 Winter Dinner Party

No winter blues here....except on the dining table!
We love to entertain and before the month of January ended and the February Valentine decorations came out we thought it would be fun to host some of our neighbors for dinner.  
For our traditional Christmas Eve Holy Supper we made homemade pierogi.  You know, those little stuffed dumplings that are a staple in Easter European cuisine.  Well, if you ever made them, you know that when you do you make a LOT!  We had a few dozen in the freezer so we decided on a traditional Slovak/Ukrainian dinner.
First course was Mushroom Soup....and I found the recipe on this wonderful blog - 

The recipe calls for 2 cups of chopped onions, which seemed like a lot, but the finished soup was not too strong in onions.

You can follow the recipe on the link above...but you sauté the onions... 

then a pound of chopped mushrooms.  I bought a package of a mixture of mushrooms and then just chopped them up a little more.
I used vegetable broth....

Dill and paprika...

You also add salt, pepper, some soy sauce...

Mix some flour and milk to thicken it up...

Let it simmer for a bit, then add some sour cream and heat through.  Then you serve with a dollop of sour cream and chopped parsley....and it looked as good as it tasted, but I was so busy getting everything ready and making sure everyone had a drink that I forgot to take a photo of the finished product!  Luckily, you can see one on the recipe link !
Earlier in the day I made the stuffed cabbage, or as we call them - Halupki.  I really don't follow a recipe, though there are a lot of them out there on blogs and recipe sites.  I kind of use what I remember my mom doing and then add some of the things I read in cookbooks or online.
Start by boiling a large pot of water and when it comes to a boil add a head of cabbage....

Let the cabbage boil until the leaves begin to soften and you can pull them off, one by one, with tongs.

Let the leaves cool for a few minutes...

then thin out the rib of the leaf with a paring knife, but don't cut it all out.

My mom's recipe called for 2 pounds of ground beef, but I know she always added a little pork - especially when she made them for New Year's Day.  We try to eat turkey instead of I used one pound of turkey, 

and one pound of ground pork.  In the past I used all turkey, but since these were going to be for guests I wanted to make sure they were more traditional.

Mix the meats with 1 cup of cooked rice ( I used brown rice), salt, pepper, dried minced onion, and one can of tomato SOUP, and about a quarter cup of ketchup.

Put a spoonful of the meat mixture on the cabbage leaf...

Can't tell you the exact amount...there is a lot of meat mixture and some of the cabbage pieces are bigger than others, so just put in the amount you can see looks like you can fold in the sides of the leaf.

Fold in, roll up...

And place seam side down in a baking dish.
And this is where I forgot to take any more photos....trying to get everything ready for our guests.  But...once you fill the pan with the rolls, pour 2 more cans of tomato soup and about 1/2 can of water over the entire pan. ( Note - be careful here....I usually make this in one of those old fashioned blue speckled roaster pans that are several inches deep.  Because company was coming and I wanted to serve from this dish I used this one, and good thing I had a pan underneath it in the oven because the sauce leaked over just a bit!)  Before putting in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 and 1/2 hours squirt some ketchup over the entire pan.  Not a lot, just enough to give it some more tang!
While I did not take photos of the finished product, they were a huge hit!  I served them with the pierogi, peas, applesauce, and whole grain bread and butter.   For dessert - a PURCHASED Lemon Meringue Pie.  A nice lemony touch for dessert!
Here was the dessert set up...I put the pie on the cake stand, had chocolate covered cashews and some other chocolates.  One friend brought chocolate covered strawberries that were wonderful!

I like to set up a bar area...we had wine and also some martinis.

I used our wedding china ( after 46 years I guess it is considered antique!) and these neat winter napkins I found a few years ago at Kohls.

Simple snowball centerpiece.

And this little snowman spreader for the butter.  I bought a tub of Irish butter and used my melon baller to make a plate of little butter snowballs....which I also forgot to photograph!!!  I need to remember to take more photos !!!
But, the important thing was that it was a wonderful evening...we ate way too much and sat at the table talking for hours.  That is the best part of having guests in your home...the memories you make.  And the food!
Do you like to entertain?  Do you forget to take photos of what you are making for your blog ?  Please leave a comment below...I love hearing from you!  Thanks ever so much for stopping by 
Our New Vista !


  1. I usually don't get many photos when I'm hosting. We had friends over for brunch recently and I didn't take ONE! It's nice just being in the moment. All of your food looked yummy and it looked like such a cozy dinner party! I love the little snowman spreader!

  2. Ann, how fun to have your friends over for a dinner party. The menu sounds wonderful and I'm sure everyone enjoyed your dinner. I did entertain for Christmas day and I did not have time to take any photos. I do entertain a lot during the summer. :)


I really enjoy your comments - please leave one here !

Trip !

  TRIP !!! And not the trip we were looking forward to...out for a walk and waiting for the crosswalk to say WALK.  A tractor trailer turned...