Blogiversary Dinner Party: Part 1
On September 30, 2010 I made a big change in my life and created Allison Eats. While you may be thinking, a big change? Its just a blog! I must disagree. For those who don’t know me, I tend to be a bit non-committal about the various hobbies I’ve picked up in the past, so I tend to avoid big projects, afraid I’ll eventually give up on it. However, the one thing I’ve always been confident about is my love of cooking and food. So for a few weeks I toyed with the idea of starting a blog. I knew I could pull off the regular cooking, but I would have to be dedicated enough to keep it interesting, learn how to photograph food well (looking back to old posts often makes me cringe!), and keep it going in the long term (the biggest challenge for me). I decided to go for it, and figured that once I started and shared this with the world, there was no turning back! And I’m so glad that I was able to stick with it.
By far, the biggest reason I’ve been so devoted to this blog is all the positive feedback I get from my friends, family and readers! I absolutely love when people tell me they’ve used one of my recipes, and any time I find a fellow blogger has mentioned me in one of their posts, I’m instantly elated. So thank you dear readers for being so loving and hungry!
So anyway, I knew this weekend was a call for celebration. I decided to host an intimate Blogiversary dinner party. Being a designer, foodie, and all-around nerd, I almost immediately created a little invitation and menu for the event (see photos below), which was loosely French-themed. I carefully planned my courses knowing I didn’t want to give myself an unmanageable amount of work, and limited the recipes I would blog about to three; One appetizer, main course, and dessert. I’m going to split this post into three as well.
All in all the evening was fabulous! Although preparing a dinner like this and having to stop and photograph plates was a bit daunting, I had lots of help from my lovely friends Ashley and Jen. So, to the tunes of the Django Reinhardt Pandora station, we ate, drank lots of wine, played Taboo and Texas Hold ‘Em, and everyone left happy and full, with a jar of some homemade salted caramel sauce in hand!
So without further ado, here’s the recipe for the first course of my Blogiversary dinner; Dijon Shrimp Salad served in Endive Cups.
- 3/4 pound cooked shrimp , finely diced
- 5 TBSP mayonnaise
- 3 TBSP Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup finely diced celery
- 1 tablespoon capers , drained
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
- 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 heads endive
Combine mayonnaise, mustard, celery, capers,tarragon and lemon juice. Once mixed well, add the diced shrimp and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. With a sharp knife, separate endive leaves. Use 1 tablespoon of the shrimp mixture to fill base of each leaf. Arrange on a plate and top with a small squeeze of fresh lemon.
You can prepare the shrimp salad a day ahead, as I did, and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. Just spoon it onto the endive immediately before serving and you’re good to go!