Shopping List
(For the Meat Menu)

1 small bag miniature carrots
1/2 lb sugar snap peas
1 red or yellow bell pepper
2 large baking potatoes
1 head garlic
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 5 oz container baby spinach leaves (The plastic boxes baby spinach is packaged in normally hold 5 oz.)
1 lemon / 1 lime ( for sparkling  water)
1 pint of fresh berries

4 loin lamb chops 1 1/2 inches thick each

1 8 oz container sour cream
8 oz heavy cream or half and half
1/2 lb unsalted butter

1 envelope salad dressing mix
Granulated (or powdered) garlic
Dry rosemary leaves
Ground nutmeg
Extra virgin olive oil
White balsamic raspberry blush vinegar

2 bottles water with bubbles
Tea light candles or taper candles
Chocolate truffles

1 Bottle champagne or sparkling wine
1 Bottle red wine
1 Bottle white wine

...and of Course, Thoughts on Organization

  • STOP!  I am always going to remind you to check your pantry against your shopping list before you leave for the grocery store so you don't buy something you already have.
  • Make your life easy:  complete your shoppping at least one day before preparing a dish.
  • Organize your shopping list.  Add up the total amount of a single ingredient you will need for all dishes. List items to correspond with the layout of your supermarket.
  • The miniature carrots we are using are the very thin delicate kind, not the stubby little ones.
  • When buying the bell pepper place it on a flat surface to make sure that it stands up straight.
  • We don't specify which berries in this shopping list.  Buy what you like:  strawberries, raspberries or blackberries are all compatible with the recipe. 
  • There are lots of different salad dressing mixes, we like the Italian salad dressing for dips.  You can use the ranch dip or green goddess dressing mix if you prefer.
  • Granulated or powdered garlic can be used.   You will find it in the same aisle as the dry rosemary leaves.
  • Seedless cucumbers are about 12 inches long and wrapped in plastic.  If they are longer than 12 inches you may only need 1.  They are also sometimes called hot house cucumbers.
  • Regarding the salmon, you don't have to buy the most expensive cut of salmon.  Organic farm raised salmon is very good and will probably cost less than wild salmon.  Also, ask the fish store to remove the skin from the salmon fillets.
  • You should use Barilla regular or thick spaghetti, not thin spaghetti, for our recipe.
  • I like the taste of natural peanut butter.  It's worth the extra money and Smucker's has small jars.  Other peanut butters are sweetened and they will ruin the recipe.
  • Organize your food preparation. A couple of simple steps will make cooking more enjoyable:  first, lay out all of the ingredients for the dish you are preparing and second, chop and measure each ingredient ahead of time so that you can focus on creating the perfect dish.  You will also avoid being frenzied.
  • Sue did not recommend white wine with the menu.  However, you should have a bottle on hand just in case your guest prefers white to red.  Toasted Head Chardonnay is an affordable fall back white wine.

 Shopping List
(For the Fish Menu)

2 seedless cucumbers
1 head garlic
1 piece fresh ginger
1 bunch cilantro
4-6 limes
1 lemon

12 asparagus sushi rolls
2  6 oz salmon fillets

Vanilla ice cream
Berry sorbet

1 box spaghetti
Reduced sodium soy sauce
Sesame oil
Extra virgin olive oil
1 10 oz bottle Thai peanut sauce
1 small jar creamy peanut butter
Red wine vinegar
Granulated sugar
Dry roasted peanuts

Aluminum foil
2 bottles water with bubbles
Tea light candles or taper candles

1 Small bottle dry Marsala wine
1 Bottle champagne or sparkling wine
1 Bottle red wine
1 Bottle white wine



... Other Thoughts
I generally agree with Sue's sentiments about inviting your guest into the kitchen and sharing a glass of champagne..  I love my glass of champagne and given the choice would drink nothing else, except when I am cooking. Then, I drink only water with bubbles.  Sue's recipes are yummy and you don't want to risk ruining them because you are "loopy".  Wash as many dishes as possible so your kitchen isn't a mess.  Have the pots and pans you need out and ready to use.  Have your place settings ready if you haven't already set them out.  You don't want to spend time washing dishes and searching around in cabinets while your guest is sharing time with you in the kitchen.  You also don't want them insisting on helping you, which some people feel compelled to do and won't take no for an answer.  (It took me many years to learn when the host or hostess declines your help, you should listen to him or her and just relax.)

Thoughts on Wine Selections ...
  • Scharffenberger Brut Excellence:  OK so technically this isn't champagne, it's a sparkling wine.  But, let me tell you this is one of my favorites.  I think everyone has their own impressions when tasting wine.  When I sniff and then sip this wine my first impression is a crisp apple.  You must serve it very well chilled.  If you would rather serve champagne, another favorite of mine that is reasonably priced is Simonnet-Febvre Cremant de Bourgonge Blanc.  
  • Joel Gott Blend No. 815 Cabernet Sauvignon:  Every Joel Gott wine that we've tasted we've enjoyed, including this one.  We were introduced to Joel Gott's wines when we had a short vacation in Napa Valley.  I've been hooked on this winemaker since!
  • Cloudline Pinot Noir:  When I cook salmon, I drink this wine with it. 

Everyday Divas Celebrations
with Mimi and sue
Do Valentine's Day