The Day Before the Celebration

Everyday Divas Celebrations
with Mimi and Sue
White Party -- Diva Style

I did not like this dipping sauce -- too sweet.  I just figured out why -- I missed an entire step in the preparation.  Before serving the shrimp you are supposed to toss them with parsley, Old Bay Seasoning and olive oil -- Surely that would have countered the sweetness of this sauce.  I'll have to make it again and follow all of the directions!

It probably didn't help that Mimi cut a corner and used Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise -- YUCK!  I told her -- it's a Pennsylvania thing, that's what you were raised on.  That stuff is awful. I hate it and can detect it in anything!

Mustard Lime Dipping Sauce
(for the Shrimp)
Bon Appetit Magazine June 2014
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Gulden's Mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp English mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Mix together, place in a plastic contain​er cover and refrigerate.

I am sure Sue is right about the MW in the recipe.  I still love it on sandwiches though.

Chardonnay Poached Salmon
Adapted from Food Network

  • 1 bottle (drinkable) Chardonnay
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 lemons sliced
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 20 juniper berries crushed
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 large basil stems
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
Place ingredients in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  The fragrance of the herbs and fruit will start to release and you will know the poaching liquid is ready.  Remove from heat, allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • 2  2-3 lb salmon fillets
Line the bottom of two disposable aluminum roasting pans (large enough for the salmon to lay flat) with non-stick parchment paper.  Place salmon on parchment paper.  Pour 1/2 of the poaching liquid into each of the pans.   Cover and tightly seal the pans with aluminum foil and place in preheated oven for 20 minutes.  After 10 minutes, baste the salmon in its liquid and return to the oven.   Remove from the oven and with a pastry brush gently brush the salmon to remove the white fatty flecks that appear on the surface.  When cooled gentlly lift the parchment paper from the roasting pans and place salmon on serving platters.  Very gently slide the parchment paper out from under the salmon.  Brush with a little olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. 

This poaching liquid is the most flavorful I have ever made.  We used Toasted Head Chardonnay because it has such a fruit forward and oaky flavor.  Smash your peppercorns with a rolling pin.  We used fennel seeds because I was too cheap to buy fennel just for the fronds.  (But then I had to pick them off the salmon one by one.)  Getting the salmon out of the roasting pans is tricky -- be patient!

Had I known that's why we used fennel seeds, I would have just snipped a few off of a fennel bulb in the store and slipped them in my purse!  HA!  Mimi was absolutely compulsive about getting all the white flecks off the salmon, I finally had to tell her she was getting a little crazy with it.

Orzo with Artichoke Pesto and Roasted Corn
 Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis Food Network

  • 1 1/2 lb orzo pasta
Prepare according to the instructions on the box and set aside in a collander.
  • 4 ears fresh corn shucked and cleaned of silk
Rub with a little olive oil, place in a 400 degree oven and roast until slightly brown.  Remove from oven and set aside.
  • 1 1/2  packages frozen artichokes, thawed (cut other 1/2 package of artichokes into quarters and reserve for later)
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley cleaned and spun dry
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup basil leaves cleaned and spun dry
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
Place ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.
  • 1 pint red cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes
Rinse, drain and cut in half​.
  • 4 ears roasted corn
Cut corn from cob and set aside.

Mix orzo, pesto, tomatoes, corn and reserved artichokes in a large bowl.
  • 2 cups grated parmigiano reggiano​
Add gra​ted cheese to mixture, cover and refrigerate.


The original recipe calls for grilled corn, I was not about to fire up a grill for 4 ears of corn so, I roasted it instead.  If I made this again, I'd just boil it.  We couldn't find fresh oregano anywhere so, we substituted fresh basil.  I added more garlic and tomatoes than called for as well.  

Knowing what a stickler Mimi is for following directions to the letter, I was surprised at the changes she was ok with when we made this pasta salad!