Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

Shepherd’s pie

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 | Family & Parenting, Food, Photos


God bless parents.

Multi-course meals

Sunday, January 24th, 2016 | Food, Thoughts


For our New Year’s Eve murder mystery dinner party I planned a multi-course meal. To be exact I planned 11 courses. However, everyone was so full after the ninth course that we never made it to the final two.

Here is the menu I served up.


Wood-smoked salmon pâté
Served on baguette

Goat’s cheese tart
Served with Asian-inspired coleslaw

Mexican tomato and bean soup
Served with maneesh and bloomer

Breaded fish
Served with tomato chutney and lettuce

Yorkshire pudding
Served in a Thai red curry sauce on a steak

Served with slow-cooked ratatouille

Carrot, orange and chervil salad

Fruit pie
Served with honeycomb ice cream

Caramel chocolate shortbread

Cheese board
With crackers and grapes

Tea & coffee
Served with chocolate biscuits

Usually, I would go for a big bang approach with dinner parties. There may or may not be a starter. Most of the food would arrive with the main course, which might consist of multiple potential centrepiece dishes and many different sides.

This was very difficult to do well. The myriad dishes all had to come out hot at the same time. There was competition for attention in those final minutes and a constant strain on hob and oven space. Then you had to fit everything on the table at the same time, as well as people’s plates, and provide implements for serving everything.

My plan on New Year was to avoid all of this. By breaking everything down into small courses I would eliminate many of these problems. There was be less competition for hob and oven space as every course was spaced half an hour apart and prepared one by one. Dishes were then plated up in the kitchen and bought to the table.

Some of the effort was also wiped our by cheating, or arguably careful planning. Many of the dishes were simply cold for example. There were only four hot dishes: the soup, the fish and the two meat courses. The rest were served at room temperature, or chilled (some in my second fridge: the balcony!). I also pressed my slow cooker into use to make the ratatouille. I was able to prepare this hours in advance, slow cook it and have it sat there ready.

The advantages were clear. Each dish got more attention. Everything could be nicely presented. There was no fighting for oven space. Taking the plates to the table meant that were was plenty of space for people’s drinks, bottles of wine and even an array of candles. Many small courses also allows for more variety in the meal.

The disadvantages were reasonably few. It could be that I spent more time at the kitchen rather than at the table, but it did not feel that way. The biggest problem was plates. You need a lot of them. You either need a lot of them, or the ability to wash and dry them quickly. In the end, we used a combination of both.

We bought some high-quality disposable plates. They were made of plastic but easily stood being washed up and re-used. Being plastic I could not warm them, however. We also had to re-use cutlery.

Overall, I think I am a convert to the multi-course meal. The biggest advantage being it takes the pressure off the one big delivery. It also allows you to spend more time crafting small and varied dishes. I suspect 11 is probably a little over the top though…

Disaster at Veritas

Friday, December 7th, 2012 | Humanism

Last week, the Atheist Society organised a dinner at Veritas. We gave them fair warning, booking out their back room so we would have the place to ourselves.

We’ve eaten there before, and it’s been reasonable.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case on Tuesday. We arrived at 7pm, and after a bit of a delay in just taking the orders – the food didn’t turn up until 9:30pm! We got some snacks and a round of drinks to say sorry, but two and a half hours is just incredible.

Worse, when the food did turn up, a lot of it was burned and badly cooked – Elina’s pie seemingly the only meal that came out of the kitchen as intended. By the time our main courses had arrived and we had eaten, it was going on until 11pm, so we skipped dessert and gave it up as a bad job.

Dinner with Chris & Cara

Sunday, February 5th, 2012 | Friends

Having been invited for a surprise dinner party by Chris & Cara, we headed over to The Greenhouse – a large apartment development located in Beeston.

If your not familiar with Leeds, you might have heard of Beeston anyway – after all, it’s where the 7-7 bombers came from. It’s also where the football team Leeds United are based, and their accompanying Leeds United Service Crew, often described as the most notorious football hooligans in English history. That explains the two metre high security fence that runs around the perimeter of the complex then.

The idea behind the development is that it is supposed to be eco friendly – which is basically an excuse not to provide any of the tenants with a dishwasher or even a microwave, or anything useful like that.

But enough of bashing where they live. The food itself was outstanding. Individual Beef Wellington’s are always going to work because however much pastry you wrap something up in, you’re still basically serving us steak and there is simply no bad way to do that. Add chocolate cake to the end of that and you have a winning combination. Thumbs up all round.

Dinner at The Playhouse

Friday, January 27th, 2012 | Food, Reviews

Recently, I headed over to the West Yorkshire Playhouse, where my sister currently works, to have dinner with my parents and one of my grandmothers.

They have a restaurant in there, though they don’t offer table service, it’s more of a cafe slash restaurant, and to be fair to them, that is what they sell it as. The food was, however, rather disappointing. It was well cooked but it wasn’t very warm, probably a result of the excessively long wait in line to be served.

I could have understood this slightly more if they were busy, but with accelerated dining experience being my area it was obvious what they were doing wrong and how with a few simple changes they could quickly clear such problems up.

Food stocks

Monday, November 28th, 2011 | Life

I don’t keep a great deal of food at home. My freezer is always full of stuff, and I have some backup tins in my cupboard, but beyond that, I have to specifically go out and buy food to put in my fridge. The reason is, it never really seems to get eaten.

Taken my recent weekend for example. On Saturday afternoon I went for lunch with Raby. We hit up Las Iguanas which is always a pleasure and it was great to catch up with Raby as it’s been quite a while since we’ve met.

In the evening, we hit Sam’s Chop House, then on Sunday afternoon, I headed over to parents for lunch before hitting up Humanist Community on Sunday evening – which may well have set a new record for attendance.

Las Iguanas

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 | Humanism

On Tuesday, Atheist Society headed down to Las Iguanas for some dinner as part of their weekly social. It’s a great place to eat and best of all, they do 2 for 1 cocktails before 7:30. So by the time we sat down at our table we had to get a tray to take all the drinks over that we had lined up.

Unfortunately the food didn’t entirely agree with me and I ended up losing half a night’s sleep with stomach problems. First bad experience I’ve had there, and I eat there quite a lot. I think I’ll steer clear of the chicken next time :S.

Cafe Rouge

Friday, April 22nd, 2011 | Friends, Life, Reviews

On Friday, myself, Si and Sarann headed into town to grab some dinner.

We ended up at Cafe Rouge in The Light, which was looking fairly empty for a Friday night – ideal for some good conversation. Service was a little disappointing given how few people were in there but the quite atmosphere was enjoyable.

The food was mediocre, I went with the Steak Rouge which was OK, but given there are so many great places to have steak in Leeds, it wasn’t any more enjoyable than say the £6 steak I had enjoyed at Wetherspoon’s the previous Tuesday.

Afterward, we headed over to Browns for a few rounds of cocktails. Apparently they will mix anything to your order but we didn’t put them to the challenge and rather opted just to work out way through their signature menu.

After a few rounds of cocktails and the wine I had had at dinner, I found myself leaving the bar somewhat intoxicated whereas Si, the supposed teetotaler until a year ago, didn’t seem to be feeling it. Maybe Si is a secret alcoholic after all?

Buffets always attract the wrong crowd

Saturday, February 12th, 2011 | Friends, Life

I spent last Saturday at Spice Quarter, catching up with Si and Sarann.

A few things became apparent throughout the evening. Firstly, all you can eat buffets attract an interesting crowd. It is just packed with chavettes wearing what they consider to be high class outfits. I’m still not quite sure why.

Secondly, Si needs to move to the city centre. He is clearly wasting away out is Guiseley, and who cam blame him? There is nothing to do, nothing to see. He clearly needs to move to the city centre and live it up before he is too old. Oh when will we see the return of Crazy Party Si?

Despite his 11pm curfew, he certainly managed to exert his bad influence as both myself and Sarann went home rather drunk having worked our way though a number of jugs of cocktails at Ha Ha until we eventually got kicked out at closing time.

Winter Solstice meal

Sunday, December 19th, 2010 | Humanism, Life

On Tuesday we headed down to Red Hot World Buffet for the Atheist Society’s annual Winter Solstice meal.

Or at least, that is where we thought we were heading. We had decided that we didn’t need to book because only six people had confirmed as coming on Facebook and it was a Tuesday and it was a buffet and it was huge.

However, on the night, 12 people turned up and when Norm, who had gone on ahead of us, asked how long the wait would be on an appropriated sized table – he was told, two weeks! I mean seriously, who holds their Christmas party on a Tuesday and goes to a buffet? Standards these days.

Luckily Spice Quarter were kind enough to fit us in so we enjoyed a high quality buffer after all.