What Was I Thinking?

Chef MichaelI have had many a meal created by my favorite chef, Michael Salmon known for his culinary skills at the Hartstone Inn in Camden, Maine, and for his extraordinary Foodie Adventures in Italy, France and Spain.  So, what was I thinking when I said to his wife, who happens to be a good friend, “Why don’t you come for dinner?”

After extending the invitation, I fretted for a bit over the menu and then decided it made no sense to try to outdo the chef!  It would be best to stick with something I knew how to do and that isn’t common in Maine.  The decision….TexMex!

tablescapeTexMex and bright colors are a natural combination so the table was a no brainer.  Sunflowers in orange bottles and a smattering of pumpkins sitting on a colorful cloth made for an easy centerpiece.

tablescapeAs luck would have it, these plates were at the new Dollar Tree, where I stopped for no reason, and matched the colors in the cloth to a tee. Eight plates for $8 is a pretty good deal!

tablescapeAdd to those napkins gathered in what are meant to be wine glass identifiers 

tablescapeand a warm, inviting table is set in just minutes.

As for the menu, nothing fancy.  We will have mounds of beef and chicken fajitas with all the trimmings…sauteed onions and peppers, guacamole, pico de gallo, cheese, sour cream…and  barracho beans seasoned with onions and cumin.  Oh man, I can’t wait!

watermelon margaritaWhile the hubby grills the meat, we’ll enjoy ceviche and homemade chips with a watermelon margarita on the porch.  If you’ve not tried it, watermelon is a super addition to a margarita.

Tres LechesTo finish it all off, there will be Tres Leches Cake, and I have to confess, I make a killer one for which I will even share the recipe.

Tres Leches Cake

1 ½ c. flour

2 tsps. baking powder

4 eggs, separated

1 ½ c. sugar

½ c. milk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease & flour 13×9 inch pan.  Mix flour and baking powder.  In large bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy.  Add sugar gradually, beating to form stiff peaks.  Add yolks, one at a time. Fold the egg mix into the flour mixture and gradually add the milk; mix well but don’t beat.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 30-35 minutes, or til edges are golden brown. Remove from oven; let cake cool.  Puncture the top of the cake with a toothpick and pour the 3 milk topping over the surface and let the cake sit til mixture is absorbed. By the way, I usually do this several hours in advance to make sure the liquid is totally absorbed resulting in the cake being super moist.

Prepare whipped cream topping and refrigerate.  Before serving, cover the top of cake.

Three Milk Topping

1 12 oz. Can evaporated milk, 1 14 oz. Can condensed milk, 1 cup each milk and sour cream.

Combine….do not beat.  Pour over cooled cake.

Whipped Cream Topping

2 c. whipping cream

1 tbsp. Sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla or almond extract

Beat cream; gradually add sugar and vanilla and beat til firm.  

When all was said and done, the meal was a great success and nary a bite was left because everyone had seconds.  Chef Michael may have enjoyed the vittles as much as anyone, maybe because someone else did the cooking.  What do you think?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


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23 thoughts on “What Was I Thinking?

  1. Love the idea of adding watermelon to my favorite drink, the Margarita.

    1. The margaritas were a big hit.

  2. I bet he loved someone else cooking for a change! The meal sounds delicious. We love fajaitas! I love tres leche! Can’t wait to try your recipe! Thanks for sharing with SYC. Sorry, I visited the wrong post at first.

    1. I hope you will try the tres leches. It is a surefire winner. Hey, I’m always happy to have you visit!

  3. Looks fantastic – and I love tres leches cake!

  4. Sounds and looks wonderful…I think chefs enjoy eating with friends as much as we all do:)

    1. It just occurred to me that your posts have not been coming to my email. I’m now caught up with all I’ve missed and as always love your as cervix wit and incredible photos. You are my inspiration for trying to improve my food shots.

  5. Oh Linda, I soooo know how you felt, but you know what? Chefs lament that they never get asked to dinner at someone’s house because people are intimidated, but they truly don’t care about fancy food. What you did was perfect in every way. You kept in casual, colorful and classy, and I have no doubt he enjoyed everything thoroughly.

    My hubby adores tre leche cake, so I’m pinning this recipe!

    Thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my cabin tour. I appreciate it!

  6. Lulu, that looks amazing and thank you for the recipe. Ten out of ten for presentation and I’m sure the meal was beautiful!

  7. I thought those plates looked familiar!

    By the way, you’ve been chosen as one of today’s nine blogs in That’s So Jacob’s Ninth Month Blog Challenge (http://www.thatssojacob.wordpress.com)! I challenge you to find nine blogs you find interesting and give them a comment to brighten their day…well, eight other blogs and mine 🙂 Copy this message in your comment and enjoy your new blog friends!

  8. Gorgeous and fun! Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Who wouldn’t love a fajita feast begun with a watermelon margarita and finished with Tres Leches cake! Great menu, and I’m sure he loved someone cooking for him for a change!

  10. You were thinking you were going to prepare a lovely evening for a lovely couple – and you did!!!

  11. What an amazing evening Linda! Thank you for making us feel so special and every bite was delicious! You know I don’t cook, but I will be finding an occasion to re-create the delicious cake! We are so lucky to have friends like you and Phil!

  12. Your table is so colorful and lovely but I am totally coveting the margarita!

  13. Good for you for inviting the chef for dinner and cooking for him. I bet he enjoyed sitting and letting someone else do the cookin! Your menu sounded just right!

  14. What a treat for all to enjoy! The dinner menu sounds outstanding. I think I may try that cake- it’s a very different recipe with a scrumptious combination..

  15. Did this ever bring back memories? Remember the night we invited Sonny Look to dinner at the 3 Fountains? At first, I was nervous, but realized you had everything under control, and he thoroughly enjoyed himself! You are amazing!

  16. The table setting and the menu is perfect! I will definitely try your recipe! Linda, I am so impressed that you invited a chef for dinner! You go girl!

  17. Beautiful table setting, Lulu. That dessert looks so scrumptious. 🙂

  18. The table looks lovely! You have such an eye for colour and design. 🙂

  19. Of course Chef Michael enjoyed it the most! What a treat for him to have someone else doing the cooking!!! Sounds like everything was deelish!!!! Heading to DC on Friday! Sorry to miss you this summer! Here’s to next year!

  20. Wowza….you hit it out of the park here with a wonderfully beautiful table, fun and season fitting and a great menu to boot!! I am so going to have to try your dessert. It looks fabulous!!

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