The Meal Planner

Our foodie friends Dan and Lisa, who are part of the Secret-Secret Geography Club with us, were brainstorming with us one night about a super fun themed dinner party. We came up with an idea for a meal based on the 7 Deadly Sins. To our surprise, Foodbuzz thought it was a great idea too and sponsored our meal as part of the event 24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs. We were so thrilled to be a part of this awesome event.

Menu planning was so fun for this meal, as each course was based on a deadly sin. The actual shopping and cooking on the other hand was STRESSFUL to say the least. I've learned over the years to use the advice I posted here, yet my week threw at me subbing for some Grade 8 hooligans for two days, and then catching a virus from my sick baby. I DID NOT shop for my ingredients the day before like I had planned, I DID NOT prepare my recipes ahead of time, and I DID NOT choose all recipes that I had made before.

Note to self: Don't do that again.

Even though I started off stressed, my worries quickly melted away when we got to Dan and Lisa's place. They are such a fun couple to eat and prepare food with and there is no expectation or stuffiness for everything to be done exactly at a certain time. We just cook and enjoy each other's company.

To begin our Sinful meal, we started with Wrath. We played up on the idea of the grapes of wrath and drank very delicious wine all evening, appropriately named "7 Deadly Zins"

I could probably also attribute my stress melting away to a glass of this bad boy ;)

For our first course, Dan prepared large prawns by frying them in butter. This course was based on the sin of Pride, so Dan and I very artfully and skillfully arranged the prawns on top of a mirror.
Among the sauteed prawns were raspberries, mini key lime wedges, cubes of cantaloupe, chives and ribbon roses of Westphalian ham (like prosciutto, but smokey).

Dan had also prepared a mango-chili reduction and a raspberry-lime coulis to drizzle and paint amongst the creation.

I can't even describe to you how wonderful the combination of shrimp, smokey ham and mango-chili reduction was. Click here for a simplified version of this amazing appetizer.

We all had fun raising our noses in the air and pretending to be quite pretentious and prideful in the spirit of our over-the-top pompous appetizer.

After devouring the incredible prawns, we began preparations for the salad course. This focused on Envy (green with envy) and was one of the courses with the most work involved.

Before the dinner party, I asked each of the guests what their favorite salads were:

Lisa's favorite was Spinach Strawberry salad.

Mine was Blackened Chicken Salad with Creamy Honey-Dijon Dressing.

My husband Steve is in love with Steak & Lemon Salad.

And Dan requested Cobb Salad.

I really wanted to play up the theme of envy, so even though I prepared everyone's favorite salad....I served the salad to someone else!

Not to say that all the salads weren't delicious, but we really were envious not being able to eat our favorite.

After all the work of preparing four separate salads, it was quite nice moving onto the next course of the meal and the next sin: Sloth. And what better way to be lazy?

Prepackaged macaroni and cheese!

There she is in all her unadorned and lethargic glory....even too lazy to take it out of the pot it was cooked in ;)

In quite a severe contrast to an .89 cent box of KD, was the next sin of Greed. We bought THE MOST EXPENSIVE cut of meat, beef tenderloin. Dan seared it in a frying pan with butter and then placed it in the oven to finish cooking, until it came to an internal temperature of 130 degrees. Beautifully medium rare. He then deglazed the pan with a glass of red wine, and let it simmer and reduce, then added a silky texture by dropping in a pad of butter at the end. We served the beef medallions with the red wine reduction drizzled over the top.

It went surprisingly well with white cheddar macaroni.

Between each course, we took a break from eating to rest, relax and visit with each other. There was no waiting for the next course Lust. My husband was breaking out my homemade truffles so fast I'm not sure I had finished swallowing my last bite of steak.

Some women say that chocolate is better than sex. And while I'm not so sure about that one, we were all lusting after these truffles made of milk chocolate and dark chocolate. I coated some in cocoa powder, some in crushed pecans and another I flavored with peppermint and drizzled white chocolate over the top.

There was some definite lusting going on at the table.

For the last course of the evening, after consuming 6 other amazing courses, what was left to focus on except for Gluttony.

We created a ridiculously over-the-top and rich dessert of Deep-Fried Cheesecake. Steve and Dan worked together to slice a store-bought cheesecake into small chunks and wrap them in spring roll wrappers. Dan deep fried them for 30 seconds and then immediately after coming out of the hot oil, placed them in a bowl of cinnamon sugar.

The end result was a rich and creamy cheesecake with a crispy sweet coating on the outside, topped with vanilla ice cream, melted chocolate, whipped cream and strawberries.One word: In-freakin'-credible.

Devouring this I really did feel like a glutton. There was no two ways around it; we had taken an already rich dessert and sent it into the realm of Excessive Indulgence. But....I wouldn't hesitate to make it again. It was soooooo good.

Our night of clever references and scruptious food was a complete success. 7 courses and 5 hours later we had finished our meal and were so satisfyingly stuffed.

Lisa loved our totally decadent experience. Our food was delicious and spending the night with friends and a great theme was lots of fun.

I felt the same way. Yes I was stressed at the beginning of the night, but it all melted away when I realized that the process of cooking with friends, eating, cooking some more, eating, chatting and cooking some more is so wonderfully enjoyable. It definitely helps having such great friends to cook and eat with :)

Dan thought that it was neat to push the limits of our theme in certain areas and be completely over the top. It was obviously lots of work to prepare a meal with so many courses, but was nice to have the opportunity to do it.

My husband Steve loved the meal so much he said it was the best meal experience he'd ever had. The meal may have been a lot of work, but it was WELL WORTH IT.

The night was such a fun way to have a double date. I definitely encourage you to plan your own couples dinner may want to alleviate some stress and take this advice though. I already can't wait for the next dinner idea to pop into one of our heads.

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17 Responses
  1. Alta Says:

    This is a great idea, and I love the way you interpreted each of the 7 sins! Excellent, and I'm glad it was worth the stress at the beginning!

  2. FOODalogue Says:

    Clever execution. I especially loved the appetizers on mirror and thought it was funny that you switched everyone's favorite salad!

  3. Unknown Says:

    I love the switching of salads. Nothing would make me more envious than watching someone eat my salad. Very nice post!

  4. Theresa Says:

    What a great theme!! Everything looked so good too! I like your new layout too!

  5. CM Says:

    Love the play on words with the Wrath course (and the wine's name is pretty clever too!!) Also, I thought it was pretty genius to give the salads to other people, and love the Greed/Sloth course- such a great juxtaposition!!!
    Great job on your 24!

  6. The switching of salads seemed to be the favorite :) Thanks for all your kind words!

  7. Keri Says:

    I'm so impressed with your creativity- and the food looks absolutely amazing!

  8. nick Says:

    Wow. You did such a great job on this one.

    This: " even though I prepared everyone's favorite salad....I served the salad to someone else!
    " makes me think we could be friends.


  9. Hello, fellow "24"er!

    Such a fun post! 100% delightfully evil! I liked the Envy course best.

    Thanks for sharing! We took our guests on a trip to Hawaii with a luau. Come on over to our blog to check it out!

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Greed, Pride and Gluttony are definitely the faves there. Great 24 post!

  11. Tara Says:

    Hey Lady!
    What a fantastic idea! I love reading your blog. The way you write it is so delightful and witty. It looks like you guys had an awesome time. And the food looked incredible! Sometimes I secretly think that if we lived in Lethbridge we would be part of the Secret Secret Geography Club.... At least that's the dream ;)

  12. Thanks for the compliments everyone!

    Nick - I'm glad you liked the salad switch ;)

    Tara - You are ridiculously sweet. You would definitely be part of the Secret-Secret Geography Club if you lived here :)

  13. Anonymous Says:

    That was such a great idea. I loved the way the meal matched the "sin".
    It sounds like you had such a great time, and prepared so many things for everyone to enjoy.

  14. Phyllis Says:

    My favorite sins were envy and pride - love the food styling on top of the mirror and how you served everyone favorite salad to someone else! Great 24,24,24 post!

  15. Beautiful dishes and wonderfully unique idea.

  16. Carrie Says:

    FAbulous ideas. I think Envy was my favorite. Very creative!

  17. Marisa Says:

    Awesome idea!! And so creative. Keep it coming with the cool dinner party ideas.