The Good Woman's Guide to Entertaining at Home

Making food pleases other people

May 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm

As women, we have many responsibilities. We must maintain a sunny disposition to put others at ease, keep our make-up fresh and stay up on current events so we can keep up with our husbands in conversation. Increasingly, we’re also being asked to work outside the home. How are we to do all of this and still provide a pleasant evening of entertainment at home for our family and friends? Well, modern ladies, it’s not as hard as you think — and you don’t have to think too hard. Welcome to The Good Woman’s Guide to Entertaining at Home. Following are a few recipes that will make your lives (and, more importantly, the lives of others) easier and breezier.

“Honey, I’m Home” Martini

This martini is a nice pleasant yellow color that will bring some sunshine into your husband’s day (with a little help from his friend vodka). When he comes home from work, have his martini ready for him, next to his favorite chair. Warm a pillow in the dryer and fluff it up, turn the lights down low and bathe and rub his feet to wash his troubles away.

2 oz vodka 1 oz vermouth
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp honey
1 sliver lemon peel

Mix vodka, vermouth, lemon juice and honey into shaker. Shake. Pour into martini glass. Garnish with sliver of lemon peel for shivery delicious taste.

Veggie-Loaded Meatloaf

While red meat is critical to your family’s health, vegetables may be just as important. So throw some in — just in case! In order to get her family to eat them, a wise woman hides them. The best way to do this is to bury them within a large loaf of red meat. If you feed your family this Veggie-Loaded Meatloaf on a regular basis, good heath is practically assured!

1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 egg
2 slices of bread, whole wheat
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 carrots, grated
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 8-oz can of tomato sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Beat egg in very large bowl. Crumb bread in food processor. Add crumbs to egg along with chopped vegetables, Dijon and Worcestershire. Add beef and mix thoroughly.

Shape beef into oval loaf and place in greased 9-inch cake pan. Mix 8 oz can of tomato sauce with brown sugar, salt and pepper and pour over loaf.

If you have a small rack, place it within the pan, and place the beef on the rack so grease falls through. If not, just place loaf in pan.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Slice and serve.

Peppy Peppered Mac ’n Cheese

It’s Saturday night, and you know what that means. It’s time to invite your peppy friends over for some peppery mac ‘n cheese! It’s a little kooky, but it will have your friends talking for weeks. We added an exotic touch of bell peppers, so this mac ’n cheese is more than American.

1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 medium-sized red onion
1 pound macaroni
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 cup bread or cracker crumbs
4 cups grated mild cheddar cheese (or use cubed for extra cheesiness)

Start water boiling for macaroni. Meanwhile, julienne peppers and onion. Saute in skillet with 2 tbsp of olive oil. When water reaches boiling point, dump in one pound of macaroni. When macaroni is not yet al dente (slightly undercooked), drain in colander. Two tab olive oil two tab butter.

Add olive oil, butter, vegetables and cheese to macaroni. Spray baking dish with Pam and dump in mixture. Top with bread crumbs or cracker crumbs. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove foil. Bake another 15 minutes until brown.

3-Layered Down-Home Blackberry Cake

Think you can’t get “down home” if you live in the “big city?” No need to take a Sunday drive in the country or move to the beautiful suburbs to ease your troubled urban mind. You can make that mind spic and span, and renew and refresh your smoggy spirit, with this lovely blackberry cake recipe provided by my great grandmother, Alma Cahall.

3 cups Crisco (or butter)
2 cups white sugar
2 unbeaten eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
2 cups canned blackberries with juice
1 heaping tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
1 cup buttermilk

Mix shortening or butter with sugar until creamy. Add eggs and spices. Mix baking soda in buttermilk. Alternate pouring flour and milk into the cake mixture. Add berries and juice. Pour mixture into 2 round 9-inch cake pans. (If you only have one pan, you can bake layers one at a time.)

Bake 30 minutes in 350degree oven. Do not bake any longer. Wait until cake is ready until you start frosting, ladies.

2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1/2 cup canned milk
1 tsp of vanilla
A pinch of salt

Combine brown sugar, milk and butter in heavy skillet. Cook over low heat, stirring until smooth. Bring to slow boil. Add vanilla and salt. Then beat with wooden spoon until thick and waxy and ready to spread. It usually takes 15-20 minutes to reach this frosting consistency.

Don’t let frosting cool. While it’s still warm, spread it between all layers and top cake.

Remember: It’s not easy being a woman but that’s the way God made us. We must remember that men take care of the most important things in this world, so we women have it easy by comparison. When we’re ironing, sorting socks, making casseroles, rolling our hair or cleaning spit-up off the highchair, our husbands are out solving the problems of the world. No one’s job is as important because much more is expected of a man than a woman. Now where’s my lipstick?