Last night, our good friends Brian and Debbie invited us to attend the Gigi's Playhouse Gala, so I didn't have to cook dinner. Gigi's Playhouse is an amazing organization whose mission is to "increase positive awareness of Down syndrome through national campaigns, educational programs, and by empowering individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community." Founder Nancy Gianni spoke about the wonderful connections families make at the playhouses, about the support that is available for the whole family and about how much the kids are able to learn through play, therapy and individualized education plans designed to help kids with Down syndrome learn math and reading. Brian and Debbie's little girl Jane went to the playhouse and is now in first grade - she's an amazing little girl.
On to the menu. Here are some of the menu highlights from last week:
- Spinach-artichoke dip with crab; served with homemade crostini. I added crab to my Lower Fat Spinach Articoke Dip. It was delicious. I'll be adjusting the recipe soon to make a smaller quantity - the current recipe makes a lot of dip!
- Mini-roast beef sandwiches with provolone and green-onion butter: Served at a friend's party, these sandwiches were a delicious heavy appetizer. I'll be using the last of the green-onion compound butter today to dress up salmon for dinner.
- Apple-Cinnamon Baked French Toast made with homemade challah I got at the Chicago Food Swap
- Thai shrimp curry over rice; Roasted Cauliflower with Orange and Soy
- Shredded chicken tacos; refried black beans, rice, all the usual fixings
- Corn chowder with wild rice and chicken sausage; no-knead bread: The recipe for the soup is coming on Tuesday.
- Pizza with caramelized onions, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes; Crispy Kale; Fluffy Chocolate Pudding for dessert