The girls, Kathleen, Laurie and Kerry all came over for dinner and to watch Bridesmaids (unrated) the other night.

If you have not seen Bridesmaids go and rent it immediately… it is hysterical.  There are some scenes that can almost make you pee your pants from laughing so hard.  It is also a somewhat heartfelt movie about the anxieties of a mid-30s woman trying to pick herself back up again after a break-up, lost job, no money and her best friend getting married.  I love this movie and Kristen Wiig is superb.  Also, there are some brilliantly naughty scenes with John Hamm as a total cad.

I do always like to make dinner a little bit special but still easy and casual whether it is one person joining me or a large group.  I always set the table and have matching dinnerware, napkins, glassware etc.  Yes – I am a little bit A-type.  It just looks nicer and I think makes your food taste better! 

The menu for our evening was Greek Chicken with Orzo Salad followed by an Espresso Ricotta Dessert.

Greek Chicken

Ingredients

1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 ½ lemons, juiced
4 chicken breasts cut into large pieces
(Of course made with fresh herbs is so much better but dried does the trick)

Directions

In a dish, mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and lemon juice. Place the chicken pieces in the mixture, cover, and marinate in the fridge for 4 hours, much better if you can do longer or even overnight.

Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.  Place chicken in the skillet – discard the marinade. Cook chicken pieces for about 10-12 minutes per side, until juices run clear.

 

I found this recipe on “All Recipes” and I love it. The chicken is so tender and tasty with a wonderful tang from the lemon.

Orzo Salad

Ingredients

12 ounces orzo 
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese 
1 cup chopped green bell pepper 
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives 
Container of cherry tomatoes – chopped
1 small onion

Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice 
1 tbsp white wine vinegar 
1 tbsp minced garlic 
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano 
1 tsp Dijon mustard 
1 tsp ground cumin

Directions

Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Transfer to large bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add crumbled feta, chopped bell peppers, Kalamata olives, onions and tomatoes.

Combine lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, mustard and cumin in small bowl. Gradually whisk in remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Add dressing to orzo mixture and toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.

Orzo salad can be labor intensive but totally worth it!  This is quite possibly one of my favorite dishes and one that I eat for a week after I make it.  The dressing is superb and makes it even more special.

Espresso Ricotta Dessert

Ingredients

2 cup part-skim ricotta
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp of sugar
2 tbsp espresso powder
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
chocolate chips for decoration

Directions

Mix the ricotta, espresso powder, vanilla extract, and sugar in a bowl.

Place mixture evenly into four dessert bowls and chill for up to 3 hours.

Serve with a dusting of cocoa powder and sprinkled with chocolate chips.

After trying this dessert we thought it would be more interesting with a little liquor like Cointreau in it.  I will try that next time.

A lovely evening with a lot of laughs with friends.

Tracey