The boys are at the CDC tonight, for "Carnival Night." It's a Parents Night Out thing, with classic games like bean bag toss, balloon pop, Knock The Clowns, ways of winning tickets to earn prizes and such.
Worked perfectly, because it turns out a friend is in town from the East Coast, and I finally picked up on a major hint to invite her and her local sister and her husband to dinner. Oh goody! I get to make grownup dinner!
And without the boys in the picture. I do love my sons, but they can make life very unpleasant for all. Katrina, on the other hand, might not do as well at a Carnival Night thing until 10:30, and she's actually pretty fun and cute to have around. Dave put her to bed between dinner and dessert, and for once, all worked out as planned.
Speaking of planning, I shopped and did most of the cooking the day before, picking dishes that could be made ahead of time and reheated. That worked really, really well. I also made dessert the day before, picking up on how Food Network shows always make the dessert first. Which is my preferred order anyway.
I'm especially proud of my Lemon Tart. This turned out absolutely perfect! It's my first tart.
(Pictured with the recipe behind it, from the Williams-Sonoma Pie and Tart book.)
I bake a lot, but not pies or tarts since they don't travel well and are harder to serve to a random group of people. Most of my baking is in pre-cut things that can be eaten without a plate and fork, so this was a nice departure. And a perfect grownup dessert -- light and tangy and pretty to look at.
Oh dear, the boys are home now and Julian is shouting threats in his little-boy voice, "You'll be sorry Dad, you'd better give me back my ball!" Well, it was a very nice evening. And there's still some lemon tart left -- I'm on my way!