Foodbuzz 24×24: Finally a Night Out! Dinner Party

Janna and I have three wonderful kids. They are 8, 6 and 4 and are full of energy, like any kids that age. It seems that each year that they age our lives get busier. It is hockey season now and every Saturday from now until the end of March (!!!) we will be at the arena from 8am to 2pm for their three games; and on top of that there are Sunday afternoon practices. Besides hockey, there is cross country, piano lessons and practicing, homework…. you get the picture. If you are a parent, you are likely saying, uh huh, that is life as a parent. It is and I wouldn’t trade it in a million years. One thing that Janna and I rarely do is go out on a date night. I suppose we should probably try to do that more often, but with the cost of a babysitter, dinner, movie, etc., we feel that the money could be better used in other places. It seems like we are always buying new shoes, socks, jeans because they wear through them so fast! So family money goes elsewhere and not for mom and dad to go out. It doesn’t bother us at all. On Sunday night, we will often order take out and watch a movie at home. It is a little time just for us and it is special and a fraction of the cost.

So, when Foodbuzz were accepting applications for October’s 24×24 posts, I figured that I had a great theme. Janna and I have gotten to know some wonderful parents at our kids school and they have developed into great friends. I thought, what if the dinner party theme was ‘Finally a Night Out!’ and it was for parents who don’t get out much (I had to use that phrase somewhere!). Everybody got babysitters (thanks to our brother and sister-in-law who took our kids for an over night sleepover – WooHoo!!). It was a great night filled with great conversation, uncontrollable laughter and tasty food.

Here is the menu for the Finally a Night Out! Dinner Party


Tuna Plate

Pan Seared Tuna with a black and white sesame crust

Tuna in a soy, lime and ginger marinade

Avocado wasabi puree

Salmon Roe

recipe found here



Carrot and Fennel Soup

The carrots, fennel, onions and garlic are roasted for an hour then they are blended with chicken and broth and milk. It creates a soup is perfect for the fall season!!

Recipe found here 




Main Course

Moroccan Crusted Rack of Lamb

Roasted lamb with a great mix of Moroccan spices of paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and more!

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Gratin

A twist on classic scalloped potatoes, this dish was a surprise hit and the Gruyere cheese baked in it enhanced the flavour.

recipe found here



Watercress Salad with White Pomegranate, Blood Oranges and Slivered Almonds

A bright fresh salad that has a perfect combination of sweet and tart with a tasty crunch of almonds!

Recipe found here






Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Anglaise and Raspberry Garnish

A perfectly cooked chocolate fondant has a brownie like texture on the outside with a gooey middle.

The vanilla anglaise was a wonderful cream sauce that enhanced the fondant and the raspberries gave a tartness to the dish

recipe found here


It was a wonderful night. We all had a great time as you can see by the pictures below.

Even though we talked a lot about our kids and the wonderful school that we are all blessed with we also talked about life, church, interesting weddings and other things.

Janna was the hostess with the mostess. She did a great job getting the place ready for a dinner party. I was in the kitchen a bunch preparing and plating, but I was able to enjoy my time around the table a lot as well.

Here is a pic of the plating process and our wonderful centrepiece! Thanks to our guests for coming and for the gifts they brought and thanks to Foodbuzz for giving us the go ahead. Go check out Foodbuzz, it’s a great site for foodies to gather and share recipes!




Leave a comment


  • Looks like you had a fabulous party!! The food looks so elegant and delicious! Congrats on your 24×24! : )

  • Everyone looks like they’re having such a good time! And who wouldn’t, with food like this?

    • Looks good!

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  • Steve, it truly was a fantastic night out for us! All the dishes were delicious! The kids saw the pictures and were jealous they were not invited!
    Thanks again to you and Janna for a wonderful evening!

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  • It truly was a FANTASTIC night. And Carol, guess what Steve is doing RIGHT NOW. That’s right . . . check back tonight. Before the day is done, Christmas baking recipe number one should be posted! Bring on the music, the trees, the candles, the celebration!!!!

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  • So now do we get the Christmas sweet recipes? You did say you start in November!!!! Tee Hee! I’m waiting……

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  • Wow! I sure wish I lived closer. You can make me dinner anytime! I actually tried my version of your pomegranate salad (had to improvise a bit) and really loved it! What a nice dressing too! Looks like another great party, Chef Steve!

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  • Hi Steve – Really awesome menu. Kudos to you! What a wonderful evening for all the parents…Love how you plate your food, great presentations.

    Excellent Foodbuzz 24X24.

  • I’ve been eager for this post to see how it all went. It looks like a fantastic night! The food, no doubt, was world-class and I can’t wait to try out the lamb and gratin recipes. Congratulations!

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  • Congrats on being chosen for 24X24! Your dinner party sure looks like it turned out to be a hit. There is nothing better than enjoying friends and family along with some great food. I look forward to seeing the upcoming recipes-your pictures are very tempting-yum!

  • This is one impressive meal. How lucky your guests were to eat such a fabulous meal. Love all the pics too. So nice to share personal touches like that. This is just lovely.

  • Wow – that all looks fantastic Steve!
    (You look fantastic too Janna!)

  • Glad you got to enjoy a night out! I would kill for three of your 5 dishes (tuna, lamb, chocolate!) any day of the week. Great looking plates, too!

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