I Got a Standing Ovation!

Really I did! I catered a Women’s Spa and Health Retreat at a B&B in Western Loudoun here in VA. I planned a Le Grande Aioli. It was Nicole’s Blog, Art and Aioli that inspired the idea. Le Grand Aioli was her very first post and I knew this was a girl who knew how to entertain! The ladies liked it so much that they gave me a Standing Ovation! I curtsied and bowed as they clapped, a real hoot.

It was dark by the time dinner was served so I had to use flash and some of the pictures are blurry. Those ladies were so hungry they did not want to wait for me to stylize the food for my blog, no way. I followed Nicole’s menu and added some other things after researching a little more about Le Grand Aioli. Everything was fresh, organic, and made from scratch.


Green beans topped with Caramelized Onions in Wine
Roasted Golden Potatoes
Roasted Beets
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Tomato and Basil Salad with Vinaigrette

Grilled Lemon Garlic Butterflied Chicken
Grilled Balsamic Dijon Flank Steak
Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon Poached with Lemon, Butter & Dill

Other Morsels:
Trio of Bread Basket with Herbed Honey Lemon Butter
Black Olives
Hard Cooked Eggs
Trio of Mustard

Gateau au Chocolat


All About the Beef:
A storm front blew through here the night before my big gig and I woke up the morning of with a tremendous migraine. I had to call in reinforcements: my brother Rob and my SIL Tonya. I put them to work. Tonya peeled potatoes, eggs, washed veggies and kept the kitchen clean while Rob and I worked our magic together on the meats. He is the kind of guy that will ask, “So what are you thinking for this Flank Steak?” I say, “I was thinking something balsamic-y with dijon.” Then bang he would have a wonderful marinade. It was one under my nose the whole time but I was too dizzy to think. He used this Marinade for the Flank Steak. It was fantastic.

Now the chicken:
I wanted to do Ina Garten’s Butterflied Chicken recipe but it also called for rosemary. We did it anyway and left the rosemary out. The lemon/garlic mixture was perfect for the menu.

Have you ever deboned and butterflied a chicken while nauseated? I suggest you don’t start now. I used Jacques Pepin’s Complete Techniques book which has gotten me out of more kitchen pinches with his expertise, I highly recommend this book.

Tip-The trick to perfectly grilled meat is to undercook slighly, always use a good thermometer, and wrap meat in foil to rest for about 20 minutes before slicing. They will come up to the proper temperature, remain warm, and hold their juices so that they are perfectly moist and tasty.

And of Course The Salmon:
The salmon was a difficult problem. I could not find decent wild caught Pacific Salmon anywhere. Then my Ma reminded me of the Trader Joe’s frozen salmon. Perfect. That salmon has never let me down, always fresh tasting and never fishy. I cut the salmon in individual servings and poached them in foil on the grill topped with dill, lemon juice, butter, and lemon wedges. Grilled for about 7 minutes the salmon was delicious.

Thank you Nicole for inspiring this over the top meal. You deserve a Standing Ovation!

Rob and Tonya, I owe you big time. Thanks!

Thank you Middle Grove Inn for a wonderful evening!

For Wednesday 10/1 in the BRK: Gateau au Chocolat! Don’t miss this chocolate creation.


  1. Lisa
    Posted September 29, 2008 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

    Everything looks wonderful! You did a great job!

  2. RecipeGirl
    Posted September 29, 2008 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    It all looks so beautiful! Great job!

    (and thanks for the tip on that KA cocoa… much appreciated!)

  3. Rob
    Posted September 29, 2008 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    So glad I could help out! Wegman’s, also, typically has flash-frozen wild-caught sockeye, although the ones from TJ’s were beautiful (if you can say that about a fish filet…) 🙂

  4. Nicole
    Posted September 29, 2008 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for all the mentions and the compliments, Robin! Your dinner looks just perfect!

  5. Laura
    Posted September 29, 2008 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

    Gorgeous spread, esp the steak and the cake. Hey I rhyme!

  6. Grace
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

    i’m not sure if my comment got through, so i’ll say it again–bravo! this looks like a spread that’s totally worthy of an ovation. 🙂

  7. Alexa
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    Standing ovation indeed! What a gorgeous spread… I would be in heaven with all those vegetables and the chocolate cakes look amazing.

  8. Robin Sue
    Posted September 30, 2008 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    Lisa- Thanks it was great fun too.

    Recipe Girl- Thank you for the compliment!Let me know how the AK cocoa goes.

    Rob-Yup fish are beautiful, well some of them.

    Nicole- Your welcome, again thanks for that post to give me the idea!

    Laura- You are a poet and don’t even know it!

    Grace- Thanks so much!!

    Alexa- I think the beets were my favorite thing! Thanks!

  9. EAT!
    Posted October 1, 2008 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

    Congrats on the catering success. I’ll be stealing the menu.

  10. Shannalee
    Posted October 1, 2008 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

    Wow, I’m completely impressed! I’d have applauded, too! 🙂

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. All posts are moderated.


  • 10,080 Minutes - BRK Book The story of our dramatic lifestyle makeover and journey for living what matters.

    10,080 Minutes - Daniel and Robin Joss