Fast Track to Fine Dining
Is it possible to skip a course? Print

Absolutely. Let’s say you want to serve the soup in the recipe but not the salad (or vice versa). Just take a look at the timeline and adjust accordingly. I’ve tried to arrange the timeline so that you put items in the oven and take them out at natural breaks.

Do I have to make the sorbet from scratch, or can I buy it at the store? Print

Homemade sorbet tastes fantastic and is always a crowd pleaser, but if you prefer, you can buy it at the store. That said, it’s incredibly easy to make homemade, especially if you boil up some sugar syrup in advance and keep it in your refrigerator. Then, in many cases all you have to do is blend together the ingredients and pour them into the ice cream maker. It’s a snap.

To make up sugar syrup in advance, combine 4 cups of sugar and 4 cups of water in a large saucepan. Heat until the sugar melts, and the mixture starts to boil. Remove from the heat, cool, and store in an empty juice bottle in the refrigerator.

Do I have to make everything homemade or can I take shortcuts? Print

You can definitely take shortcuts if needed. For example, I like to make Seasoned Long Grain and Wild Rice from scratch, but if you’re in a pinch for time, go ahead and use a pre-packaged Long Grain and Wild Rice mix. It will work, too.

What if I can’t find a particular wine? Print

I have tried to list wines that are widely available. In some cases, I have listed more than one wine so that you have an alternative if needed. I’ve found that most wine shops are happy to help with pairings. Find someone you trust and ask if you have any questions. I’m sure that you’ll get some good advice.

A few of your recipes use almond meal. Is there a way to make this myself? Print

Yes. Let’s say you need ½ cup of almond meal. You can make your own by grinding ½ cup blanched almonds and 1 ½ teaspoons of sugar in a coffee grinder or food processer.

What kind of ice cream maker do you use? Print

I use a Krups 358-70 ice cream maker which I’ve had for years. There are several other brands available, including Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, and KitchenAid among others. Mine has a 1.5 quart bowl, which I keep in the freezer all the time so that it’s ready to use whenever I need to make sorbet.


A Step-By-Step Guide To Planning A Dinner Party
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