Thursday, September 3, 2009

Game Night and Beef Braciole


Back in mid-summer, I decided I wanted to start a game night/potluck group. So I sent an email out to a handful of good, fun friends to gauge the interest. I got enough responses that we gave it the green light, and I hosted the first one here a few nights ago. The idea is that we take turns hosting and get together about once every two months. The host picks the game and prepares the main course, and everyone else claims another part of dinner and brings it along.

Pootie and I picked Turbo Cranium and I made braised beef braciole stuffed with basil and fresh mozarella. It's a flank steak, pounded thin, then spread with a mixture of bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, mozarella cheese, and fresh basil. It's tied up after rolling up like a jelly roll and braised in tomatoes and onions and mushrooms. Mine wasn't quite as beautiful as the recipe picture, so I didn't bother photographing it. I sometimes have issues following instructions (ahem).

Recipe: Secure with kitchen twine in five or six places.

Me: "Oh, pooh. Three will be plenty. "

Dinner: All right, hoser, I'm planning on falling all to pieces in this pot. Good luck slicing me and putting me on a platter later!

It tasted fine, but I was not able to put much emphasis on presentation. Therefore, I shall distract you with another game night video.


Stephanie and Chris brought a delicious variety of twice-baked potatoes. They went perfectly with the beef and were good enough that I made sure I snagged the recipe from Steph afterward. Yasmin and Robert brought appetizers - Yasmin did some great filled jalapenos and some crackers with cheese and bell pepper. Good! Poor Jenn (who was abandoned for some lame-ass football draft pick something or other - rest assured we talked trash about him) had played not one, not two, but SIX games of Ultimate Frisbee that day, and still managed to pull herself and a salad together and drag her tired butt over.

Dan and Christina brought dessert and also some kind of powerful alcohol from Dan's trip to Korea. He'd just gotten back that day, and I gotta say, for a dude with major jet lag, he performed well. Turns out Robert spent over a year living in Korea, so there was much discussion about it and about the liquor Dan brought, proper serving procedure, etc. I thought it tasted like ispropyl alcohol, frankly, but Dan and Robert enjoyed it. I had made a pitcher of pomegranate margaritas, so between those, the Korean IPA, and the wine, it's no surprise that the game degenerated.

We started out in three teams of three, but then there was a child bedtime emergency and we lost Chris and Steph. After that, we just sat around yapping and reading each other questions and cracking adolescent jokes.


We used the obnoxious Turbo Cranium timer to pick the next host, so Christina and Dan have it next. I had a good time, and I think everyone else did. Even Jenn, who was almost dead on her feet by the time she left. Looking forward to the next one!

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