Valentine's Dinner and Sunday Funday

It's been at least a month, so I must be traveling to Mammoth Lakes and the East Side (and then back up to Healdsburg...deja vu all over again)

Valentine's Dinner is usually one of the busiest nights in the restaurant trade and the East Side is no exception. The wrinkle is that the crowd at Crowley Lake is not just couples coming for dinner, rather, whole families are coming in for dinner and listening to bluegrass. 

The dinner menu at the McGee Creek Lodge Valentine's Day:

Starter
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Wedge Salad with Bleu Cheese Dressing with bacon and croutons
Main
Roasted Chicken with Quinoa salad of yams, dried apricots and dates in a Meyers lemon vinaigrette
Pot Roast, Potato and Root Vegetables with pan gravy
Dessert
Chocolate Mousse
Bread Pudding

Prep for dinner started on Friday night when I arrived, trimming and seasoning my chicken and pot roast. The pot roast needed to be perfectly fork tender, so an early morning start in the oven was essential. Seasoning was basic, salt, pepper, carrots, onions, celery, bay leaf, water and Cabernet Sauvignon

 Pot Roast is the perfect pairing for Cabernet Sauvignon

Pot Roast is the perfect pairing for Cabernet Sauvignon

As much as I'm a fan of meaty proteins and plenty of gluten, not everyone else shares my enthusiasm. Therefore, I often create at least one dish that is vegetarian, vegan and/or gluten free. Taking a page out of a recent trip to Santa Barbara, I reinvented my quinoa and butternut squash dish and used it as both a side to my roasted chicken entree and as a stand-alone meal for any vegans that walked in.

 Quinoa with yams, dried apricots, dates and chives in a Meyers lemon vinagrette

Quinoa with yams, dried apricots, dates and chives in a Meyers lemon vinagrette

Finishing the evening were a couple desserts, Chocolate Mousse and Bread Pudding. I used sourdough bread as my base for the bread pudding. Just good old fashioned sourdough bread. Then I soaked it in cream, eggs, vanilla, sugar and maple syrup before I baked it in the oven.

 Bread Pudding and Chocolate Mousse for dessert

Bread Pudding and Chocolate Mousse for dessert

Part two of the blog post title, Sunday Funday is up next. I check out Ohanas Food Truck in June Lake at the June Lake Brewery.