Memories are waiting to be made during the 2010 prom season. Many times these memories come with a big price tag attached. During high school, I attended five proms before I graduated, both at my high school and at neighboring high schools. During those proms, I remember going out to eat at some of the most expensive restaurants in town. However, my senior year, when my best friends and I planned an impressive prom meal for our dates, is the most memorable. We strung Christmas lights throughout the screened-in porch, borrowed table clothes from our parents, and scattered the tables with candles and other fun decorations we found at a dollar store. We even raided the cafeteria’s storage room and borrowed some decor from previous proms, years before when the event was still held on campus. So this year, skip the pricey bill at a stuffy restaurant and impress your date with an elegant menu in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Look around your house or find an interesting place that will serve as the perfect setting. You are looking for privacy, but also a place that is attractive and can be dressed up. Is it in your backyard under a big tree, local park, or by a friend’s pool? If it is outside, always have an alternative plan in case of inclement weather. The last thing you want is to make this wonderful meal and end up eating in the dining room while your parents watch television in the den. A few strands of Christmas lights, candles and a vase of fresh flowers and you have an elegant setting, sure to impress your date.
Appetizer – Start your meal with a delicious salad and bread. Buy a ready made salad at the grocery store and dress it up by adding delicious olives, banana peppers, and croutons. Splurge on a delicious salad dressing and purchase a hearty, Italian bread from your grocer’s bakery. Arrange them both in elegant dishes.
Main Dish – This dish is a simple recipe, perfect for the amateur chef. However, it is definitely not lacking in elegance or flavor. Prepare the recipe and serve in individual serving dishes. Be sure to check with your date in case of shellfish allergies. You can prepare this meal for around 15 dollars. Ingredients:3 tablespoons of olive oil3 tablespoons of butter2 tablespoons of dry Ranch dressing mix1 teaspoon of lemon juice1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic 1/2 cup uncooked angel hair pasta12 jumbo cooked cocktail shrimp (thawed) Cook the angel hair pasta according to the package directions in a large pot. In a separate skillet, begin melting the butter on medium heat in a skillet. Add the garlic and dry Ranch dressing mix to the butter and saute the mixture. Add the shrimp to the skillet and sprinkle with lemon juice. Heat for a few minutes to heat shrimp and be careful not to overcook the shrimp. Remove the shrimp and add the olive oil. Heat thoroughly and then pour over the drained pasta. Arrange the shrimp on top of the pasta, even in the shape of the heart. Serve warm.
Beverage – For an elegant drink to pair with your dish, try a champagne punch. Mix equal parts of apple juice and Sprite or Ginger Ale for a pretty and delicious drink. A single strawberry floating in the glass will be festive.
Dessert – The menu ends with a delicious Cheesecake Mousse that will be a cool treat to end the meal. Simply combine an eight ounce package of cream cheese, 1 cup of sour cream and 1 package of instant vanilla pudding mix in a mixing bowl and beat at medium speed. Add one carton of whipped topping. Garnish with fruit, chocolate sprinkles or a mint leaf and serve chilled in champagne glasses or a pretty bowl. Now its off to the dance with more memories to make.