Welcomed into her home by her two excitedly sweet rat terriers, we made our way through the living room to receive hugs from Carolyn, as well as to inhale the savory aroma emanating from the kitchen. Chris, Fred and I were invited last Sunday evening to dine at Carolyn’s pad, and what a lovely spread she prepared. Peppery goat cheese with an onion confit and French bread rounds; salmon tartare; spicy olives and grape leaves; and beautifully crispy crab cakes resting on a pasta salad. Complete with wine and a great Spanish film – Volver – it was a warm and delightful evening, and I just wanted to thank you, Carolyn, for such a fun time. Happy Birthday!!!
The week prior, the boys and I headed over to Kristi & Mike’s house for a Mediterranean feast: hummus, spanikopita, pastitsio, salad, ice cream and retsina. Great fun with the family including the parents/grandparents, and delicious eats by the woman who can cook anything from around the world. Efharisto, Kristi!
Also, while the boys were here, we headed to Mom's for some oozy lasagne, salad, creamy spinach dip with chips, and her delish banana-pineapple layer cake (similar to this recipe). Thanks, Mom, for being a sweet hostess, and for taking good care of ALL of us.
Last Friday, I had some of the ladies over for some noshing and a little bad gris gris burning. Instead of a formal dinner, I opted for small plates: salmon dip (used salmon instead and added capers); creamy pesto dip with veggies; toasted pumpernickel squares topped with ham and Branston pickle/cream cheese; French bread rounds topped with butter, thinly sliced radishes and sea salt; chicken liver pâté (secret recipe); arugula salad with calamari and a garlic-lemon vinaigrette (an on-the-spot creation); quesadillas with brie, crawfish jelly and chipotle; and a dark chocolate-orange-almond torte served with orange ice cream. The grand finale was writing down those elements in our life that we weren’t too keen on, and would rather do without, and then burning them (Letting Go Ceremony). Did it work? Did we get rid of the icky stuff? Well, a shift may have occurred whether real or simply psychological; but whatever the case, nibblies and libations were had, and enjoyed I hope, by all. Thanks to those beautiful ladies who came and shared the evening with me. It was wonderful seeing all of you.
Last night, a few of us headed over to Johanna’s place. She just got back in town after spending a couple of months in France at her stepdad’s soon-to-be musicians’ retreat, and joining in on Southern Week at Ashokan. Pizza was the name of the game last night, and after tasting a mustard-tomato-gruyère tart (Maille extra hot mustard works great if you can't find real Dijon directly from France) in France, she got inspired to try some new flavors. She did indeed make one of those, which was loverly. In addition, I tried out a cucumber-black olive-cherry tomato-feta pizza with oregano and olive oil. Next was a chicken and goat cheese pizza with vodka sauce, among other things, and onto a spinach multi-cheese, chicken pizza. I brought over some chicken liver pâté, and Johanna made a huge, yummy salad. And of course, everyone played music. Note to self: practice that guitar already!
Good food, good friends, and good times… that’s what life is all about. Bon appétit! (Check out more pics under 'Louisiana'.)