Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Witches' Brew

I have this amazing group of friends. One night a month, we get together for dinner. We laugh and talk and eat good food. Once in a while, we'll try a new restaurant or see a movie or a play together.

This October, it was my turn to host. I thought I'd take my new kitchen for a spin and cook a fall dinner for everyone. Since it was so close to Halloween, I also thought a photo booth with some crazy costume options might be appropriate.

I sent out an evite invitation, threw some decorations up (See my spooky table at left.), and got ready for fun!

Here's what we ATE!

Appetizers: This was a mix of purchased items. We had cambezola, comte, and goat cheese; sliced red pear; almonds and pralines; prosciutto; red grapes; and whole wheat crackers. Nice nibbles.

Entree: We had a roast pork shoulder (I bought the really big, fatty kind and just sliced off a big enough chunk for eight people.) with a mix of roasted autumn vegetables - rutabaga, carrot, fennel, onion. Sprinkled everything with olive oil, chopped sage from the garden, and tons of salt and pepper. Chicken broth and white wine in the bottom of the pan kept everything from drying out.

Dessert: A big apple crisp with maple syrup and walnuts, served with indulgent scoops of vanilla ice cream, topped off the meal.

What was great about this menu was that it was easy and relaxed for me. I put together most of the crisp the night before, threw the roast in the oven before everyone arrived, and laid out my assembled appetizer platter. Then, I just had to remember to put the crisp in the oven before we sat down to dinner, and that was it. It really allowed me to have fun with everybody instead of cooking the whole time.

We served everything with two bottles of pinot and a bottle of chardonnay.

The company was absolutely epic, and we all yukked it up in the photo booth. I so love this group of women. We are all different, but we totally click. I admire each one of them and really look forward to the time we spend together. I am one blessed lady!

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