Search This Blog

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I have a lovely friend who is all crazy about the Twilight series.  I’ll admit I read the entire series (including the two mongraphs that came out later)  I haven’t seen the movies, and have no desire to see them.  The books, I found disturbing ---- but each of us has different tastes ---- and Sue loves these books.  She loves everything about the story and finds it intensely romantic. 
So, for Halloween, I agreed that I’d help plan a Twilight party.  It turned out to be a great deal trickier than I thought --- When one thinks of vampires and werewolves, one gets a rather dark image – lots of black and burgundy colors.  But in the Twilight books, the descriptions of the vampires is all very light – lots of white, they shimmer in the sunlight.  The Cullen’s house has lots of windows, white walls, beautiful and elegant furnishings.  How, on earth, to mix the two images and come up with a party that would leave Sue satisfied. 
First, a quick browse around the internet yielded this gorgeous tablescape 
--- a vision of the wedding scene come to life.  I LOVE it.  It is gorgeous, elegant, simple, tasteful ---- absolutely beautiful.  Could I borrow some of this and mix in a few “darker” elements in the food and drink and come up with a smashing vampire party for Halloween? 
What about a menu of rare roast beef --- bloody roast beef, if you pardon the image for a moment.  Serve it with a gorgeous beet salad (I’m loving the red without being too gory). 
Appetizers??? Maybe crudite with baked brie?? All that melty, oozy goodness can’t go wrong --- its light and white --- we could play on the “vegetarian” joke in the book.  If we bake the brie with a cranberry chutney, it would carry out the red theme and the contrast between the burgundy color of the chutney and the creamy pale cheese would be absolutely beautiful. 
Dessert?? Apples --- how could it be anything else?? But something subtle here, I think --- Sliced sautéed apples with a light caramel sauce and a little dab of vanilla ice cream or even crème fraiche.  Serve them in martini glasses to give it a little kick. 
Tie the whole thing together with two kinds of sangria --- white and red, of course.  And set the table, using the inspiration photo, with lots of white dishes, white linens, hydrangeas, green apples with the occasional deep red apple thrown in for contrast. 
What do you think, Sue??? Beautiful??  Twilighty??? Fun.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Flirt With Your Husband Friday: Hike in the Woods

We’re heading out to the woods today.  I’ve packed the insulated backpack with ham and cheese sandwiches on onion rolls (makes the plain old ham and cheese just a tiny bit more special).  I’ve tucked in bottles of lemon seltzer, a few cookies, a small bunch of grapes, and some cucumber chips.  That should be enough to keep us happy. 
We get so much use out of that insulated back pack.  I wish I could recall who gifted us with it.  When we first received it,  I’ll confess, I thought it was silly and fairly useless.  And, I suppose for its intended use, it is.  It doesn’t hold enough for a real picnic and the wine holder sleeve that attaches to the side makes it bulky and awkward.  But for taking a little picnic hiking or biking, it can’t be beat.  I freeze a water bottle or two and place them in the bottom of the bag to act as ice packs (and drinks at the end of the trail) and then add a light lunch for two.  The backpack slings nicely onto my husband’s strong shoulders and we’re off.  Our backpack has been on countless bike rides and hikes through the woods.  I can’t imagine what we ever did before it. 
So today, its going hiking.  We’re off to the woods.  We’ll hike (and try not to get lost).  We’ll take a few photos of the changing leaves.  We’ll find a quite spot with a fallen tree or two for our picnic lunch.  And the world will stop just for us for a few hours.  Bliss.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Pasta with Sweet Potato

Pasta with Sweet Potato
We’ve long enjoyed the classic Rigatoni with Broccoli, Olive Oil and Garlic --- this is just a little fall twist on that classic taste.  We’re subbing in Sweet Potato for the Broccoli and adding a little bit of oregano to jazz it up.  Since the herb garden is coming to its very end, this will use up the last of my oregano, I think.  Try it:
·      4-5 small/medium sweet potatoes
·      1 box of chunky pasta (we like Rigatoni – but whatever you like)
·      Olive oil
·      Fresh garlic – sliced or chopped – your preference.
·      Stalks of fresh oregano
·      Parmesan cheese – grated (not the green box!!)
Bake the sweet potatoes for about an hour in a 375 oven.  You want them still firm, but cooked. 
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box
When you drain it – keep about ¼ cup of the cooking water to mix with the dish later.
Heat some olive oil in your skillet --- add the garlic slices and cook until they just begin to turn golden colored. 
Add the oregano and heat for just a minute or so – to infuse the flavor
Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/8 sections and quickly peel each section. 
Pour the drained pasta and the peeled sweet potato chunks into a large mixing bowl. 
Add the oil/garlic/oregano mixture and the pasta water (if you need it – I sometimes don’t)
Toss and serve with lots of parmesan