Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First Party of the Season

After weeks of planning and executing, the first party of the summer was a great success. Seven writers filed into my apartment and drank, ate and laughed. (Not pictured: Mary Ore, who took the photo...eyes closed: Melissa Clark, who'd consumed a lot of champagne and white wine by this point.)

The menu consisted of a cheese plate, edamame and garlic crostinis topped with goat cheese and baluga lentils for appetizers. 

I also made an organic salad with dried cranberries, hearts-of-palm and avocado served with a raspberry vinaigrette  (courtesy Liz Bliss). The main course was a shrimp and pasta dish inspired by a fun little cookbook titled "Bowl Food".  Dessert was a trifle made with organic blackberries and strawberries. I'm thrilled to announce that Mary had 3 helpings. (Mary, don't kill me!)
Good friends, good food, even good flowers...

I look forward to hosting more parties in the coming months.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Domestic Goddess I am Not

Anyone who knows me knows I am not the domestic type. Marriage was never really a goal and while I love my nephews  ("Sissy's potatoes" <--- as my friend Rigo once called them) the thought of raising a kid terrifies me. My house is a mess ("creative clutter"), I hate ironing, vacuuming and laundering. And pity the plants I've purchased and then mistakenly killed within a month. 

But suddenly, at age 40, a latent cooking gene surfaced. It all started with Rachael Ray who I spotted on the Food Network. Once I got past her scratchy voice and embarrassing personality I noticed that I enjoyed watching meals come to fruition. Often I would go from her show to my own kitchen and attempt to emulate what she had just made. Soon I started going to the market and various farmers markets with more enthusiasm - an eggplant wasn't just an eggplant, but the beginnings of a parmesean.  Kale, of the gorgeous, green, curly variety, not only enhanced soups, but baked in the oven and lightly salted was tastier than any potato chip.

I began reading food blogs, starting with my friend Lisa's and continuing with others - and others. I found myself thinking about food in ways I never had before and experimenting with textures, flavors and colors. For my birthday I registered for flatware and suddenly I had beautiful dishes on which to serve my newfound culinary favorites. I started hosting small dinner parties - even shopping for the right flowers to accent the table, and the right herbs to decorate the meal.  

Next week I am hosting a dinner for 8, so far the most I've ever cooked for. I'm hoping to entertain a lot this summer, so if we're friends (as opposed to some random person who might have landed on this blog mistakenly) don't hold your breath for a wedding, but do expect a dinner invitation some time in June, July or August. I might even vacuum before you get here.