Tag Archives: appetizers

Reasons to Gather: Friends, Risotto, and Pinot Noir

Our friends Kimberly and Scott invited us over for a taste of Scott’s famous risotto and some very special boutique wine (who could say “no” to that?). Alexander greeted us and gave us a whirlwind tour of their family’s holiday traditions: the tree decorating, the stockings (hung on the windowsill, not on the hearth), the nativity scene hand-made from corn husks by his grandmother, the nutcracker painting made by his brother Patrick, and the Elf on the Shelf game.

Meanwhile, Kimberly and Scott were preparing a knock-out blue cheese, grape, and walnut pizza (Kimberly is not a fan of blue cheese, so when I heard her rave about this pizza, I knew it had to be a winner). Scott corked some Road 31 Pinot Noir (formerly Green Truck Cellars), and we sank our teeth into the first bite of a very heavenly meal.

When we arrived, Scott had been preparing the risotto on the stove, but the boys – Alexander and Patrick – were in for a special treat: spaghetti and meatball marinara all the way from an Italian market in Cincinnati, OH. It had me wishing I had a seat at the kids’ table.

Scott didn’t let us adults down. We have been hearing rumors of his risotto for the past two months, and finally, the winter break from classes afforded us the opportunity to dine chez leur. The risotto (which included a full two cups of Albariño and a generous amount of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese) was topped with a warm sautée of sausage, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Divinity!

Kimberly wasn’t about to let her husband steal the spotlight. She prepared a rich, yet fluffy, Mexican chocolate cake with walnuts. Served with a glass (or two) of Tawny Port, it was the perfect way to top off a holiday evening with friends.

We left Kimberly and Scott’s home with full bellies and a long list of restaurants and B&B’s to try in Charleston, NC. Thank you for a wonderful evening. The next one’s on us!

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Filed under Dinner, Food, Friends, Holidays, Photography, Wine

Dinner with Friends: a Tribute to “Homesick Texan”

I recently hosted some friends from Quality Seafood for a farewell dinner party. I made the food and they provided the adult beverages (Hi-C, milk, imbibe-ables of that nature). There were two inspirations for the menu: first, between our CSA farm box, my in-laws, and the garden at Flat Creek, I had a serious quantity of summer squash and jalapenos that needed to be dealt with. Second, I asked myself, what do we have a plethora of in Texas that we won’t have in Virginia? Ehem…Mexican food. And where better to look for authentic Mexican recipes than a Texan gringa living in New York? She may not be from south of the border, but her recipes have an authentic essence that is hard to replicate. I hope you enjoy oggling at the photos. Please forgive my amateur point-and-shoot camera.

A Fishmongress’ Farewell-to-Texas Party Menu

Chile Con Queso – Note: Make right before serving to avoid separating!

Sopa de Lima – Note: My friend Sandra recommends using lemon juice instead of lime to avoid bitterness. Garnish with lime slices if preferred.

Summer Squash Enchiladas

Watermelon Agua Frescas – Note: Add mint simple syrup to taste.

Key Lime “Itty Bitty” Bundt Cakes (from Whole Foods Market) and Black Forest Bundt Cake (brought by Skylar)

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Filed under Dinner, Food, Friends, Recipes, Texas