I think preparing food and feeding people brings nourishment not only to our bodies but to our spirits.
Feeding people is a way of loving them, in the same way that feeding ourselves is a way of honoring our own createdness
Shauna's thoughts say it all for me; one of my favorite ways to show love for people is to cook for them.
I was lucky enough to get to prepare a meal for some very special people over the weekend and it was so much fun.
As I typically don't make meals for more than two people on a regular basis, timing and choosing
the appropriate recipes has typically left me scrambling.
I end up spending most of the time alone with my wine in the kitchen (because it is tiny)
frantically throwing food around; to invoke some W.C. Fields, "I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food".
Experience has made this slightly easier (less chaotic) and this last menu ended up working well together as far as timing goes, so I would
like to share my finds.
I have this recipe memorized because we are fatties and I make it frequently, but any recipe will do.
Placed on a platter with apple slices, strawberries, crackers, and grapes.
Fig and Fennel Caponata by Ina Garten
I saw the Barefoot Contessa make this on her show and filed it away as a future app because it was unique and sounded good.
We are not big fennel people so if you are not, don't let that ingredient deter you, it does not stick out.
Served with thinly sliced and toasted baguette and then I also made a mini cheese and charcuterie arrangement on the plate.
Six-Spice Braised Short Ribs
I made this entire dish the day before as it is one that gets better as it sits in the sauce.
I served this over homemade gnocchi. I re-heated in the oven while I completed some tasks right before dinner (about 15 minutes).
Golden Potato Gnocchi with Herbed Brown Butter and Parmesan
I performed almost all steps for this recipe the day before, I stopped after boiling the gnocchi.
I wrapped the boiled gnocchi on a cookie sheet and refrigerated, then fried right before serving the main course.
It took around 15 - 20 minutes, but be sure to not crowd the pan because gnocchi are very fragile and some got a little smashed.
Corn Pudding by Ina Garten
This recipe is a go-to for me. I mixed all ingredients and placed in baking dish and cooked an hour before our guests arrived, then
reheated with the short ribs.
Oven Roasted Asparagus
I threw these in while I was frying the gnocchi, but they were very skinny so they got a little more cooked than I like.
Also, I may have forgotten about them for a few extra minutes (oops)
Pots De Creme by The Pioneer Woman
This dessert is also a go-to. The meal was pretty heavy, so I felt a lighter dessert would be best. This recipe is very rich though
and I always add cognac (Hennessey or if my Hubs is not looking, the Remy Martin - shhh) because it adds a lot of complexity to the flavor.
I was really feeling ambitious during planning and wanted to also make beignets and have one accompany each pots de creme,
but I unfortunately ran out of time.
I planned to make these - Ricotta Beignets with Lemon-Cardamon Sugar and Lemon Glaze