FRIENDS VISIT FOR LUNCHHad a great time yesterday when some old friends from Italy who run a Vacation and Retreat place called Casa Garuda, located between Florence and Rome, came to visit. I didn't take any photos but here is the menu:
Celery Root Remoulade, Marinated Red Peppers, Assorted Olives
Sepia Tagliatelle with creamed Grape Tomatoes, Lobster, in a Lobster Butter Sauce
Braised Baby Artichokes
Wine-poached Bartlett Pears stuffed with a Ricotta and Chestnut Puree Cream
and topped with a sprinkling of cocoa and glazed almonds
Sugar-free Oatmeal Apricot Chocolate Chip Cookies
and then we took a walk.
VALENTINE'S DAY IMPROMPTU DINNER
I seem to have been doing a bit of entertaining lately since I also had a couple of friends here for Valentine's Day. I can squeeze two people in and that's about it. For a quickly prepared, same day, menu we had:
Salad of assorted baby greens, Belgian endive, radicchio, sliced pears, bleu cheese, dried cranberries, toasted pecans with a Maple-Sherry Vinegar/Walnut Oil Dressing*
Chicken Casserole with Vegetables
(caramelized onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, spinach in a creamy sauce topped with a mixture of breadcrumbs, ground almonds and grated parmesan cheese)
Chocolate Brownies and Rugelach
Moroccan Mint Tea
and lots of red wine.
*Recipe for Salad Dressing: equal quantities of Grade B Maple Syrup and Sherry Vinegar, double quantity of Walnut Oil (or a mixture of Walnut and Extra-virgin Olive Oil), crushed sage leaves, salt and pepper. Shake well. I usually use 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, 1/2 cup walnut oil, about 3-4 dried or fresh sage leaves crumbled, pinch each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.