It’s a rare thing that I don’t see my handsome beau on a Saturday night; however, I had been hankering for a girl’s night in at my place and this Saturday was it. There is nothing like having company over to get your tail moving on house projects and I find it so fun to research recipes and figure out if I can wow my pals.
I picked out my fun food and did the shopping and then Joe helped me start putting it all together on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Everything was spectacular and there were several firsts on the menu and, while we used some recipes for reference, we changed things up quite a bit.
I love things that make sense … like starting out the evening with really good wine and really good cheese. One of my gal pals is crazy about goat cheese … me too! So we have that some of that tangy chevre from France paired with some of Bathtub Gin’s Peaches & Honey Preserves.
I love using cool little skewers for bite sized morsels and I thought these turned out quite lovely and tasty. This is chevrette, a mild goat cheese from Holland, wrapped in slices of roasted red pepper… a great flavor combination.
And I love these little baby caprese salads skewers. When I’m entertaining, I’m always looking for delights that can at least be partially prepared ahead so I can have fun too! Both of these skewered cheeses fit the bill and were assembled while I sat in my sunny bay window in the early afternoon.
This fig and goat cheese bruschetta is a Cooking Light recipe. Two of these delights are only 138 calories and they were delicious! I made the fig jam the night before and while this is a last minute prep after your guests have arrived, they were easy and pretty fast.
Next? That beautiful seafood cocktail, of course!
I’m not much of a shrimp lover, but I have made shrimp escabeche a couple of times and it always turns out well, with the shrimp perfectly cooked. So… I thought I would take the idea of cooking the shrimp in acid and shake it up a bit. I decided that a ceviche sounded like a great idea.
The second course was my second South American dish … lime chicken empanadas. The fabulous thing about empanadas is that you can put almost anything inside that flaky dough and it is going to be tasty.
There were a couple of other things to nosh on … spinach and artichoke dip … yum! I had also picked up a sampler of hummus. And I made some pretty amazing meatballs and paired three each with two of the spinach and walnut raviolis Joe had made with some awesome sauce for the third small plate. By this point in the evening, the wine had been flowing for a while so I missed a photo opportunity, but it was all tasty.
And of course, if you’re having your girls over, you had better have some sweets! I went a little traditional with some baby pecan pies. I recently took a Viking class on French culinary basics and one of the things I learned was how to create an awesome pie crust. These little tarts were made with the Classic Pecan Pie recipe straight from the Karo Syrup website and my own, homemade crust. These are bake ahead, two bite delights and they turned out perfectly.
I also got a little crazy with dipping stuff in chocolate. I mixed semi-sweet and bittersweet dark Scharffen Berger chocolate together. I haven’t nailed down the chocolate tempering yet so stuff wasn’t all shiny and glossy, but it was still incredibly awesome.
First in the pool … strawberries. It’s a tad early for great strawberries, but they were still really good. Next … some Cape Cod’s Waffle Cut Kettle Chips with Sea Salt. Super crispy and sweet, these were awesome! And then …
There was the bacon. Uncured, slightly sweet, apple smoked bacon from Whole Foods, each strip quartered and made super crispy on a baking rack in a 400 degree oven. These were funky enough to make me very happy and tasty enough that they vanished rather quickly.
This was an awesome girlfriend night. The weather was perfect for hanging outside … there was a lot of good wine … some chocolate cigars … and, most important, some awesome females. I cannot wait to do it again!