Dinner with Friends

I couldn't resist the lure of spring in these daffodils - yes, this snow will melt. But more than any crackling fire in the fireplace, these beautiful blossoms promise the warm breezes of spring are right around the corner.

We had friends over last night for dinner - I love to entertain. And, while this was advertised as casual I still like to "play" - to set a comfortable table, and to create a tasty meal. Last night my menu was compliments of the Vetri Cookbook - some tried and true recipes, others making their preview at this meal, a risky undertaking.

My goal was to have lovely photos of the evening to share with you - clinking glasses and close ups of the food. Guests arrived, corks popped on the cremant (a sparkling wine from the non-Chanpagne region of France), a glass or two later it was - "blog, what blog". We completely enjoyed ourselves - no photos - sorry.

Luckily I snapped a few photos of my table earlier in the day. My newly quilted table runner looked beautiful on the table with my collection of Deruta pottery. We welcomed friends with a beautiful cremant served with 2 different crostini. The first was a crostini of duck rillettes topped with pickled fennel (Vetri recipe) - both recipes very delicious. The second was crostini of tonnato (a simple tuna sauce) topped with roased red pepper, such an easy appetizer.

For a first course I tried, for the first time, the Squid and Artichoke Galette recipe from the Vetri cookbook - sorry Marc, but despite following the recipe exactly, this was a bust. Thankfully I served it with the Charred Brussels Sprouts from the book which were delicious. I appreciate that my friends choked down the galette and even offered up compliments - confirms that they are true friends, but I already knew that.

For our secundo piatti I served the Pappardella (homemade using the Vetri recipe) with Venison and Pear Ragu - it was delicious. I mail ordered the venison from Shaffer Farms - check them out on line - they are located in Central Pennsylvania - Buy Local PA!

Dessert was from the Vetri cookbook as well - Chocolate Polenta Souffle and Vanilla Gelato - yum! I also served homemade marshmallows and apricot pate de fruit along with the dessert. And no dessert is complete without espresso and some after dinner drinks - Boulard Caldavos, Poire Williams, grappa, and more.

Again, sorry for not having photos, but I had my focus elsewhere. Back to healthy eating this week. Add Image