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A Breathe of Fresh Air!

mark baer

Spring has finally arrived in all her glory, which can include a few chillier, rainy days like today.  Flowers are starting to pop up, blossoms on the Magnolia tree are budding and a few Cherry Blossoms have made an appearance in my neck of the woods.

Last summer I missed planting a vegetable garden.  Do you plant a garden?  If you have never planted a garden, commit to planting even just a few plants of your favorite herb or vegetable, perhaps some rosemary and tomatoes?  While I enjoy digging in the dirt, you don’t have to for a garden.  Use some wooden wine boxes (water proof them first), or perhaps you have a few large pots, these will work just as well.  If you don’t dig, be sure there is a drainage in your container of choice.  What pleasure you will take in walking out your door to snip some herbs or pick a vegetable which you will then use to cook something wonderful.

Saturday night we had the pleasure of spending the evening with seven other couples in our home.  My husband mastered freshly made Margarita’s this winter, his great escape from the snow which he proudly served to our friends Saturday night, after spending an hour squeezing limes.

Fine Food Panetrie showed off her entertaining charm again this weekend.  Organized, efficient and truly special food was served.  Planning and preparation are crucial to a success evening of entertaining.  Whether you are cooking from scratch or purchasing ready made items or a combination of both, the more planning you put into your evening, down to the plating of the food, the less stress you will have.

Using crostini as my canvas it allowed our friends to sample a variety of DELICIOUSNESS.  Massa de Pimentao (Portuguese Red Bell Pepper Paste), served on crostini with a dollop of ricotta and a hint of fresh pesto made from basil and parsley.  Beef filet blackened in cast iron, seasoned with Fine Food Panetrie Sharena Sol, topped off with freshly made horseradish creme fraiche.  Burrata on grilled Tuscan bread with a fresh lemon bean paste and pickled onion or the simple delight of Caponota.  Turkey croquettes, a beautiful Trifle made from Fine Food Panetries special Lemon Cake, custard layered with fresh whipped creme and a hint of mascarpone.  Speaking of mascarpone, pancetta mixed with carmelized onions and mascarpone and a hint of nutmeg is incredibly incredible!

Enjoy a few simple pictures from when I was in prep mode.  The final products are not on film, I always enjoy more the look of the crowded fridge with all of the components coming together.