Saturday, December 29

Christmas Eve Dinner

Once again, my dear friends, Beth & Joe, hosted a spectacular Christmas Eve dinner for some of their friends. I had to work that day so I missed spending fun time cooking with them as we used to do in the past years. The menu was so well-planned. Each course of the dinner went very well together, and was paired with wines specifically chosen for it. Kudos to a fantastic chef, Beth has definitely outdone yourself!  All of us absolutely enjoyed our dinner and had a nice time.
Great time :)
Appetizers!
Shrimp, Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper Bisque
 
Mediterranean Salad with Prosciutto and Pomegranate
Great balance of flavors and textures. Yummy and pretty starter!
Prime Rib Roast with Roasted-Garlic Thyme Sauce
Beth perfectly cooked the roast, and the sauce was so delicious! 
Jewel Roasted Vegetables
Colorful and festive. This vegetable dish went really well with the dinner.
Key Lime Pie for dessert :)

********

Much love and appreciation for friendship.
Thank you, Joe, Beth and Kaleb for your hospitality! 

Holiday Treats

Sunday, November 4

Fall Celebration with Friends

On a beautiful October evening, my dear friends hosted a celebration of the fall harvest, good food, and good friends at their lovely home. Our dinner was prepared by The State Room Restaurant's chef Matthew Wilson, and Spartan Signature Catering's senior executive chef Michael Clyne.
Beautiful set up for the evening.
Thank you, Lynne & Gary. Greatly appreciate your warm hospitality.  
 
Our evening started out with drinks and beautiful music...
While our Spartan chefs preparing our 6-course dinner.
Amazing tableside performance by very talented Kaleb.  
 Some bubbles to begin with. 
Appetizer
plum tomato napoleon with pickled shallots, Gorgonzola cheese,balsamic cream.
Soup
roasted butternut squash bisque with maple creme fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds 
Salad
mixed field greens with fresh herbs, shaved carrots, red radish, heirloom tomato, Dijon vinaigrette 
Intermezzo
raspberry sorbet with grey goose vodka 
Entree
whole roasted red bell pepper stuffed with cranberry basmati pilaf, braised purple cabbage, with yellow beet coulis 
Dessert
homemade ginger bread cake with Kahlua scented whipped cream 
 Some of the drinks paired with our dinner 
 What a wonderful evening with great company.
Dinner was amazing, all dishes were so well-thought and delicious!
 With Chef Matt and Chef Michael :)

Tuesday, October 23

First Visit to Red Haven

What a great weekend! We had a fun and exciting soccer game, which followed by a big celebration. Then, Lynne, Gary, and I had a fantastic evening dining at Red Haven restaurant and going to Jackson Browne concert!
Let me tell you about the newly opened Red Haven! This 2,284 square foot restaurant, located near the corner of Hagadorn and Mt. Hope in Okemos, MI, serves tapas-style menu, and Michigan-made alcoholic beverages. Everything we ordered to share was fabulous - well-thought, creative, and delicious!
 [POACH]
egg, chinook salmon, arugula, caper, lemon 
Red Haven is owned by Nina Santucci and Anthony Maiale. Yes, Nina and Tony, owners of the Purple Carrot food truck! They will still serve food made from seasonal, local ingredients, while presenting farm-to-table concept - at their new beautifully-decorated, non-mobile restaurant.
 Featuring Michigan beer, wine, and spirits
We had a great first visit, and cannot wait to go back to try more items on the menu!

[Then, we were off to the Mortor City
for a wonderful performance by Jackson Browne, at the Music Hall Center.]
 

Tuesday, October 9

Hoophouse Gala 2012

This past Sunday, October 7, Hoophouse Gala served up another great meal to raise scholarship money for agriculture students. It was MSU Student Organic Farm 4th annual harvest dinner benefiting Michigan's future organic farmers. It's the 3rd year my friend, Lynne, and I have attended this wonderful event where over 200 guests dine al fresco in the farm for a great cause.
The evening started off with reception appetizers, by Chef Sarah Kops. A farm tour was also an option. We did that in the past years when the weather was very nice. Unfortunately, this year was a little cold and wet, we pretty much stayed under the tent and enjoyed socializing with other attendees. 
The entertainment for the evening was presented by MSU Jazz Combo. 
Attendees were served a 7-course wine pairing dinner prepared using ingredients from MSU Student Organic Farm, Michigan farms and orchards. 
Appetizer
Pork Belly Tacos
Citrus cabbage slaw, cilantro lime cream, pico de gallo
By Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski and Chef David Brown 
Soup
MSU Student Organic Farm Soup
Hearty vegetable soup lovingly prepare with ingredients from the farm, served with rustic bread
By Chef Gerhard Steiner and Chef Thomas Stavischeck 
Fresh Herb Salad
By Chef Brad Curlee and Chef Rob Trufant 
Fish
Michigan Yellow Perch
Okemos shrimp stuffing, roasted red pepper sauce, brussel sprouts
By Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski and Chef Kevin Kruz 
Intermezzo
Lemon-Basil Sorbet
By Chef Gerhard Steiner 
Optional Vegetarian Entree 
Entree
Cassoulet
Garlic sausage, pork confit, pork belly, white beans and fresh herbs
By Chef Matthew Wilson and Chef Rajeev Patgaonkar
Dessert
Pear Poached in Leelanau Peninsula Red Wine
Phyllo crisp, candied pecans, chocolate chips, Michigan dried cherries, and chocolate, cherry sauce
By Chef Michael Clyne and Chef Michael Evans 
Planning committee and Spartan chefs got recognized for their hard work and efforts. 
My company for the evening included:
Conni and Richard Crittenden, Roger Merrifield, Amanda, Vasas,
Laurie and Kevin McMahon, and Lynne Swanson
We were such a great group and had a nice time sharing passion for food and cooking. Conni actually shared her food with me :) I am hoping our shared interest will bring us back to meet again!

Until next time!





Friday, July 27

Apprentice

Hello! It's been almost two months since we moved into our new home... Things are coming together mostly. I managed to take a break and make the time to really cook this past weekend. Without much ingredients on hand, I grabbed what was available in my fridge to make lunch. I ended up having my son in the kitchen with me, and learn how to make ham and sausage fried-rice.
These are pretty much the ingredients.
Find the full recipe here.
We added tomato paste and chili sauce for color and heat.


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