Buck Hill Falls — Welcome Back Good Friends!

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Follow the Diva to our website and create your Spanish – themed celebration!

http://www.mimiandsue.com/WarmWeatherWelcome2014.html

 

Our surprising inspiration!

Hmmm… a magazine and napkins … what’s up with Mimi and Sue?

Inspiration struck while I was reading the May 2014 edition of Wine Spectator magazine and then Sue spied these napkins in Wegmann’s seasonal section.  We would throw a Spanish themed celebration to reunite with some of our favorite friends in Buck Hill Falls!

Sue always says:  “We like decorating the table better than anything else.”  I kind of think she’s right.  We’re setting things up and I went dashing upstairs to root around my scarf drawer.  I remembered my $5 pashmina from the Brooklyn street vendor who had about 100 colors and the bright pink wrap my future daughter-in-law brought me from India.  Perfection!

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TAPAS

Tomato Jam and Jamon Iberico Ham

Anchovy Fennel Butter and Roasted Peppers Crostini

Manchego Cheese and Honey Butter

Marinated Olives

Red Wine Sangria

My theory is if you drink enough sangria and the food's not so good ... who cares?

My theory is if you drink enough sangria and the food’s not so good … who cares?

And my theory is that Mimi is a CRAZY.  Who has ever been to one of our celebrations and said:  ” the food … meh, not so great”?

So, I had to buy the Iberico ham in NYC because Mimi is up in Buck Hill for the summer. It’s only sold at Zabar’s which is near my apartment. I was at the meat counter and I asked how much the ham was a pound. The person helping me looked around and whispered $75.00. $75.00!!!! As luck would have it, Eli Zabar was standing right behind me so, I restrained my usual exuberance. I whispered back: “Did you say $75.00?” Yep. She did. I made an “executive decision” and bought 1/2 pound. One of our dinner guests exclaimed: “Iberico ham!!  That’s $100.00 a pound.”  I said to her:  “What, are these pigs made of gold?”  She explained that they are very special and fed only acorns.  We still don’t get it but, boy that ham was worth it and I got a bargain!

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DINNER

Roasted Pork Puerto Rican Style

Vegetable Paella

2011 Bodega Catena Zapata Cabernet Franc Appellation San Carlos

Zuccardi Serie A Torrontes 2012

Boy did we eat!  There were only three hors d’oeuvres left and nearly everyone had second (and third) helpings at the table.  It made us feel good that the dinner was such a hit.  Someone exclaimed:  “oh my gosh I’m overeating”.  Mimi replied:  “I hope you left room for dessert because I made homemade ice cream and cookies.”

DESSERT

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Chocolate Decadence Cookies

Betty, one of our guests loves Mimi’s homemade ice cream.  Are there pictures of the dessert?  NO!  Why not?  Mimi plus sangria equals:  pictures, we don’t need no stinkin’ pictures.  HA!

Four Seasons Residences Denver Team Dinner

The residence association board that I am on and the residence’s concierge team got together at our home in Denver for a little brainstorming session.  What better way to get those creative juices flowing than a family style dinner together?

You know what really gets the creative juices flowing?  Sparkling Wine!!! We started with hors d’oeuvres and my favorite sparkler, Scharffenberger Brut Excellence.

One of my colleagues on the board (who’s usually good for a laugh) commented:  “I’ve never seen so much green on a plate before.”  HA!! He was right.  I usually think about things like that when I plan a meal.  Green or not, it tasted pretty good.

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I found one of my favorite wines, Famille Perrin L’Oustalet Organic Blend, in a store locally and served that with dinner.  To finish the meal we had lemon ricotta pound cake with strawberries.  Darn!  I forgot to take a picture and for once my dessert came out perfectly!  I have to do it again just so I can post what it looks like.

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Follow the Diva to our website for the recipes.

 

bruschetta  http://www.mimiandsue.com/DenverTeamDinnerPrep.html

sherried mushrooms   http://www.mimiandsue.com/Holidays-Preparation-2.html

basil white bean purée   http://www.mimiandsue.com/Summer-Closer-Prep-2.html

penne with basil pesto   http://www.mimiandsue.com/What-to-Eat-Wednesday-5292013-prep.html

rosemary rubbed roasted pork tenderloin   http://www.mimiandsue.com/DenverTeamDinnerPrep.html

Sparkling Wine Tasting for the Bride and Groom

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We decided to do a sparkling wine tasting to select the wine that we will serve as an aperitif at my stepson Jeff and his fiancée Kristin’s rehearsal dinner.  What a great excuse to have a little wine and cheese — two things our family will never turn down!  Domaine Carneros Brut 2009 carried the evening, although the Roederer Estate Brut was a very close second.  We decided it would go better with food.

Dinner followed.

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 Find the gnocchi recipe in Bon Appetit magazine April 2014 edition.

Find the shortcake recipe in Bon Appetit May 2014 edition.

I’ve always wanted to try to make gnocchi.  Why I decided my first attempt would be right after drinking wine, I’ll never know.  (I usually don’t drink while I’m cooking so I don’t mess anything up.)  The recipe called for morels but I couldn’t find them and substituted shiitakes.  Jeff said:  “Mim when you can press the gnocchi into the roof of your mouth and it just melts, you did it the right way.”  I felt pretty good about that.  As for the dessert, the recipe did not call for rhubarb.  Jeff’s grandmother always made strawberry rhubarb and my husband and Jeff love it.  So, I took  creative license and added it to the dessert recipe.  Overall, I’d say the meal was a success.

Mimi Dreams of Tuscany

Roast Sea Bass with Chickpea Puree and Parsley Sauce

Roast Sea Bass with Chickpea Puree and Parsley Sauce

The May 2014 edition of Food & Wine featured “A Foodies Tuscan Fantasy”.  Even though my husband is not a fan of puréed beans of any kind, I decided to try this recipe.  What the heck, if he hated it we could reminisce about our own amazing visit to Tuscany in 2008 with Sue and her husband!!  We both loved the meal and relived the time of our lives in the Tuscan countryside.

…and a Diva Dishes.  When I saw this photo I said to Mimi:  “What’s all that green stuff on the fish?”  Parsley sauce!!  It’s not just a garnish anymore.  Sea bass:  high in protein, low in fat and chickpea purée with no cream or butter.  Hey Mim good job on following my advice and finding a healthy recipe to get swimsuit ready.

Sue’s Casual Cooking for Company

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Having company?  Follow the Diva to our website for your own casual but easy and delicious meal!

http://www.mimiandsue.com/SuesCasualCompanyDinner.html

I wanted to give the meal a little oomph and made soup to start.  I love to cook with mint and this soup just hits the spot.  The chicken recipe is juicy and tender … so easy you could make it for “What to eat Wednesday” (although doing chicken and soup might be too much work mid-week for some people.)

…and a Diva Dishes.  I’m usually not the one offering up short cuts but, I bet you could make both of these things ahead of time and serve them cold as a great summer meal.  Plus, I’d be adding a big blob of greek yogurt to that soup!

 

Green Juice for Dinner? Maybe Not.

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Seared Cod with Baby Potatoes and Green Sauce

When I saw this recipe in the April issue of Bon Appétit magazine, I couldn’t wait to try it.  I’ve been drinking green juice lately and really love it so  assumed I’d love it with fish.  I couldn’t find hake so substituted cod.  Let’s just say, I’ve discovered I am more of a butter and white wine kind of gal when it comes to fish.  Naturally, I loved the baby potatoes and greek yogurt that went with the fish.  Give the recipe a try though, you might enjoy it and you’ll certainly feel virtuous eating so healthy!!

and a Diva Dishes.  Leave it to Mimi to find a way to use that new juicer of hers to make a dinner!  I’ve been on a health kick lately but, I prefer my fruits and veggies “au natural” not juiced.  It actually does look delicious though.  Maybe I need to get a juicer after all!

Low Cal for Swimsuit Season

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Follow the Diva to our website to get swimsuit ready!

http://www.mimiandsue.com/What-to-Eat-Wednesday-05072014.html

I’m on a salmon kick lately (and it’s my husband’s favorite fish. He doesn’t care if he has it for lunch and then I make it for dinner.)  So here’s two incredibly easy dishes for your “What to Eat Wednesday” celebrations.

Herbed Salmon 

or

Salmon with Herbs and Pistachios

and a Diva Dishes.   Lord knows with all the cheese and butter I eat I should think about “swimsuit ready”.  So, these recipes are really timely Sue, especially since I made my salmon with white wine and butter and there’s 3 heaping tablespoons of creme fraiche in those mashed peas!  WARNING:   my version is not low call for swimsuit season!

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Salmon with Mashed Peas and Tarragon Butter