Saturday, June 18, 2011

Entertaining Recipes -- Food, Family, Good Times . . .

I'm very lucky to have a secret weapon in the entertaining department -- came in handy when we had the houseguests this week. And what's in that arsenal? Why, Pater makes a mean paella, and I've met few people who can't find something to like in that dish. Plus all that standing around watching him stir while we chat, nibble on appies and drink a hearty red from big-bowled glasses makes for a good start to an evening.

Of course, I like to contribute something as well, besides directions and a grocery list. So I picked a couple of dishes from a new-to-me food blog that my friend Lisa recommended, Smitten Kitchen. These roasted peppers, brilliantly complemented by a silky Buffalo Mozzarella (made here on Vancouver Island by Natural Pastures cheeses) sustained us through the stirring, alongside a bowl of Pater-made tapenade and a baguette.

When the paella finally got to the table, it was accompanied with green beans à Lisa (simply cooked and tossed with mustard).

And somehow after polishing that off, we found room for this cake, a cake that deserves to be made again for solstice -- it's a perfect celebration of summer's opening.  Lisa had made it for us a few weeks ago -- using a 50/50 mix of barley and white (wheat) flour which gave it a marvellous, slightly nutty flavour. I couldn't find barley flour yesterday, but no one complained. . . served with a dollop of whipping cream and a cup of coffee or tea, the dessert ended off a very companionable evening with new family.

And I may have added a few new secret weapons to my entertaining arsenal.

Care to share one of yours?


  1. Smitten Kitchen is one of my favorite food blogs as well! The cake looks delicious, too.

  2. Yum, yum, yum!! Happy almost solstice.

  3. Nancy: It was a fun find for me, and I'll def. be visiting lots.
    K: Yes, well perhaps solstice might mean that we could get, say, 3 days in a row of temps above 20. . . . I'm crossing my fingers.

  4. I've visited Smitten Kitchen before but I must hasten over and see what's new.
    Your dinner looks delicious mater!

    Hope the weather perks up a bit too.

  5. This all looks too delicious; I am saving my cooking skills for when I retire! It needs time and a decent/clean oven, neither of which I posses.
    Few and Far is indeed a lovely shop, although you may find the clothes a little deconstructed/ethnic/shroud like...! I prefer Egg if you can hunt it down, not least because it is the most beautiful shop in London. For a cheaper version, a brand called Sahara is lovely, but you are so petite I think they would drown you!

  6. It's nice having a sweetie who likes to cook, isn't it?

  7. Alison: The cooking's something we like to do together, and I'm quite spoiled that Paul really enjoys it AND has even more time for it in retirement.
    I've heard of Egg and should probably search it out next visit -- although the drooling isn't always attractive!
    Susan: It really is!


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