Ideas for Spring Entertaining
Inviting friends for dinner is a beautiful thing; cooking something special, with great ingredients, and taking the time to be creative should be relaxing. We can help you with that!
Rancho Gordo has the best beans-lots of varieties. We have the classic cassoulet beans and the cookbook that tells the history of this wonderful dish, as well as step-by-step instructions of how to make both the traditional cassoulet and also one with only duck. Serve this with a salad and crusty bread, great wine, and invite 8 friends over for dinner and you have a feast. You’ll be proud of your accomplishment.
Always have fabulous olives on hand for a simple appetizer with an aperitif. Cassee de Baux are cracked, plump, and delicious. Pretend you’re sitting at a French cafe with a glass of wine.
Spicy nuts on hand for a spur of the moment cocktail – Rose’s fabulous recipe. Sweet & Salty Fruit and Nut Mix
1 large egg white
1/4 cup brown sugar or Smoked Brown Sugar
- 1/3 cup Honey
- 1 1//4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ – 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (depending hot much spice that you like
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- Zest of one orange
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
2 1/2-cus of nuts: pecan halves, cashews, walnuts, or almonds – what ever combination that you like
½ cup Pumpkin seeds or Pepitas and ½ cup chopped, dried cranberries to all later after baking
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Beat egg white until soft and foamy. Combine all spice ingredients except; the nuts, cranberries, sesame and pumpkin seeds, whisk into the egg white. Stir in nuts, cranberries, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds until well coated; spread mixture in single layer onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake mixture for 15 minutes, remove from the oven. Using a metal spatula, toss, stir, and separate nuts. Reduce oven to 250 degrees and return nuts to bake until medium brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; toss, with cranberries and stir again. Sprinkle with more salt. Place baking pan on wire rack to cool (they will crisp as they cool). Break up any that stick together.
We have 2 olive oils that are favorites. We always carry Arbequina from Seka Hills and this year’s harvest is better than ever. Tomato notes, with almond and artichoke, a little kick at the end. Frantoio is a new addition, buttery and smooth and perfect for salad dressing. Add Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar, our best seller, and you have a delicious dressing.
Mango Wood Salad Bowl is a new addition to our assortment with these fun servers…to add to your entertaining needs.
Sicilian Lemon Olive Oil combined with Fresh Cucumber Balsamic Vinegar is another option. As is Blood Orange Olive Oil and Vanilla Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar. Recipes included in this delightful combo.
A hot new item is Truffle Zest Seasoning, a must have for mushroom lovers. Sprinkle on popcorn, roasted potatoes, even potato chips. It is the new item that is selling madly everywhere else, so we decided to bring it in.
Mother’s Day is coming up soon and honey is always a good theme for MOM. We put together a gift pouch with lavender soap, lemon honey, lotion and lip balm.
You light the candle, and the wax becomes honey lotion to soothe the skin. Perfect for hands and nails and MOM. Pretend you’re at a spa.
MOM will like these lavender honey drops, as will you. From France…speaking of which, I am going next week to Paris, to Patricia Wells Cooking School. The next blog will share my findings. Even though France does not have much olive oil available for export, I am excited to explore the markets and culinary experience. The boys will take good care of you while I am gone. Au revoir!