Food. Friends. Fun.

Well Amanda and I got to throw our first dinner party in our home last night. imageWe had our wonderful neighbors (who have become really good friends) over, and enjoyed an evening of laughter and great conversation over a delicious menu planned by my ever so talented fiancé.  A little back story…we met Rob and Melissa the day we moved in. Probably much as it would’ve happened in the days our homes were constructed. A time of days gone past when being neighborly was a way of life not a courtesy. Rob came out as we were moving furniture into the house and offered Brent and I am ice cold beer. Now keep in mind it’s May 10th in Sanford, FL. There was no shortage of scorching heat that day and I don’t know why but the solid wood furniture we were lugging around was helping to cool us off any. Well as anyone who knows me knows….I’m not that bashful so of course I quickly responded with a “hell yeah!” I often tease Rob that I hope he wasn’t just being nice and “offering” a beer when he didn’t really want to give up some of his chilly brews, but after getting to know him and his wife it is very evident that it was truly a sincere gesture. That same evening they had Amanda and I come over to eat some of the meal they had prepared but not planned on us crashing. Since becoming neighbors and friends we’ve had dinner together a couple times but usually in their home. Finally we got have them over and enjoy their company in our home. Amanda was so excited to be able to host a dinner party she even forewarned the group through text of “I apologize in advance for this dinner being over the top! But beyond excited to cook ?”. Haha and so it began the scurry of three or four trips to the store, plundering through the attic for fall decorations and getting to spend all day in the kitchen with my love. I say all day because  we all know that an authentic rustic sourdough loaf doesn’t happen in 10 minutes.

The menu that Amanda prepared started the evening off with a wonderful Crapese salad (only a slight hitch involving the balsamic glaze).image

After we all enjoyed the salad; Amanda needed to finish the entree so we joined her in the kitchen with glasses of wine and whiskey in tow.  The main course was a stuffed roasted red pepper and caper chicken breast with an earthy toasted pine nut wild grain rice. With having already browned the chicken all she needed to do was finish it in the shallot and vermouth sauce. Yeah I am one lucky guy that I am going to get to marry her one day!image



We sat and enjoyed excellent conversation with no regards to time as we were all having a blast enjoying each other’s company. After a while we decided it was time for dessert. Amanda knows how to put a smile on my face when it comes to sweets and she really outdid herself this time. She had prepared a homemade ice-cream. Not just any old ice-cream but a buttered pecan ice-cream. This particular recipe takes you back to when you’re a kid and all you can do is smile from the richness of the pecans and the creaminess of homemade ice-cream. To go with it I had an antique kettle of apple cider chock full of cinnamon sticks, cloves, and nutmeg that had been steeping for hours. We added some fresh butter and a good bourbon to this warm elixir to kick this wishing it was fall drink up a notch. And kick it up it did as this morning there was a fall crispness in the air.image

It never ceases to amaze me how foods can bring out so many memories and how fun it is to share them with those you love and enjoy being around. You know you’ve done the meal right when your guests are in the kitchen helping you wash dishes and no one is really ready for the evening to come to an end.


It is times like last night and this morning on my front porch swing that inspire me to try my hand at writing these little posts. If nothing more to put an excellent time down on “paper” and enjoy the memory all over again some day. image


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