Monday, August 18, 2014

A Saturday Evening Soiree

We are all in wedding mode and have been for the past few weeks.  Everyone rushing around to get outfits and a small gift for the bride and groom and making hotel reservations and trips to the salon, etc.  It's all great fun.  I had not seen our dear friend Lea for months.  So one day last week I sent her an email and invited her over for some quality time this past Saturday.  We had a lovely time catching up.  I put out just a few things for us to enjoy and I thought you might like to see what I chose.

Let me start by saying that everything here can be easily obtained at your local Giant Food Store.  If you do not have Giant in your area, I am certain that the large chain market in your neighborhood will have these items.  As I have said before, at Welcome to Crest Avenue, we do not set out to make our projects or entertaining ideas difficult to achieve. There is no need to go to specialty markets with enormous price mark-ups just to set a delicious and inviting table. Everything here was fresh and delicious and it all presented wonderfully.

So, I picked up what I thought would be appropriate as I made my way through the market.  I have done this so many times I rarely need to make a list anymore.  But if you are just starting to entertain, a list is helpful.  Generally speaking, the items you see here are perfect for any small gathering.  This would easily have served a group of 4 to 6 people.

I started with this wonderful pork pate with cognac.  I simply cannot describe to you how delicious this was. Not all pate is the same.  I've had really good pate and I've had really bad pate.  This was extraordinary.

Next I stopped at the fresh olive bar and filled a small container with these Rustica Green Olives.  They were not stuffed with pimiento or anything.  Just in this wonderful pepper sauce which was very robust.  The heat of the pepper sauce and the saltiness of the olives was a wonderful combination.  There were several flavors from which to choose and I would suggest trying several different ones until you find the ones that you like best.

We love the boursin brand cheeses.  This Red Chili Pepper was especially good and a nice compliment to the olives with the pepper sauce.

The Garlic & Fine Herbs was another hit.  Really delicious.  They are so smooth and delicious.  They are not too pungent.  Sometimes the spreadable cheeses are too pungent for my palate.  Not so with boursin.  A little more expensive, but well worth it.

Most times when I am putting together a table for hors d'oeuvres, I stage the items I am serving in the serving pieces which I believe will work best for the occasion.  Saturday night was no exception.  A few extra things you see in the photo above are, on the left, a sourdough olive loaf which was exceptional.  In the center on the square white plate is a wedge of Brie.  This was a double-cream brie and it was divine.  And then on the right you see in the bag a sourdough baguette which was sliced and placed inside the plastic bag to keep it fresh until Lea arrived.

So here is how things came together.  Brie and pate on a cutting board (I could only find the 4th of July spreaders, so I went with those), sliced olive loaf and baguette, a large bunch of green grapes, the two boursin cheeses and the olives in a cute little tray I've had for years from Pottery Barn.  And, of course, my glass of red wine to get the party started.  I served two different wines.

The first, a Cupcake Red Velvet.

The second, a Menage a Trois.  The Menage I have served many times and it is consistently good.  The Cupcake Red Velvet was a first.  I have served other Cupcake's, but never the Red Velvet.  It was extraordinary.

It was a wonderful evening.
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