Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Gilbert's Garden Party

We’ve been working feverishly on our backyard garden for months. We let it die during the drought and decided to create a happy space for us to sit and visit. This dinner party was a celebration of the (almost) finished product.
We started with cheese from Carmel-by-the-Sea, crackers, grapes, nectarines, and this really cool bread-cake thing made out of figs and nuts, and we opened a lovely Sobon Estate, 2013 Tannat for pre-competition.
The next appetizer was bite-size chunks of barbecued tri-tip
Dinner was a potato bar with big fat Russets (chives, maple bacon, shredded cheese, butter and sour cream)
And barbecued ribs and chicken thighs to go with the potato
Dessert was a slice of New York style cheesecake surrounded with seasonal raspberries and blackberries

I called for a petite verdot, but it was too difficult for them so I settled for a blend with petite verdot. Sadly the strength of one of the blends arm-wrestled and won, but we came in second! The Pessimist, 2013 red blend out of Paso Robles from the Wade’s came in first, our Modus Operandi, (one of my favorite wineries) 2012 petite verdot came in second, and the Shetler’s Justin, 2013 red wine out of Paso Robles came in third. They were all super yummy. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Shetler's House/ Trader Joe's Menu

Mark got a recipe book:
I Love Trader Joe’s. So the menu is based on that!

Maque Choux Cakes (Shrimp cakes with a bit of spice)
Gorgonzola Stuffed Crimini Mushrooms (I ate so many of these little guys, I could barely eat dinner)
Marcona Almonds

Stuffed Sub Sandwich with Vodka Sauce
Mustard-Crusted Potatoes
Cucumber, Red Onion, and Kidney Bean Salad


Torta Della Nonna

The Shetler's requested a bottle of wine from Trader Joe's under $20.00. We picked an Argentinian Malbec called 1, The Wades brought a 14 Hands red blend, and the Shetler's entered a cuvee red blend from E Cellars. The Wades won.

Gilbert's house for Cuban food

First let me say I'm sorry for getting so behind on blogging! Just so you know we never got behind on feasting, just on telling you about it :) The Wade's were scheduled after ours, but life got in the way, so we met downtown and did a pub crawl. It was more befitting our mood at the time :)

With the help from a Cuban friend from work I attempted a traditional Christmas meal (from before communism forbade the celebration of Christmas).


Pasta de Guayaba con Queso y Galletas
(Guayaba is a fruit made into a paste with cheese on crackers. I chose jack cheese after some research)
Platanos Maduros
(These are overly ripe/black plantain bananas fried to golden crisp. They are sweet)
Tostones y Mojo
(Yum... mojo! Mojo is very special to Cubans and many other Latin/Caribbean countries. It is made with a lot of garlic, olive oil, spices, and sour orange juice. If you can't hunt down the sour oranges, use equal parts lime and orange. Tostones are green or yellow plantains that are smashed and fried and smashed some more.)


Platanos Hervidos
(boiled green regular bananas with butter. Tastes a little like sweet potatoes)
Moros y Cristianos
(Rice and black beans, or Moors and Christians)
Pierna Asada a la Cubana con Mojo Salsa
(This is basically baked pork butt with mojo ingredients and orange halves in the pan with a little bowl of mojo to dunk the meat in.)


Tarte de Limón (from Whole Foods)


We requested them to bring a bottle of red wine that would pair well with Cuban food. The wines were very different from each other... which was a problem. We tend to vote for the wine which best suits our palate, nt the best of a particular varietal. The grenache imported from France won the night.