Sunday, February 6, 2011

Our friends, the E's, invited us to dinner last night. Andrew cooked a chicken recipe from a Patricia Wells cookbook, along with carrots and some other veg, a beautiful salad and I brought my gnocchi. Unfortunately, I cooked it at their house and it should have been in the oven a little longer. We also brought some blush Cava and it was a nice meal with nice people. I am quite fond of their little ones and we had some lively discussions going around the table.

Got to see son #2 for a little while yesterday afternoon and sent him on his way with cash, homemade meatballs and fresh fruit. He also absconded with my Dutch oven. He's a pretty good cook himself.

Today is a super bowl gathering at the B's. I had big ambitions yesterday when I planned everything I would bring but today have just been reading and relaxing so will be taking a simple dish - smoked trout, cream cheese, capers and grated hard boiled eggs. The trout comes from Sunburst Farms, here in the NC mountains. They have had some problems with their business being closed off and on due to a robbery and then a fire, but I was happy to find their products again a few days ago at Earth Fare. The smoked trout had been a staple of us for appetizers. Hooray!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Have I ever mentioned how much I love all things Italian? I didn't think so......well, I LOVE all things Italian! AND, we're going back again this summer! I can't wait - or maybe I can - the anticipation is almost, but not quite, as good as being there. For the last two weeks we've been knee-deep in airline fares, schedules, availability of Steve and Charles' villa, etc. It finally all came together and we purchased the tickets on Tuesday. Now the fun begins....planning, making lists, dreaming up menus ideas, trading dollars for euros. Our friends, Steve and Elizabeth, are traveling with us this time. I will miss Cindy and Dennis, our previous travel partners in crime, but sadly, they can't come along.

So last night for dinner, we went to Salvino's for simple, wonderful, hearty Italian fare. We are becoming regulars there at this point. Trish, our waitress, knows our names, knows we never have dessert and treats us with care - she's an excellent waitress, the kitchen staff is on top of things and the food comes out at the proper pacing.

Mitch, our 22 year old son, accompanied us last night. He and I both had the veal chop special. Heaven! (Imagine I sang that and that I have a good singing voice). Tender, perfectly cooked, light white wine sauce with mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Sides of mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach. Bruce had eggplant Parmesan - also excellent. But I really must talk about the soups....they are incredible! Mitch had the pasta fagioli, I had lentil and Bruce had butternut squash....each one was perfect and would be a meal in itself, with a slice of their bread.

Ok, by now you get the idea....this place is pretty much perfection - and the portions are so large that we can dine again for Saturday lunch. The only thing better would be having this cooked in my kitchen so I can eat in my jammies.