Martha Stewart Living (May 2013)
"In the summer you want fresh,
light and sort of quick things."
- Ina Garten
The other day the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living arrived in the post. I love Martha Stewart! She gets a lot of flak and I honestly cannot understand why. For me, to me, Ms. Stewart is the perfect combination of historian/researcher and a woman who is dedicated to discovering, cultivating and wringing out every drop of the most beautiful that life has to offer. Then, instead of hoarding this knowledge, she shares it with the world. For a price bien sur, but isn't that what every savvy successful business woman does?
I love all of the gorgeous colorful photography in Living, but especially the ones of flowers/gardens/landscapes and of the food. As I was flipping through I came across this photo of her vision of a Nicoise Salad. Everything looks so yummy and how wonderful is the idea of just putting a platter filled with delicious bits of food, beautifully arranged on a platter, down on the table and having everyone gather around and dig in over wine and good conversation.
Last week, my little part of the world finally bloomed with summer weather (yay!) In celebration, Peter and I hosted a few neighbors to a wine tasting at a nearby winery and then back to the house to continue the party. And I knew just what I wanted to serve and how I wanted to serve it. And you know that I had to add my sistah spice. Sadly, although I don't have access to my beloved rue Cler I have found a very close approximation: Trader Joe's - think of an enclosed, much smaller rue Cler. Besides my local butchers and my local Binny's Beverage Depot, I did all my shopping at Joe's. That's also where I got flowers - lots and lots of fresh flowers. It's a little drive from home, but the route is mostly through a picturesque tree-lined little town. On a gorgeous day in my convertible with Mr. Gorgeous by my side? Yeah, I suffer for my friends ;-}
Salad Nicoise du Temple
I mixed it up a little with both red and green Endive. The vegetable stuffed and spicy sausages are from my local butcher. I made the Shrimp Scampi, switched out the string beans for Mr. Gorgeous' preferred Asparagus, and added the Snow Peas. Tip for the tomatoes: salt, pepper, and Girard's Champagne Dressing.
I had a second platter aussi:
My favorite every season - a cheese & fruit platter: Honey & Almonds, 3 cheeses (Goat, Parmesan, and Brie), crunchy Pears, sweet Strawberries, decadent Dates, savory Chicken and Pork Liver Pate, juicy Grapes, tart Apples, and Cutie Oranges. Tip: the best crackers (tastiest, crispiest and firmest) are Carr's Toasted Sesame Seed Table Water Crackers.
Of course, you can't forget the wine. I've found two that taste like Paris...
Photo: Peas & Crayons
Cupcake Red Velvet Wine
90+ Sauvignon Blanc
The evening was a success, stress free and so much fun. We'll be doing it again soon. Tasty food and wine, sweet scented flowers, and good friends to share it with. I wish you the same.
C'est la vie et a vie est tres bon!
Vivre! Rire! Aimer!