Slow Cooker Chicken with Mushrooms & Wine

Chicken with MushroomsI never thought in a million years I’d be writing a meat recipe on here, but here I am. We’re a few months into my crazy diet for MSPI (Milk Soy Protein Intolerance), or infant allergic proctocolitis. So far, Luca is allergic to dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, nuts, coconut, chocolate, and possibly corn. But he’s happy! And healthy! So who am I to complain.

I was so tired of having beans/quinoa and rice for every meal, and a nutritionist I’ve been working with suggested I try adding in chicken. I’m not incredibly excited about chicken–I’d still rather have a plate of amazing veggies than some chicken–but it wasn’t as horrible as I thought it was going to be after 17 years!

Cooking meals three times a day without a break is kinda tough and so I’ve been trying to come up with as many slow cooker recipes as possible so dinner is ready when I walk in the front door from work. When you’re on this diet, it’s almost impossible to eat out and guarantee that allergens have been kept out of your meal. Most allergy-friendly slow cooker recipes (other than bean chili, bean chili, and bean chili) seem like they involve meat. This recipe smelled really nice when I walked in the door and the chicken shredded up nicely. I served it over brown rice, but it would also be good with polenta or pasta provided you aren’t gluten-free.

Wine Mushroom Chicken

Slow Cooker Chicken with Mushrooms & Wine

Adapted from Chicken Merlot with Mushrooms, Taste of Home

  • 3/4 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tb. olive oil
  • 2.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup full bodied wine
  • dash of hot pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian herbs
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Optional: 1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tb. water

Layer the mushrooms, onion, olive oil, and garlic in the bottom of a 5-qt. slow cooker. Top with chicken. In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, broth, wine, herbs, Worcestershire, Dijon, salt, and pepper. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender. Add a slurry of 1 tsp. cornstarch in water to the chicken if desired to thicken sauce.

Serve over hot rice, pasta, or polenta.
Freeze option: Freeze cooled chicken mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or water if necessary. Yield: 5 servings.

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Spaghetti Squash Risotto with Sage Pesto

This is a little ditty I whipped up last night after noticing our fridge had only some onions, sad carrots, and a spaghetti squash. I typically use spaghetti squash in pasta or in salads, but thought it might be nice in a risotto. Of course, you could sub in any other kind of roasted squash.

Stirring pesto into a vegan risotto is nice, because it adds in the fattiness (and some protein!) you might otherwise miss with no cheese or butter.

It’s vegan and allergy-friendly, but your partner or friends can stir in some butter or cheese if they’d like at the table to make it extra unctuous. I had Garriy roast the squash during the day, so when I came home from work, even though it may seem like a lot of steps, this dinner came together in 20 minutes or so with boxed stock.

Nevertheless, and despite the mediocre photography below, this would be a nice fall main, even for company and/or as a side for grilled seafood or meat. The sage pesto smells amazing and very autumnal! Enjoy!

Squash Sage Risotto

Spaghetti Squash Risotto with Sage Pesto

  • 1 small to medium spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 large handful fresh sage
  • 1 large handful of other fresh herbs or greens (parsley, lemon balm, spinach, arugula)
  • 2 Tb. and 1/4 C. olive oil, divided
  • 1/8 C. pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1.5 C. Arborio rice
  • 5.5 C. vegetable stock (be sure it has no soy for allergy-free, as many contain soy oil or protein)
  • 1/2 C. white wine
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 Tb. chopped chives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: chile flakes, zest of 1 lemon, feta or parmesan cheese, fried sage leaves (fry sage leaves in olive oil till crispy)

Bake the seeded and halved spaghetti squash, cut side down, at 450 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until tender. Scoop out squash flesh and set aside.

Make the pesto while the squash is baking–combine the sage, other herbs, lemon juice, salt, and seeds in a food processor. With motor running, slowly add in 1/4 C. olive oil. Add more lemon juice or olive oil as needed to bring combination together into a paste.

Add veggie stock to pan on back burner and heat to steaming. Keep simmering on low. Heat 2 Tb. olive oil in heavy pot, and add onion. Saute for 5 minutes over medium heat and then add garlic. Saute for another 2 minutes. Add the rice and saute 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir until absorbed. Add a pinch of saffron and 1 C. veggie stock, stirring till absorbed. Add stock one cup at a time, stirring until absorbed. When the rice is halfway done (stock is halfway used up), add the cooked squash. When almost all stock is used, stir in pesto.

Once all of stock is used up, add any optional flavorings like the chile flakes, cheese, or lemon zest. Stir in the chopped chives and taste for salt and pepper. Serve while hot, adding the optional fried sage leaves if desired.

Quinoa Black Bean Salad with Chipotle-Tahini Dressing

Wow! Has it really been three months since we’ve posted on here? As everyone else jaunts off on world travels and family trips, we are here, waiting for our little boy to arrive. (It’s so weird to write that still!)

C&Gmaternity-69

A photo by our amazing friend Kelli, of Kelli-GO Photo, at 33 weeks.

I’m 38 weeks today, and expect him to come anytime from any day now to four weeks from now. This waiting time is kind of weird: we’re two, we’re about to be three, and we know that our lives are about to be irrevocably changed forever. What now is a series of kicks and pushes, and imaginations will all of a sudden be real, without pause, without a chance to absorb it all. We’ll just be thrown into it. But we’re excited–beyond, excited really–to see what this creature is like, what he becomes, and what we’ll learn from him. What an adventure.

Have I mentioned our friends are amazing? Courtesy of Kelli-GO Photo.

Have I mentioned our friends are amazing? Courtesy of Kelli-GO Photo.

We’ve felt so loved and supported, by you all, by our amazing friends–from two amazing baby showers, to the advice, porch sitting, emails, and calls–we feel so, so lucky to be bringing a child into this particular community. And while we wait, we’ve been in major nesting mode–tearing down a pergola, painting the house, setting up the nursery, and cooking tons of food for the freezer. We’ve also inexplicably signed ourselves up for lots and lots of social outings, which inevitably also come with the end of the school year and the beginning of Spring, so I decided to write up this quinoa salad recipe, of which there are a million variations, just because it’s easy and good, and it was the only way I’d have a recipe with an actual photo to post here! I added the chipotle last minute, as I thought it needed a little kick, but of course, you can leave it out, and/or add feta or any number of different veggies or types of beans to the mix. It serves a ton of people, is great for lunch or a picnic, and is healthy.

Enjoy! And I’ll keep you all posted if you keep me posted! xoxo

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Quinoa Black Bean Salad with Chipotle-Tahini Dressing

  • 2 C. white or red quinoa
  • 1/4 C. olive oil
  • 1.5 C. frozen white sweet corn, or fresh corn off the cob
  • 3 C. (or about 2 cans) cooked black beans
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 C. tahini
  • ~1/4 C. or so apple cider vinegar or lime juice
  • water
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground chipotle chile powder
  • Optional: small bunch of cilantro or chives, chopped

Cook the quinoa in lots of salted water for ~15 minutes, or until done. Drain and toss with olive oil plus a splash of cider vinegar or lime juice. While quinoa is still hot, toss with the frozen or fresh corn. When it cools down to room temperature, add in the black beans, carrot, green onions, and tomatoes.

Stir the tahini and the vinegar or lime juice together until the tahini breaks down into a thick white paste. Add the chipotle, salt to taste, and enough water to make it dressing consistency. Taste and add more vinegar, water, or salt to taste. Toss the quinoa mixture with the dressing, adding extra olive oil or vinegar if it seems too dry. Top with the optional cilantro or chives, if desired. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Winter Wheat Bowl with Tahini Dressing and Yogurt

We had a really nice holiday in Kentucky with my family, and then in Texas for New Year’s with Garriy’s parents, but we were both relieved to make our way back to home in Knoxville. Too much travel, too much rich food…you know the drill.

The baby is growing by leaps and bounds (he’s around a foot long now!), and I finally felt him kick around in my belly on Xmas eve, which felt like the best Christmas gift ever. Even though it’s frigid in Tennessee right now, our May due date feels like it’s closing in on us already as I near the end of my second trimester. We’re in the process of turning our dining room into a guest room, our guest room into a nursery, and our sunroom into a permanent dining room. Garriy has been working hard to build us a new 10-person dining room table (!!), which is coming along beautifully.

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I’ve been trying to make lunches and dinners easier and more appealing by roasting a bunch of colorful veggies at the beginning of the week. Unfortunately, we tend to gobble them all up before I can get many meals out of them, but I’ve loved having a big bowl of grains with lots of different vegetables on top. This is something I whipped up earlier this week with one of my biggest pregnancy cravings–beets (and plain yogurt? I don’t know why, but I’m thankful for my healthy cravings). It may seem like a lot of separate roasting, but you can do them all on the same baking tray, or do them at the beginning of the week in larger quantities to ease the multiple steps. None of it is supervised cooking though, so I found I could toss them in the oven with a timer while doing yoga and cleaning the house.

Here’s wishing my besties a happy, healthy 2015! Miss you all.

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Winter Wheat Bowl with Tahini Dressing and Yogurt

  • 1 1/2 C. Soft or Hard Winter Wheat Berries (or another whole grain of choice–quinoa, bulgar, etc.)
  • 2-3 beets, beet greens set aside
  • 1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas (or homecooked)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • ~4  to 5 Tb. olive oil, divided
  • 4 Tb. Greek Yogurt
  • 4 Tb. feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hot Sauce, to serve (optional)

Tahini Dressing:

  • 2 Tb. or more of tahini
  • juice of one lemon (or a few Tb. of cider vinegar)
  • warm water
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil and add the winter wheat–simmer for around 45 minutes, checking at 30 minutes for doneness (should be chewy, but not at all hard). If you’re using another grain, cook it accordingly.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350. Wrap whole beets in foil and place on a baking sheet. Chop sweet potato into small cubes and season with salt, pepper, and 1-1 1/2 Tb. olive oil. Place on baking sheet. Toss chickpeas with 1-1 1/2 Tb. olive oil, salt, pepper, and curry powder, and place on final third of baking sheet. Test the chickpeas and sweet potatoes for doneness at 15 minutes. Remove them when tender and set aside. Bake the beets for 30-60 minutes, depending on the size, till tender.

Let the beets cool on the side. Chop the beet greens. Heat 1 Tb. olive oil in pan and saute beet greens till tender, seasoning with salt in pepper. While greens are cooking, make tahini dressing. Add the tahini to a bowl or mug and stir in the lemon juice or vinegar. Beat the mixture until it tightens and turns white. Add a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add a dollop of olive oil, and then slowly stir in a bit of water until the dressing is thinned to salad dressing consistency. Taste for salt, seasoning to taste.

Assemble bowls by placing cooked grain on bottom, and then layering cooked beets, beet greens, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes on top. Drizzle each serving with tahini dressing and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and some feta cheese. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.

Pasta with Pea Pesto and a Fried Egg

This post could also be called post-Thanksgiving what in the world do you make with only a half bag of frozen peas and literally no other produce. We got back from a visit with my family for the holiday. It was perfect: lots of fires, eating, sleeping, farm-going, and just relaxing. We were so grateful to have a break from what has been a very busy fall.

However, I haven’t gone grocery shopping since well before the holiday and our pickings were limited to the freezer and pantry for tonight’s meal (I also managed to salvage some herbs that have lasted outside through the last few frosts). This is kind of like a reverse carbonara, with the egg sitting on top of the pasta instead of in a creamy sauce, and the peas made into a creamy sauce instead of on top of the pasta. It was a great hearty winter meal with the farm egg on top, but it’s also great (and slightly lighter) without–so, take your pick either way.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Miss you lots.

peas and egg

Pasta with Pea Pesto and a Fried Egg

  • 1 lb. spaghetti, or other pasta
  • 1 1/4 C. frozen peas, defrosted
  • large handful of herbs (mine were parsley, sage, and chives)
  • 1/8-1/4 C. olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 C. almonds
  • 1/4 C. crumbled feta (or more, to taste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • eggs (one for each person)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In the meantime, make the pesto. Combine the peas, almonds, and herbs in the food processor and pulse till coarsely chopped. Add the juice and zest of the lemon and run motor. With motor running, add enough olive oil to make a smooth paste. Taste for salt and pepper.

Add the pasta to the boiling water. When almost done, fry an egg–one for each person–sunny side up. Reserve 1/2 C. of pasta water and then drain the pasta. Toss the pasta with the pesto and enough water to make a creamy sauce. Toss pasta with the feta and then plate pasta. Serve each pasta portion with a fried egg on top.

Hearty Veggie Stew – lemony chickpea, spinach in coconut milk

What a long hiatus from our food blog! Last month we had an amazing reunion at Sara’s wonderful wedding. The happiness and love surrounded all of us and it felt like we all still lived a block from each other, even if it was just for 48 hours. Though, not surprising, the food and drinks were much better than our college days! Even the late night party pack (buffalo chicken pizza…) far surpassed EBAs! Also, breakfast food truck…salivating… I was lucky to have another friend’s wedding the weekend after so stayed in the US in between. Timing was on my side since Naomi was able to get away for a few days; not an easy feat when you’re a kick-ass resident. We hiked, cooked, sauna-ed and experienced the mountains just starting to burst with color. Did I mention that it was an amazing reunion? Needless to say, I felt a bit forlorn coming back to Switzerland, but luckily, fall is settling in on this side of the pond too – my favorite season.

Why do I love fall? The temperature is ideal for running; you don’t have to gear up in all the layers or calculate your run so you have optimal shade. The smell in the air is a mixture of the leaves turning and the dew in the morning. My favorite holiday of all time – Thanksgiving – is around the corner. And in Switzerland I get to celebrate it TWICE – Canadian Thanksgiving (last night!) and American Thanksgiving. Finally, hearty soups and stews are back! I love anything that has broth so with that I wanted to share this lemony spinach, chickpea, coconut milk stew, which we ate with rice, but you could do with any grain. Most importantly, this is a dish where even my carnivore husband said there was nothing missing and that it was amazing despite it being vegetarian!

Recipe adapted from www.thekitchn.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoon of olive oil
    2 onions
    3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    2 tablespoon grated ginger
    3/4 cup of sun dried tomato
    1 large lemon, zested and juiced 2 cups of chickpea
    1 pound baby spinach
    14-ounce can coconut milk
  • Salt/peper to taste

Heat oil then toss in onions, garlic and ginger. Add lemon zest and chickpea to brown. Once browned add in the coconut milk and lemon juice. Add spinach and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Season to taste!

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Breakfast at Sara’s Wedding Tent

Swiss Chard and Chickpeas with Beet-Yogurt Salad

Snow

Wow, it has been too long since our last post!

Last night, as we settled in at home with a snow storm blanketing our area, I wanted to make something healthy but hearty. I had a few roasted beets in the fridge that I’d thrown in the oven the night before and so I figured I’d make something with them. Inspired by some recent Russian cooking, I wanted to make a beet salad and put it on top of grains, but I also wanted some protein, so I improvised this chard and chickpea stew to go with it. I only had a bit of Israeli couscous and a bit of bulgar, so I mixed them together in this recipe to stretch them. You don’t need to go to extra trouble to make both unless you want to, but the bulgar adds a nice texture to the softer Israeli couscous.

This was pretty great–I wish I’d had some fresh herbs to stir in it, but hey, it’s February, and it was also pretty good without.

Miss you ladies–enjoy the snow! I think at this point it has hit the West coast, the South, and now is headed up to New England, so we’ll all get some snow (except Aya)!

Beet Yogurt Salad

Swiss Chard and Chickpeas with Beet-Yogurt Salad

  • 1 C. coarse bulgar wheat
  • 1 C. Israeli couscous
  • water
  • 2 Tb. olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. caraway seed
  • 1 bunch swiss chard
  • 1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas
  • 2 beets, roasted or microwaved till tender
  • 1/2 C. Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 lemons + 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Add 1 Tb. olive oil to saucepan and saute raw Israeli couscous till light brown. Add 1 1/2 C. water and a pinch of salt and cook over low for about 15 minutes, or till water is absorbed. In the meantime, cover the bulgar slightly with water and a pinch of salt in a covered microwaveable dish and microwave for 5 minutes. Let both grains sit and steam in their pans when done.

Saute the onion in remaining 1 Tb. olive oil till soft and brown. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the swiss chard and caraway seed. When the chard is just beginning to wilt, add the chickpeas and salt and pepper to taste and saute over medium heat.

While the greens are cooking, peel and dice the beats. Add the yogurt, 1 tsp. lemon zest, and juice of 1 lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place.

Finish the greens off with juice of 1/2 a lemon and taste for seasoning. Toss the bulgar and couscous together lightly with a fork. Serve the greens and chickpeas atop the grains and top with a bit of beet salad.

Mexican Lime-Pepper Soup by Guest poster Chris

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Inspired by Cat’s flurry of posts, I took the opportunity to document our humble domestic meal tonight. In rainy, low-ceiling, grey Seattle, this meal comes as a real tonic. The best thing about this meal is that it is a total bonus thrown together from leftovers from—eeck—a week ago!

We had had some friends over a week ago for a belated Channukah party, which was totally rad and super fun, but nothing on the scale of Cat and Gary’s soiree (WHOA—wish we had attended—looks amazing!). We served some roasted chickens, which are always wonderful to eat, but what I savor most is gleaning the scraps left on the bird, setting them aside, and making stock. From the stock and left-over shredded chicken, we got a nice enchilada party with our buddies Pete and Jenell, who at the same dinner inaugurated their first Settlers of Catan match. Then tonight this meal happened, and was worthy of a post…

Again, this meal is just killer when it’s cold out, or your feeling under the weather (too much holiday cheer, etc.). Here’s more or less the ingredient list:

Two fistfuls of shredded chicken per person

A bowl or two of stock per person (homemade obviously worlds better than store-bought)

An onion or shallots or something, chopped

Some garlic, minced

Oregano (we had fresh on-hand), chopped

Cilantro (fresh—is there any other kind?), chopped

2-4 corn tortillas per person, cut into thin strips

Fresh cracked pepper, more than you think is rational

Expensive and rare colored salts, to taste

2 limes per person, or more than you think is rational

Grated extra sharp cheddar (Tilamook was on hand)

Optional is cotija cheese (We had it, so threw it in, why not)

Olive oil for sauteeing

Canola oil for frying (1-2 cups)

Recipe

  1. Take shredded chicken and fry it in hot olive oil in a pot that you will make the soup in, tossing the onions and garlic on top, medium-high to high. The goal here is to take cooked chicken and brown it in the pan. The nice auburn crust on the chicken is great for looks, but the brown bits that develop in the pan are important for flavor, and when you see this develop after 5 or so minuted, throw some water in, a cup or two, and deglaze the pan by scrapping the brown bits off on high.
  2. Throw a bunch of stock in and simmer with oregano and a Bill and Melinda Gates generous amount of black pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, heat canola oil, maybe a cup, in a smallish sauce pan until the surface dimples with heat. Throw a test tortilla strip in—if it floats immedately your temp is good. Smoking is bad, here as elsewhere. Throw the tortilla strips in, a handful at a time, and have a slotted spoon or a spider on hand. Fry until blond or golden brown, set on paper towel to cool.

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  1. It’s best to have the cilantro chopped, the cheese grated, and the limes cut into Mexican wedges ahead of time, so that when your tortillas strips are ready to go you throw the whole thing together in the bowl—the tortilla strips will crackle, still being hot with micropockets of roiling oil.
  2. Put strips in bowl, ladle chicken and chicken broth on top, throw some cilatro, sharp cheddar, and cotija on top like Emeril—BAM!Ô —and squeeze the lime on top.
  3. Enjoy with loved ones. Listen to Frank Ocean’s song Pink Matter on Rdio.

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Bourbon Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Mango-Ginger Chutney and Yeast Rolls

Continuing with the Holiday Cocktail Party menu, here’s an easy one. This pork tenderloin is great as a heavy hors d’oeuvres or as a main, and it’s super easy–I hate cooking meat, because I don’t know what I’m doing, but this is impossible to screw up if you have a meat thermometer. I scaled this up for about 50, but you can scale down easily.

Add some Trader Joe’s chutney and some yeast rolls, and you’re set!

Bourbon Pork Tenderloin

Bourbon Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Mango-Ginger Chutney and Yeast Rolls

  • 3 packages of pork tenderloins (2.5 lbs. each) for a total of 7-8 lbs. meat
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or put through press
  • pepper
  • 1 C. bourbon
  • 1/2 C. soy sauce
  • 2 Tb. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 C. olive oil
  • Trader Joe’s Mango-Ginger Chutney (or substitute any other chutney you like)
  • 1 package of 36 frozen rolls (I used Kroger brand–see here for example–baking these myself was much cheaper than buying lots of pre-cooked store rolls, but you could also go that route)
  • 2 Tb. butter

There is no science to the marinade, so go with your gut on it. Separate the pork tenderloins and put 3 tenderloins in each of 2 plastic gallon bags (you’ll have 6 tenderloins total). Whisk together the bourbon, soy, mustard, and olive oil and pour half into each bag. Marinate the meat overnight.

Generously butter several baking pans or pie pans and place individual pieces of frozen roll dough into them (space about 1″ apart). Let the rolls rise for 3-6 hours in a warm corner or in a warm but unheated oven.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line roasting pans or baking sheets with foil and place the tenderloins on them. Cook at 400 until the pork reaches 145 degrees and then tent it with foil (ours took about 20 minutes, but yours could be more or less). Turn down the oven to 350 degrees for the rolls. Let the meat rest at least 10 minutes before carving (preferably more).

While the meat is resting, melt the butter and brush the rolls with it. Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes till golden brown.

Serve meat with juices warm or at room temp with the chutney and the rolls on a platter garnished with arugula or other greens.

Holiday Cocktail Party for (almost) 50

New Year's Tree

Last night we were excited to host our first big party at our house, and I promised Sara that I’d share the menu. It’s the first time I’ve hosted that many people (almost 50), and I have to say, we had a blast.

Artful arrangementWe spent a few nights slowly wrapping presents and decorating the tree and the mantels with holly, magnolia leaves, and hemlock branches from Mom & Dad’s yard, and we especially enjoyed these gorgeous red and white tulips, courtesy of Ryan and Sara. I never buy fresh flowers for the house and so they were such a treat.

The TableWe forgot to take pictures during the party, as we were busy filling drinks and socializing, but it reminded us of how many lovely people we’ve met in Knoxville, and how we’ve really started to make our home here. The only thing missing? My BFFs. I sure do wish we could’ve had you all there–I miss you guys, especially around the holidays.

I put some thought into making the menu budget-conscious and as easy as possible, so I’ll share below in case it helps anyone plan a big cocktail party in the future! I’ll post the recipes separately and link to them so they’re more easily searchable. Truly, you can spend a lot of time arranging items on a table, but none of these recipes took very much time, most of them could be made ahead, and you could take some additional shortcuts (buy already-baked rolls; store-bought hummus; etc.).

Happy holidays to everyone!

Cocktail Party Menu for 50