It won't be so long until my next effort.
Jason and Jacqueline took all of the photographs and agreed that I could assemble them into a little photo essay.
Brad did his usual job of arranging antipasti appetizers in a visually appealing and tidy manner:
We began with butternut squash and pear soup topped with parmesan and toasted pine nuts from The New Vegetarian Epicure cookbook.
Here I am holding grilled salmon entrees, which I totally cheated on and bought at Whole Foods. We generally keep a vegetarian house and I rarely cook even fish. The other dish is Tuscan white beans simmered in fresh sage and garlic cloves basically the entire day and served on a bed of fresh baby spinach, topped with parmesan and toasted pine nuts, also from New Veggie Epicure.
The open spot on the plate is for polenta with grilled asparagus, topped with parmesan and toasted pine nuts.
You may notice a toasted pine nut theme emerging?!
Here's Jason preparing to enjoy a chocolate pot de creme with raspberries from 365 Great Chocolate Desserts, topped with fresh whipped cream and more raspberries. This dessert is so rich and decadent that conversation usually halts while it's being eaten and for some period after while the blood sugar drops back into conversation capable levels. This is an old favorite (the dessert, not Jason):
Since the pots de creme are a guaranteed success, I also tried a new recipe for coffee flan from New Veggie Epicure. Whole coffee beans and a cinnamon stick are steeped in a milk and cream combination for at least an hour, which infuses the flan with an extra rich flavor. I have to be careful not to accidentally discard the liquid in the sink and retain the coffee beans and cinnamon. I've done that before, but managed not to do it on Saturday morning.
The flan turned out beautifully, and I even flipped it out of its baking dish onto a serving platter in one piece, although I missed the center of the platter.
Brooks is always interested in whatever is happening in the kitchen and likes to poke his nose in.
Jason and Jacqueline brought perfect Colorado peaches from the farmer's market as well as lovely fresh flowers.
And this morning, as I finally assemble Jason and Jacqueline's photos, their flowers are opening beautifully -