Happy Birthday Maven
I posted a couple of months ago about chicken marbella, the classic Silver Palate cookbook recipe that my stepmom Susanna pulled out while we were visiting in Montana. Man, I had completely forgotten about chicken marbella – chicken (thighs) marinated in and roasted with garlic, oil, vinegar, prunes, olives, and capers. It takes oh, about 10 minutes to put together (the night before), and an hour or so to roast, and results in a beautiful casserole of crusty-silky chicken, a little sweet, a lotta garlicky, salty and fragrant and just damn good.
Looking up and posting the recipe got me paging through other Silver Palate recipes, fondly remembering past dinner parties I’d opened with tasties like sesame, ham and cheese bites, cheese straws, gougere, salmon mousse, phyllo triangles, or new potatoes with black caviar. I’m such a sucker for food reminiscing, sigh. Turns out, I’d really missed my old pal.
So when I offered to make a birthday dinner for Kim (aka The Maven of Mischief), I immediately grabbed the Silver Palate cookbook – having Kim & Suz over was the perfect reason to put together a retro-90s menu (yes, sigh, the 90s are retro). I settled on a cold, steamed artichoke with tapenade dipping sauce, and hot, cheesy gougere (with a handful of minced, fresh herbs thrown in) to nosh with sips of champagne. For our main course we had chicken marbella (but of course), with nothing but rice alongside. To finish, we had lime mousse and strong coffee, in front of the fireplace, with a huge helping of chat. All in all, a great night.
This afternoon, John and I attended The Tasting Panel Magazine’s 3rd annual Tasting Panel Tour featuring the Double Gold Winners of the San Francisco International Wine Competition and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Hosted at The W Hotel by cool dudes Anthony (Andy) Dias Blue (who we know through our friends Ana Scofield & Rudy Maxa), and David Mahoney (who we know through our friends Steve & Jen Katz), we had a great time tasting wines and meeting more cool dudes like Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl (yay! big fan!) and Mollie Windmiller, and having post-tasting drinks with Ana & Rudy, Andy & David, Mollie, and Ralph Bashoum. Bonus – it was nice to be home from a “night out” by 7:30 p.m.