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My Other Passion


Instead of using regular taper candle holders I used some old olive oil bottles as candle holders donned with some sparkly silver taper candles {as I've seen sold at West Elm for a pretty penny} and added two drip catchers - the cost of my version? Just the effort of stripping labels off my olive oil bottles... which gave height, created interest and made for conversation at the dinner table.
When I was a little girl, I remember my mother spending hours cooking. She enjoyed preparing meals for others and would send me off with a Pyrex of food to share with the next door neighbor. Somehow, whenever someone stopped by she always seemed to have been able to spread out a feast before them in just a flash!  Just as important to her was that the table be set with the best China and silverware so that the guests felt special. 

Looking back, I often wondered how did she do that? Although those moments went faster than I could appreciate them, the little bit I do remember of those days are fond memories of my childhood. Apparently I have inherited her hospitable trait, because I can't seem to go a month without having someone over for something. 

As a teenager, I remember wanting to host dinner parties for friends or visitors.  However, since I didn't have a place of my own to host them, my friends would offer up their parent's home for me to have such dinners, and would even help out to make it a success. These too are fond memories that I will cherish forever.

For this reason, I can never wait just for once or twice a year to go all out... I try to do it all the time no matter how busy I am!  I don't let other things get in the way of making others happy within my means.

As soon as I got married and got a place of my own, the first thing I did a week after the honeymoon, was host a dinner party and I have not stopped since. Some have said to me that I would get tired of it as I got older, but I derive such happiness from cooking for others that I am so unhappy if I don't do it. These photos are a little sampling of my recent dinner party last night.

This is the coconut Panna Cotta in the chocolate truffle sauce -
My guests were so excited for the eggnog Panna Cotta with the mixed berries to come out,  I totally forgot to take pictures of them. Lol!
The menu:
Starter: butternut squash soup with a dollop of creme fresh and a drizzle of truffle oil
Entree: Roasted pork tenderloin with a rich fig sauce, butternut squash risotto and glazed carrots.
Desserts: I made two different kinds of Panna Cotta {or cooked cream}
eggnog and coconut.
The eggnog ones I served with mixed red and black berries drizzled with caramel sauce.
The coconut ones I serve over a chocolate truffle sauce that I made with a dash of chocolate tequila instead of using a little bit of Amaretto.

~ "The art of happiness is to serve all." ~