The cold winter winds have finally arrived where I live and today is our first snowfall of the season. That means the holidays are so close you can smell the gingerbread and feel the heat coming from the kitchen. Me, I’m getting ready to escape it all for a week with the promise of warmth and sunshine in the southern most part of the United States.
This past week was one where I felt lucky to have a stocked up freezer with a lot of meals (or leftovers) to feed my need for convenience. I had some kind of weird sinus issue this week, which caused me to feel woozy when I was awake and made me want to sleep a lot to avoid feeling woozy. So having a good pre-made supply of comfort foods such as turkey noodle soup, turkey meatloaf, and pork tomatillo stew provided the medicine I needed, and I was glad I took the time to make them all in advance. By mid-week I knew I had to feel better by Friday evening, which was the promise of dinner over at our friends Tara and Wendy’s house. I already missed a great opportunity this week by not feeling well – a Tweet-up of other Milwaukee foodies and bloggers like Lori or Paul at Burp and Rebecca at Cakewalk – so I was determined not to miss the opportunity of someone else cooking dinner.
When asked in advance by my friend Wendy, what I wanted for dinner, my smug and patent answer is always “chips.” Can I bring anything to dinner? Chips. What do you miss most about cooking everything from scratch? Chips. What is the one thing I haven’t been able to make at home? Chips. I climbed the stairs into the upper flat of their home and was warmly greeted by one of their three cats (I think it was Dunky), along with a beautiful bowl of everything that is wrong with convenience food – CHIPS! Finally, someone has taken my requests seriously. I graciously accepted the gift presented to me by consuming three different bags throughout the evening, and graciously avoided taking any home with me since that does feel a lot like cheating.
Dinner itself was a fabulous array of tapas, including a potato torta, romanesco sauce, mixed olives, hummus, aged cheddar and other cheeses, roasted asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, mixed nuts with fresh herbs, along with fresh mussels steamed in white wine and garlic. Wendy is a great cook, as well as a budding mixologist. She had her own drink menu printed up for her guests, and we enjoyed some delicious and inspired mixes including her dessert tiramisu (yes, total liquid heaven in a glass). We were either a little tipsy, sincerely impressed – or both – and we encouraged Wendy to start her own blog, a year of 52 drinks. I really hope she does that.
Combine equal parts (1oz) of Bailey’s, Kahlua, Amaretto and vodka in a shaker with ice. Shake it like a Polaroid picture. Pour into lovely glass of choice and garnish with a small pinch of cinnamon. Enjoy!