Have I mentioned lately how much I love my new kitchen? Space. I have space. And I know how to use it.
Christmas finally got put away in time for our annual Oscar Watch party. This year, we had almost 20 people. As often happens, there was the same basic crowd plus a few newbies. I didn't get to attend our party last year because I was still packing us out of the rental house and cleaning as I went--I had a really good crying jag over that one. This year, I didn't really have much interest in the show hosts, so I happily puttered in the kitchen getting food out to everyone else. I missed something funny at the beginning--there was a lot of laughter--but it wasn't like Hugh Jackman was hosting. I did see him sitting in the front row, and I did enjoy Anne Hathaway's singing complaint about him not doing a duet with her. I wish we got a dime every time Wolverine is referred to outside of the comic book industry, but we don't. I meant to ask Bruce Vilanch if Hugh had actually bailed on the song or if it was just the routine, but I forgot to do it when I photographed him last Wednesday. He is not on my PDA, so the moment has passed me by. Back to food.
The hit appetizer was my Inception dates, stuffed with Gorgonzola and wrapped in bacon. Even my non-fruit-eating-spouse ate them and the credit goes to Secrets of a Restaurant Chef Anne Burrell, who made them with manchego cheese on a recent show. What I really like about them is that I can make future batches ahead of time and throw them in the oven during a party to keep them coming. They are a little labor intensive, but oh, so good. I couldn't find my maple syrup to do the final step of Anne's recipe, but they were fine without it.
My friend Lisa Klink brought True Grits, which I think was an inspired name. They went quite well with the ham (always appropriate for the Academy Awards) I made for more serious eating. I got my son Michael to make another lemon tart from the supply of fresh lemons I've harvested from the little tree in my old garden. I'm really happy I can push him into making some of the things he learned in the baking class we took last fall.