Host with the Most

So it has been a busy week and the weekend was much needed. I had promised Mercia and her family dinner at the house for sometime and have yet to really have free weekend to prep like they deserved. Well, tonight was the night! The kicker, hubby couldn’t come, so it was me and the ladies.

I ran out to the store and grabbed my flowers for the week, not only for me but also for my guests to make them for warm and welcome. (Hint guys: there may not be a woman in the house, but it says a lot if you have flowers out when you have female guests over. You will always get a positive comment and as a minimum, a conversation topic.) I continued shopping grabbing fresh vegetables, fresh bread, meat, and a wonderful dessert.

Inkinsideout-jason wood-Food and Wine-Host with the Most-august-2014

I started with an appetizer of sliced French bread topped with Mediterranean olive ohl, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Toasted these in the oven till the cheese was slightly melted and served it up while I finished the main course.

Inkinsideout-jason wood-Food and Wine-Host with the Most-august-2014                  Inkinsideout-jason wood-Food and Wine-Host with the Most-august-2014

Next, I warshed and bowled some new potatoes for mashed tators. When tender, I seasoned with salt and pepper and squeezed in some fresh garlic.

I figured I would introduce the girls to okra since they had never had it before. I took the okra, cut it up into bite size pieces, warshed in a milk and egg bath, then threw it in a bag of panko bread crumbs. After coating them they went into a pan of hot vegetable ohl. Taking them out when golden brown and putting them down on paper towels to soak up any excess ohl.

Now, while all this was going on, I sautéed mushrooms, which I found out, Mercia is very picky about the texture, so this has to be perfect. I mix in some fresh spinach and make a stuffing for my chicken breast. I slice open the breasts, making a pocket for the mushroom/spinach mix, and after stuffing, I top with crumbled Feta cheese and seal shut with toothpicks. Seasoning the chicken with some mesquite marinade, and salt and pepper.  This went in the 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes flipping once about halfway through.

Inkinsideout-jason wood-Food and Wine-Host with the Most-august-2014

So, busy busy kitchen, I had Mercia’s daughter help me with the dessert. We did a chocolate crème brule topped with blueberries.  After it set, we topped with the sugars and burned to caramelize the top for that crunchy finish.

Inkinsideout-jason wood-Food and Wine-Host with the Most-august-2014

Someone was very “in” to her chocolate creme brule!  I can’t say for sure, but I thought I heard her growl when I reached for my glass next to her.

Inkinsideout-jason wood-Food and Wine-Host with the Most-august-2014

After everything came together it was plated, served, and devoured as you can see here! I also made some of Mercia’s husband’s favorite tea, but he didn’t show, so…..we drank it. This is Lipton tea bags boiled on the stove with a sliced lemon, mint leaves, one tablespoon of cinnamon, and one cup of sugar. All served over ice of course.  With dessert, we had hot tea from Tazo and Earl Gray.

Inkinsideout-jason wood-Food and Wine-Host with the Most-august-2014

That was our evening! Dinner with friends, great conversation, laughs, and feeling good about taking the time to cook for others. I hope you get the chance to try the recipe or at least parts of it. If nothing else, take the time to have friends over for dinner or drinks. Life is too short and when we leave this earth we should not say to ourselves, “I should have…”.

Bon appetite!

Jason

P.S. The misspelling of “oil” as “ohl” and “washed” as “warshed” is how it is pronounced in my southern accent. I had to throw that in after all the crap Anna and her Mini-Me give me!

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