Monday, February 14, 2011

{ Life } Food, mimosa's and great company. What's not to like?

I love showers.

OK, so maybe I don't always like the goofy games. But truth be told, they're not all bad. And I play along because, well, I love showers.

Bridal showers. Baby showers. Makes no difference to me which kind of shower. Why? Because they're filled with such love, such hope, such joyful expectation.

I know single gals who don't like them. To these bah-humbug ladies, showers are salt in their already picked at wounds. But to the rest of us singletons, they're reminders that sometimes, when everything aligns, life can bring little miracles into our lives.

A couple of Saturdays ago, I had the privilege of attending a baby shower for my friend and co-worker, Glo. I met some of her friends outside of the newspaper, her mama, saw her home for the first time and best of all, got to participate in an important rite of passage in her life. When women come together for events like these, I can't help but think of that 90s catch phrase, "It takes a village" because it is never less true than at showers. The light and love that shines so brightly when strong beautiful ladies come together to share stories, pass on their first-hand wisdom, inspire and encourage. It truly is something to behold.

Oh, and the food ain't bad either. :)

Love and light baby Nena...

This is Bonnie. The current "baby" in the house. Isn't she adorable?

The perfect way to start off the festivities: MIMOSA. Glo greeted us with the yummy cocktails as we walked in.

Glo designed the illustration and invite. The little girl's face from the illustration was letterpressed by our friend Cristina and was a perfect decoration to the adorable cupcakes. Dessert was a mix of handmade and store bought and all was tasty and so cutely presented.

AmyLou is one of Glo's long time friends and in addition to making the awesome rustic quiches for lunch, she made these awesome napkins (top, right) with the ribbon attached as party favors. They're sandwich wraps. And I love them! I'm such a nut for handmade and these are such a sweet remembrance of a bygone era when folks used actual material wraps and sacks instead of the throw away ziplocks and brown paper bags. I have already used mine.

And speaking of food … what's a party without some tasties?

These empanadas were brought down to San Diego from a place in LA called Rincon Chileno (there are two locations: one in Lawndale, which is closer to SD, and one in Hollywood). It's times like these I wish there was such a thing as taste-a-vision because the photos don't do these babies justice. And let me say, I'll be making a trip up to LA to pick up some of these bad boys for entertaining myself. They're that good.

Tara, above left, made a Romesco dip that had the most velvety texture, being creamy and fresh and light all at the same time. I asked her for the recipe (below)  because this is one I think my family would really enjoy. The table was rounded out by a fresh Ceasar Salad and an orzo salad that was a huge hit. It could easily be a light meal in and of itself (especially with the addition of some grilled chicken). The recipe is over at Cooking Light.

I'm super spoiled when it comes to lattes and caps since I have a great machine at home. I forget how awesome it is though to have it made more traditionally.

I lived with an Italian man when I was in my 20s and this is how he made coffee for us every morning. I loved it! Well done Cristina!

And finally … the toast. Here's to Glo, Sean and …

Baby Nena who will undoubtably be surrounded by her own village of strong, talented and loving women – and men. We can't forget about the daddies, can we? :)

Tara's Romesco Dip
1 French baguette
¼ c. red wine vinegar
¾ c. roasted almond slivers
2 cloves of garlic
8 oz. canned tomatoes
½ c. roasted red peppers
½ tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¾ c. olive oil

In blender (or food processor), pulse almonds until chopped. Remove and set aside.

Tear small pieces of bread (using mostly the inside bread…only a little bit of the crust) into the blender. Pour vinegar over bread and let soak for a few minutes. Then add garlic, tomatoes, red peppers, paprika, salt and pepper to the blender. Chop in blender, then add back almonds and blend. Once the sauce begins to form, add the olive oil in a thin stream while the sauce is blending.

Serve as a dip for crudités, bread or try it as a sauce for pasta or spread for sandwiches.

(Thank you Tara!)

Until next time …
¡Buen Provecho!

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