I love to cook. Well, I should rephrase that. I love occasion cooking. Everyday cooking turns into somewhat of a chore. But I love having a special guest or occasion to plan for and really enjoy preparing and enjoying a big spread.
Since I had baby #4, I have been pretty slow to get back into making a big deal over dinner, and my efforts at hospitality have been slim to none. I think I'm (kinda) hitting my groove again now. Emmett is 20 months today, after all. Wow. I think I should get back in to cooking and having friends over.
Clara and I planted a little pot garden this summer, and the basil was starting to flower, so yesterday I decided it was high time to make fresh pesto. I found an authentic Genovesan preparation of pesto on 101cookbooks.com, which told me I needed to chop all the ingredients by hand which I was in the mood to do. It referenced homemade gnocchi to go along with it, which I've never had a go at, so... I bought the ingredients needed and a bottle of merlot and at dinnertime had fun sipping, chopping, kneading, sipping, rolling, boiling, sipping... It was definitely labor intensive, but I had fun and the family enjoyed the results.
I think pesto and gnocchi would be a fun group event. Get several couples together and have a party chopping and kneading and boiling, and definitely sipping.
When I was at Trader Joe's for the extra virgin olive oil and the 3 buck Chuck, I saw in the freezer section a Tiramisu Torte, which seemed an ideal choice to finish off the Italian meal. As it turned out, everyone in the family loved it! Even with the cocoa dusting and the hints of both coffee and alcohol. Even Emmett had a slice of it. I thought I'd share a picture of exactly how much he enjoyed the tiramisu. Not sure how much of it actually made it down the hatch, but as fingerpaint it really hit the spot. *sidebar* we have not bothered with a bib on him for months as he is a bib Houdini--it's off within 5 seconds and all you did by putting it on him was get his dander up.