With the prospect of shorter days, cooler nights and relaxed meals with friends and family, Nutmeg enlisted Martine Bertin-Peterson to design a Fall Harvest Menu. This three-course meal is a celebration of the colours and flavours of autumn with pears, squash, lamb and a sweet finish. Accomplished only begins to describe Martine Bertin-Peterson a lady who speaks five languages, worked in corporate marketing, owned an art gallery in Santa Fe and runs a bespoke travel company called Goût et Voyage. You can read more about Bertin-Peterson here and her small-group tours in Provence here. (more…)
Nutmeg believes that the celebration of Halloween is perfect timing for this post. Trust the French to come up with an annual event that is sophisticated, classy, a bit rebellious and a whole lot of fun. Diner en Blanc started in 1988, when a group of 100 friends got together for a reunion in the Bois de Boulogne. The story is that François Pasquier instructed everyone to wear white in order to recognize each other. This was a brilliant idea, given those were the days before fancy cell phones, text messaging, Facebook and Twitter. (more…)
Oregano and his lovely wife hosted a great dinner party this week. For once, the Calgary weather cooperated and it was truly a perfect July evening. Hot Chili and the ski guy arrived just before Nutmeg and Ginger. The menu was outstanding, feel free to copy parts or all for your next party as long as you make sure to invite Nutmeg and credit Oregano. Here is the line-up: Starter: seasonal antipasto: citrus shrimp, cheese, grapes, blackberries, olives…. Main: mixed peppers – grilled to perfection, lightly seasoned halibut on the grill, grilled portabello mushrooms Side: cannellini beans, cooked in the pressure cooker (Oregano’s favorite cooking method) and spiced with oregano – served slightly chilled Garnish: “signature” lemon marmalade Desert: vanilla bean ice cream, ruby red grapefruit segments soaked in pink champagne and garnished with fresh mint Beverages: red, white and pink ….in copious quantities All around a fantastic evening; great company, great food and lots of laughs. However, Ginger would like to complain about his sluggish condition today. Nutmeg would like thank Oregano for the secret marmalade recipe.
Nutmeg had never heard of Cinco de Mayo before she moved to Calgary. Think what you may, Nutmeg is no slouch! She has consumed her fair share of tequila, upside down margaritas and cervezas (Spanish for beer) in particular Corona and Dos Equisover the years. Despite years in liberal Quebec, a well known eastern university and a good grounding in Toronto, she had honestly never heard of Cinco de Mayo before her arrival in Calgary. Ginger made sure she was properly educated in her first 60 days on the scene. Nutmeg’s awakening led to 5-6 years of classic “house party” celebrations (no photos available. These parties ranged from reasonable to the industrial size rental margarita machine to dancing with power-tools. At that point, Nutmeg suggested the annual celebration may have run it’s course. What is Cinqo de Mayo? Cinco de Mayo (“fifth of May”) is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in Mexico. It is interesting that Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico the date is observed in the United States and around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Cinco de Mayo is not (Ginger had told Nutmeg this was the case) Mexico’s Independence Day,which actually is September 16. What to serve for Cinco de Mayo? Aside from the obvious tequila, cervezas and margaritas….Fish Tacos! There are as many Fish Taco recipes as there are “want-to-be” Mexicans on May 5th. The following are key ingredients: white fish like tilapia or cod – marinade or bread and fry salsa – mango or pico de gallo are both great options spicy coldslaw – try a chipote mayo hard taco shells or soft tortillas Experiment with a few options to find your favorite combination. On May 5th, pull out the blender, raise a glass, eat a few tacos and patiently await Truffle’s next installation as he ponders what to serve for Cinqo de Mayo.
Nutmeg loves this idea for an open house – invite people over for a bowl of soup and a drink on New Year’s day. It is a great way to hear all the stories from the night before and toast the New Year with your friends. One additional bonus, is there is a very good chance no one will stay late as they were up the night before… (more…)
What are the ingredients for a great dinner party? According to Nutmeg this is the list: great food, interesting people and good wine (lots really good wine if the people are not interesting). Ginger would add a full iPod, cleansing ales, dark rum and ice cream as must haves. (more…)