Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Wine And Cheese Party
















































A Wine & Cheese Tasting

T
he invitations have gone out, “Do join us this weekend to taste a bit of the grape”. We have some favorites from the cellar & some samplings that we have brought back from our travels. The big glass apothecary jar that serves as the table centerpiece is filled to the rim with wine corks. I have collected them for a long while. Some are marked with dates of special occasions, others friends have “donated” to the collection. The table is set with some select offerings, a bottle of red...a bottle of white…hmm, where did I hear that before? A little jazz is playing-the lights are low-candles flicker on the table. It is still cool enough to have a fire going. Brass branches of ivy surround the centerpiece and corks are scattered willy-nilly across the table. The napkins are imprinted with assorted wine labels. The glasses are covered with grapes & vines-(they are actually vintage candy dishes minus the lids-a flea market find). Fromage choices for the evening include a nice smoked round of Gouda, herbed Vermont cheddar, a mild provolone & a pot of Boursin. A nice crusty baguette & fresh fruit accompany the cheese. A perfect first course. Friends arrive bearing offerings for the table.


For our next course we’ll have a salad of spring greens tossed with a light red wine vinaigrette followed by Salmon stuffed with Crab and topped with an apricot/ginger glaze, roasted new potatoes, & asparagus finished with a brown butter. For dessert-chocolate dipped strawberries & a fruit sorbet .Do bring your jammies & stay the weekend!

Details: The plates feature varieties of pears & are by Rosanna & from my favorite thrift shop. The wine glasses-former candy dishes are from a flea market-(I collected them one-by-one never knowing they were supposed to have lids). The metal sculpture ivy came from the Salvation Army. The English bread board came from “across the pond” via eBay. That vibrant blue pottery basket another thrift find-(I sort-of collect them). The napkins & wine-bottle-shaped cheese board were a gift from bro & sis in-law. Those heavy bronze candlesticks are French-an eBay treasure.
Can you guess just how many corks are in the jar? Email me your guess & I will send the one who guesses correctly-or closest a package of my White Pizza Cheese Spread to make for your next gathering. This is a great little party game too!
I'll reveal the winner on next week's Tablescape Thursday!







To your health! à vo·tre san·té
Did you bring your jammies?
*Note-This menu is deceptively easy though it sounds quite complicated. Most grocery stores including the “Big Box” stores like Sam’s & Costco stock a similar Stuffed Salmon. My favorite is from Costco-they use imitation crab instead of the real thing so hubby can have it too! I first add 1 Tablespoon olive oil and ½ tablespoon Red Pepper Oil to my pan & swirl to coat. I add the salmon turning once to coat. I dash on ½ teaspoon-(dried) dill, 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice Powder-(*Again available at most grocery stores & even Dollar General!), a pinch of dried tarragon, & ½ teaspoon granulated garlic. I bake it at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. I take it out of the oven and top it with about 1 tablespoon per slice of fish, Apricot Ginger Glaze-(*I buy it at Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill in Lancaster county, but I’m sure you can find similar varieties at the grocers). I turn the oven to broil & pop them back in till the glaze is bubbly & the crab just the slight bit crispy.

For the Roast Potatoes, I like to use baby redskins. I coat a baking dish with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place the potatoes in the pan and stir to coat. Season potatoes with your favorite seasoned salt or multi-purpose seasoning, stirring to coat. *(I make my own seasonings & use The Perfect Season, but McCormick’s or Mrs. Dash will work too!) If you have some fresh rosemary, strip the leaves leaving just a “tassel” at the top. Run a skewer through your potatoes then “thread” onto the rosemary skewer. Roast or grill until tender.

I love to dip strawberries in chocolate! I use whatever candy I have on hand, usually Wilbur Buds in dark chocolate from the Wilbur Chocolate Factory in Lititz. Line a baking sheet or tray with wax paper. I melt the chocolate in the microwave on 30 power and watch till it is just about melted. I take it out and stir it to melt any lumps. I let the chocolate cool slightly, and then carefully dip each berry, letting excess chocolate dip back into the dish. Place on wax paper-lined tray to cool. If you like melt another chocolate-(you can buy candy-making chocolate at many craft stores) and drizzle over dark-chocolate dipped berries. My favorite is pink! You could also sprinkle the dipped berries with colored jimmies. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
The presentation has a longer prep time than the actual meal.

29 comments:

xinex said...

Great wine party! I got frunk, LOL! Let me guess on the number of corks. Do you have 312 in the jar?...Christine

Mama said...

What a lovely tablescape and a great idea to use the apothecary jar as the table centerpiece filled to the rim with wine corks. Salute, Kathy.

The White Bench said...

Great! Love the jar!
Many thanks for your birthday wishes, too...
Monica.

Katy said...

The little wine table is divine! I'm guessing that there are 192 corks in the jar. Great table ... thanks for sharing! ~Katy (Plucky)

Martha said...

Love wine and cheese parties. We collect corks as well. Not only are they memories but actually put into a container works of art! Great tablescape.

Domestic Designer said...

It all looks yummy! The number of corks....401? Have a great day!

Kathleen said...

Looks like a lovely party! My guess is 216..
I just saw 3 apothecary jars in Sams, great price...I was tempted..but I resisted..it would take a lot of jelly beans to fill! :)

Zoey said...

What a great party theme. I wish I was attending. The wine cork centerpiece is perfect!

once in a blue moon... said...

very nicely done, looks like a great time.

Marie said...

All I can say is WOW! What a beautiful setup! The ambience you created is perfect...I luv the apothecary jar with wine corks!
-marie

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Greetings neighbor~ ~ ~ I'm in Lancaster County too. Great ideas, now I know what I can do with all those corks. Thanks.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Mary said...

Oh, how wonderful! Love the apothecary jar, the candlesticks, the glasses... everything!

Janie's World said...

MMM, wine, cheese, fruit...What more could you want! Love the apothecary jar filled with corks.

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

What a great centerpiece for wine and cheese party. Everything looks so festive.

Barbara said...

very classy.

Kathleen Ellis said...

What a lovely evening...thank you for inviting me! the food was fabulous!
I'm guessing there are 103 corks in the jar.
Happy spring!
;-D

thanks so much for stopping by!

Linda said...

Very nice with clever touches. I especially like those napkins and the corks in the apothecary jar - really "fantastic". Linda

French Cupboard said...

What an enticing party. I am ready for the evening of good food, drink and conversation. Thanks for the enticement.

-Steve-French Cupboard

Foley said...

Lovely table setting - and great menu!! Love the apothecary jar, I have one but not that big!! My guess would be 233...

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

What a cute tablescape!

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer said...

wonderful idea...wine and cheese...love the cork centerpiece!

Linda said...

Fun tablescape, love the corks in the jar. I have been saving ours too , don't have quite that many yet but am working on it when friends come over!
Linda Q

Cass said...

Lovely table, but ummm... lovely food and wine too! I'm there....
and as for the corks in that terrific jar, I haven't a clue but I'll make a completely un-educated guess and say, 275.
Thanks for sharing! Cass

JudyBug said...

Aahhhh, cheese. I love cheese. Any cheese!

I'm guessing 245!

JudyBug

marty39 said...

Beautiful idea for a wine and cheese party. Tablescape is just lovely and how neat to use the wine corks as a centerpiece. Very well done. Hugs, Marty

Kim Chalfant said...

Lovely tablescape & I don't like wine or cheese (but my husband does). But the rest of dinner sounds fabulous. Thanks for telling us how easy it is to make. My guess for the wine corks is 325.

Linda/"Mom" said...

My "first visit" here won't be my last, Kate~~ I had a GR888 time, & put you in my favs~~~ TOTALLY DELIGHTFUL in every way, and I think... no, I KNOW, you are a very warm, gracious & fun hostess!!! I'd guess "367" wonderful bottles of wines in the tum-tums so far!!! Mannnny thanks for a super visit! Best, Linda

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

OMG Kate~ ~Your the gal who makes and sells those wonderful dips and spreads that I always look for when I go to local festivals!
Your packaged dips are so good. I always have some around the house to whip up on a moments notice. Please contact me, I need to chat with you. Thanks for commenting and I'm glad we found each other.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Blue Eyed Tango said...

Hello,
I'm visiting from over at Marty's blog....just thought I would visit. Wonderful idea....corks in a jar for a center piece! I have tons and just keep saving them....not much of a drinker but when we go on business trips save them from the dinners. This looks like a magazine cover....great job!