Tuesday, September 22, 2015

a family affair

 over the weekend we had a charming birthday celebration for my youngest son Alex. we do love a good dinner party and birthdays are a great reason to plan one. the meal was set with four courses and wine was perfectly paired with the help of my husband gathering some advice from the local sommelier. i highly recommend doing so if you are having a dinner party and aren't sure what wines would go well. it was such a treat!
our place settings were also set with fun questions concerning the birthday boy...such as 'how would he define his personal style?' and 'what is your favorite memory of him?' which all made for some rather good laughs.

the evening menu

first course
figs with goat cheese & candied pecans
mussels with bread crumbs & almonds

second course
arugula salad & mushroom tart

third course
bacon wrapped pork tenderloin
garlic mash potatoes

mixed berry streusal pie

our recipes were taken from both A Kitchen In France as well as The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

the berry pie was a home recipe:
one par baked pie crust; i love ina garten's pie dough from one of her first books as it includes both butter and shortening...but you may use what you like!

pie filling:
about four cups of mixed berries, strawberries sliced
3/4 c. sugar
juice 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 t. vanilla extract
zest of one small orange

toss berries well with above ingredients, careful not to smash berries. let rest and toss occasionally while you roll out dough and par bake crust, and make your streusal topping.

streusal topping:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 stick butter
handful of slivered almonds

melt butter and whisk with all ingredients to make a crumble.

Fill crust with berries and top with streusal. bake at 375 for about 45minutes to an hour until filling is bubbly. let cool before cutting. enjoy!

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