Athens, Georgia
Welcome to my little world- I am thrilled that you are here. My most sincere hope is that this little blog is a source of laughter, inspiration and some seriously fabulous food (even if it is vegan!). Is it possible to maintain a vegetarian lifestyle below the Mason Dixon line? Come along with me and find out as I pound the pavement, travel and eat my way through life. Cheers!
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A collection of recipes, traveling and entertaining tips.

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Saturday Soiree

This soiree is to celebrate friends and neighbors, a simple supper club dinner. I like to able to enjoy my guests, not to have to work away in the kitchen and this meal is the perfect fit for me. There is a good bit of prep work but the final result is delicious and quite pretty. The recipe for the main course is from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, a favorite of mine.

Decor: The soiree is perfect alfresco. String up some white Chinese lanterns, scatter tea lights on the table and use single hydrangea blossoms (I prefer Limelights) in vases as a floral accent.

Music: Something very light and soft. A mix of Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban is great.

Drink: A crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc would go nicely with this meal. I would also serve sparkling water with lime wheels perched on the side of the glass.

A cheese tray, see post from earlier in the week for instructions/tips.

Main Course:
Grilled Tuna Nicoise Platter

Serves 8

  • 8 1-inch thick fresh tuna stakes (about 4 pounds)

  • Olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 3/4 lb. haricots verts, stems removed and blanched

  • 1 recipe French Potato Salad (see below)

  • 6 small ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges

  • 8 hard cooked eggs, peeled and cut in half

  • 1/2 lb. good black olives, pitted

  • 1 bunch arugula

  • 1 can anchovies


  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 10 tablespoons good olive oil

To grill the tuna, get a charcoal grill very hot. Brush fish with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill each side 1 1/2-2 minutes. The center should be raw. Arrange the tuna, haricots verts, potato salad, tomatoes, eggs, olives, arugula and anchovies on a large platter. For the vinaigrette, combine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Drizzle some over the fish and vegetables and serve the rest in a pitcher on the side.

French Potato Salad

  • 1 lb. small white boiling potatoes

  • 1 lb. small red boiling potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine

  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock

  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

  • 10 tablespoons good olive oil

  • 1/4 c. minced scallions (white and green parts)

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

  • 2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley

  • 2 tablespoons chiffonade of fresh basil leaves

Drop the potatoes into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook 20-30 minutes. Drain and place a towel over the potatoes to allow them to steam for 10 more minutes. Cut them in half and place in a medium bowl. Toss gently with wine and stock. Allow liquids to soak into the warm potatoes before proceeding. Combine vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes. Then add scallions, dill, parsley, basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Serve at room temperature.

For dessert, serve good vanilla ice cream in colorful bowls with a slices strawberry and a few fresh mint leaves.



La Nouvelle Femme said...

You make hosting dinner parties sound easy. If only I didn't live in a tiny apartment, I'd try it out.

Kristin said...

Oh my goodness, this is a dream dinner party for me. I would just add some Prosecco because I love having something sparkly at every occasion! Your menu sounds beyond delicious!

MG said...

Sounds great!

The Consummate Hostess said...

Hi Kristin- I too love Prosecco! Good thought as it would work so well with this meal.

Domestic Diva said...

I cook out that book at least once a week. All of her recipes are the best. very easy and delicious. The dinner party sounds fabulous...
xxxx me

Basil Becky said...

You are too good to be true!!!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Sounds wonderful....You make it look easy...

♥Simply Seductive said...

Can't wait to try the french potato salad! BTW, lovely blog.

All the very best,

ALL THE BEST said...

Sounds like a perfect evening!

Her name was Lola said...

Welcome and many thanks for visiting! Fabulous blog, by the way. Especially enjoyed the cheese tray posting (my weakness).


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