A Festive Friendship Feast
I met a wonderful dream angel, Claire of Livia Sweets, when she had me over to her house for our wedding cake tasting. I'm never going to get over the fact that I actually became friends with the people who we hired to help us with our wedding. Especially not people who can make brown butter hazelnut + bourbon cakes with cream cheese frosting. That is just too much man. Too much.
Claire has a real kitchen and things like champagne flutes so Marie and I asked if we could come over to her house for festive friend feast + photo shoot and because she is a dream angel she said yes. We split up the work so that Claire was on the cake (no duh) I was on the dinner, and Marie was on the booze.
Chocolate cake + cinnamon buttercream + chocolate ganache
This dinner is actually pretty easy to make, even when you have a bourbon + ginger beer while preparing it.
Marie is a baby sister so she can't be trusted- and forgot the ginger beer which would have been nice but not required.
I say we went about this ratio per small pitcher (maybe 3 large drinks):
2 squeezed mandarin oranges + 2 cinnamon sticks + sliced pears + frozen cranberries // 1 part brandy : 3 parts cider : 5 parts white wine.
You know I just make this stuff up because I'm bad at reading // following // getting why you have to- instructions so this is a really hmmmmmm let's see if this is good or not recipe. But it's delicious alcohol, you're going to be fine, just taste it as you go along. Ginger beer would give it a lovely snap I'm sure.
Apricot Stuffed Pork
The pork is simply 1/4 cup of chopped dried apricots, 1 chopped shallot, and a few tablespoons of Livia Sweets cardamom apricot jam. Cut a slice down the pork, stuff it, tie it and pop it in the oven at 450 F for about 30 minutes. Seriously stuffed pork tenderloin looks fancy AF tastes amazing and is actually mad easy.
That beautiful and delightful Potatoes Anna is literally just potatoes + butter, so other than under-cooking it you are pretty much guaranteed a success. To make, put a ton of melted butter on your pan, then layer sliced potatoes arranged in a slightly overlapping circular pattern topped with more butter and salt + pepper, and repeat (each layer gets about 1.5 tbsp of butter.) Next time I would make it at least 6 layers deep instead of 3. Who knows what that will do to cooking time, but #yolo.
Winter Greens salad with honey-apple cider vinaigrette
The salad was nice too, and oddly I only had cardamom-infused honey from Millifera Bees, (I don't even like honey and I like this honey) which happened to match Claire's jam, so it was perfect.
Walnuts + julienne apples + thinly sliced fennel + your choice of greens.
Honey + cider vinegar + a chopped shallot + olive oil + a juiced lemon + salt + pepper
If you put the apples in a bit of the dressing right away they won't go brown, so do that and then toss it all together when you're ready to serve.