Cooking and Drinking (with friends!)

Is there anything better than sharing good food and good wine with friends? I really don’t think so! This past weekend was probably one of the best I have ever had — every day was spent in the kitchen and around the table with friends and family.

I kicked off the Memorial Day weekend on Friday evening at Pogo’s with my brother, my mom, and a few friends! We started with a tasting from Alessandro Bindocci, the Il Poggione Brunello Winemaker. Absolutely amazing wines! I got the 2010 which drinks well now. I can only imagine how amazing it will be in a few years! I also LOVED (and purchased) the rose.

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One hour later, the Rose Festival started at Pogo’s! There is no way I can list everything I tried…but, I DID purchase the Lieu Dit! And, here are a few of the wines…

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Saturday was a very big day. A friend of mine was having a dinner party with 13 people and I was in charge of the food/menu. We did an Italy inspired “theme” (great job Julie on the menus!)

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So, we started off with cocktails and appetizers at 6:30. The signature cocktail was a Bacon Bourbon Old Fashioned that I made with bacon simple syrup. Yes…it’s real and it’s delicious! First, cook about 2-3 strips of bacon. In a saucepan, heat 2 cups of brown sugar and 2 cups of water (1 and 1 for stronger flavor) with the cooked bacon until the sugar is dissolved. Strain into a container and you’re done! For appetizers, I opted for meat and cheese trays. But, to make it go further, I decided to have a platter with grilled veggies and bread.

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The salad was super simple: cantaloupe, honeydew, prosciutto, lemon goat cheese and a coffee balsamic reduction. Here I am getting ready….!

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The main course was espresso rubbed pork tenderloin with a coffee carrot puree and chili coffee glaze…nice, smoky, slightly sweet!

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And I ended the evening with a tiramisu mousse! For wine pairings, we went with an unoaked chardonnay that paired perfectly with the salad and a red blend for the main course. Both bottles came from Oak Cliff Cellars – great wines all out of Napa that ship right to your door! (Thank you Jim!!)

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After a very successful dinner, we decided that the group should do brunch on Memorial Day! If you’ve been following the weather (and do not live in the DFW metro), you would have seen that we are currently living in Lake Dallas. So, it was the perfect day to stay in (and cook!). So, around 11am everyone came over and I fixed my famous Pulled Pork Tacos and Rock N’ Roll French Toast!

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PLUS, we had a mimosa bar…genius? I think so…

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Before I knew it, it was time for dinner! So, I walked next door where my friends were making Chili Verde! (thank you Brad and Maria!)

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We made place settings with cardboard (rustic style!)

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And (of course) enjoyed more delicious wine!

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Sadly, the weekend had to come to an end…

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