Golden Globes Party

I was beside myself to watch the Golden Globes this year; somehow, I've missed it the last couple years thanks to travel and work.  And even better that Mr. and Mrs. Soul Twin were going to be here to watch with us!

The first order of business, of course, was to decide our menu and, since Soul Twin had yet to read through Ina Garten's new one BAREFOOT CONTESSA: HOW EASY IS THAT?, it seemed we chose most of our recipes from there.  Here was the menu:
We also got the ingredients for Ina's Fresh Salmon Tartare but, unfortunately, in all the hubbub we forget to even make it.  Which worked out fine because BELIEVE ME this was more than enough food.  The photos:

We ate on our new plates that my mom got me for Christmas: faaaabulous NYC dishes with all the important monuments around the rim.  And we poured lots of bubbly:

The awards were a hoot, as usual, and...I have to confess...I adored Ricky Gervais.  I mean, if you can't laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at?  And I hear that Anne Hathaway and James Franco have been tapped to host the Oscars?  Wha....huh?!  

And the fashion...oh, the fashion!  My initial favorite was this one (all Golden Globe photos from one of my favorite blogs, Go Fug Yourself):

 But then she showed off her shoes and I about died:

Um, anyone agree that they DON'T MATCH?!  Soul Twin and I had a few choice words to say when Olivia Wilde showed these things off.  So then my fave was this:

On a red carpet doused in mourning black, I found Claire Danes to be refreshing, age-appropriate, and well-fitted.  Completely classy.

Eat, drink, and throw themed dinner parties.

Serves 8 to 10
Vegetable oil
3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 ounces)
2 cups whole walnut halves (7 ounces)
2 cups whole pecan halves (7 ounces)
1/2 cup whole almonds (3 ounces)
1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed (I used dark brown sugar and it worked fine)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (Confession:
2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil. Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder on the sheet pan. Toss to coat the nuts evenly. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.
Spread the nuts in one layer. Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary.
Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature.

from HOW EASY IS THAT? by Ina Garten

1 1/2 pounds Italian fontina, cut into 1-inch dice
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 crusty french baguette

Preheat the broiler and adjust the oven rack to 5-6 inches from the heat source.

Scatter the fontina cubes evenly in a 12-inch skillet or cast-iron pan (you can use a baking dish as well - I used my Le Creuset).  Drizzle with the olive oil. combine the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and sprinkle evenly over the cheese.  Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

Place the pan under the broiler for 5-6 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and starting to brown.

Serve right out of the oven with crusty chunks of bread for dipping.


from Giada de Laurentiis

Pistachio Pesto:

  • 2 cups (lightly packed) flat-leaf parsley
    3/4 cup shelled and toasted pistachios
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
    3 garlic cloves
    3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fennel Slaw:

  • 4 to 5 (about 3 1/2 pounds) fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
For the Pistachio Pesto: Combine the parsley, pistachios, thyme, and garlic cloves in the bowl of a food processor; blend until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil, processing until well blended. Season the pesto with salt and pepper, to taste.
For the Fennel Slaw: Place the fennel in a large serving bowl. Add the pesto and toss to coat well. Tear the prosciutto into 1-inch pieces and add to the bowl. Gently toss to combine. Serve.
  • 16 extra-large white mushrooms
  • 5 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Marsala wine or mediumsherry
  • 3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casings
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2/3 cup panko crumbs
  • 5 ounces mascarpone cheese, preferably from Italy
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them finely. Set aside. Place the mushroom caps in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and Marsala. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, crumbling it with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it's completely browned. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the panko crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients. Finally, swirl in the mascarpone and continue cooking until the mascarpone has melted and made the sausage mixture creamy. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste, Cool slightly.
Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture. Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish large enough to hold all the mushrooms in a snug single layer. Bake until the stuffing for 50 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty.
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups thinly sliced celery hearts, tender leaves included, sliced on an angle (about 12 stalks)
  • 4-ounce chunk aged Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Whole flat-leaf parsley leaves
At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, the shallots, celery seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Place the celery in a mixing bowl and toss it with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Add enough dressing to moisten well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the celery to crisp and the flavors to develop.

When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter, shave the Parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler, then sprinkle with walnuts, parsley leaves, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.  (This dish made all the difference - it's bright, crisp, and acidic.  Perfect foil to the umami flavors of the mushrooms)

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