Monday, April 4, 2011

ladies who lunch

This past Sunday was my grandma's 84th birthday! Crazy, I know. Since she's never been one for big affairs with too many people, we decided to have her over for a little lunch. A few of the other lovely ladies in the family decided to join us and we had a wonderful time chatting over my homemade lunch.

On the menu: 
Crostini with Artichoke and Cannallini Bean Spread
Chicken with a Lemon White Wine Sauce
Risotto Primavera (one of my all time favorites)

I saw this Crostini recipe on Giada at Home a few weeks ago and had been dying to make it ever since. It was really simple, just throw a bunch of ingredients into a blender and let it rip. It turned out to be delicious, I'll definitely be making it again. We actually ran out of baguette before we ran out of the stuff so I ended up dipping pita chips into it for the next couple of days as a snack.
As for the Chicken, I actually don't even have a recipe for it. It came about once when I was making grilled chicken and wanted to top it with a nice sauce. I had some left over Pinot Grigio and a lemon so I used them to deglaze the pan and make this yummy sauce. It's my go-to chicken dish when I want something simple and elegant. 
Last but certainly not list was the Risotto Primavera. I tweaked this recipe by Ina Garten a bit since I'm not the biggest fan of leaks or fennel. The risotto is to-die-for delicious! I love how the rice practically triples in size and gets exquisitely creamy from slowly adding the chicken broth one ladle-full at a time. Add a splash of white wine, parmesan cheese, peas and asparagus and it just takes the flavor over the top! I would make it more often but the process is a bit time consuming, not to mention the fact that risotto isn't the healthiest thing on the planet. 
As you can see, my grandma was quite surprised that we finished the afternoon off with a vanilla and buttercream cake (I love that Publix carries these mini cakes now, they're perfect for little get togethers like this one).
Here's to the sweetness of simple surprises and many more birthdays to come!

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