Family-wise, I took the reins in thanksgiving dinner and have watched my nieces grow into little pseudo adults (I will be registering for a gun license as my oldest niece will be assuredly be dating at any moment, see the clip below for reference.)
Mom retired from work and unsurprisingly is staying busier than ever as they prepare to move to Florida full time.
Personally in 2013, I made my last first guy friend, traveled to Europe to hang out with my best friends in life (#ninjasinspain), spent a long weekend in Seattle on a whim where I successfully ate and drank my way through that beautiful city. Add to that Vegas, Miami, Chicago and countless weekend in NYC....it's been a great travel year.
I've dated incredible women, auditioned for television shows and have expanded my joy and passion for cooking. Not sure what 2014 will bring, but if it's anything like 2013....I think we're all in for a tremendous year. If nothing else, we for damn sure won't go hungry.
With that I'd like to raise a glass to 2013 and share pictures from my last dinner party of 2013 that was "Best of..." themed. I was fortunate to eat in a number of incredible restaurants this year so I wanted to recreate the best dishes and cocktails to match for the evening. A thousand thanks to my guests who prepped, mixed, shook and poured the spirits.
|the menu. best things I ate and drank in 2013.|
|oh, it was a classy affair|
|octopus simmering away. my first octopus.|
|needless to say, John was skeptical at best.|
|out in front of of my cutting board, a usual spot for me.|
|would've been much more effective over an open flame, but was able to get the|
grill pan hot enough to get some color on the octopus
|finished first course with the octopus, farro and andouille sausage|
pickled red onions and homemade chili oil
|2nd course, arancini (fried risotto balls) with mozzarella. I made a risotto|
with pancetta and pink vodka sauce for this version. we paired this with a selection of rose wines
|course 3, roasted pork belly, tomato quiche and pepperoncini spread... delivious. |
bacon old fashioned to pair
|devon prepping the signature drink for the main course, champagne and hamburgers. |
finished product below
|i mean, how can you now love individual serving cans of bubbly.|
|rosemary french fries, with sea salt of course|
|signture course, champagne and hamburgers. These however were|
shortrib sliders, seared fois gras, red onion jam and truffle aoli.
|dessert time. 2 pies: key lime and salty honey, and homemade raspberry gelato|
|dessert plate with paired beverage, blackberry bourbon lemonade. F'ing delicious|
|ok, fine, I admit... I used a premade pie shell. A rarity, so sue me.|
|nothing beats a night of new friends, old friends, food and drink. |