Girls

The Girls from eco.love winery, the girls of VCO, and lil ol’ me decided at our first wine night, that we had to have a second girls night and and third and a fourth. We even named it. Jane kindly opened her (GORGEOUS) home for the occasion, so I offered to do the cooking and of course, eco.love provided the oh so delicious sauvignon blanc and reisling wine.

Candied Bacon + Rosemary and Vanilla

This group of girls is so fun and eclectic; interior designers, foodies, winemakers, yogis, editors, and marathon runners just to mention a few. Our little group expanded to nine for this party- even though two of our original group were unable to make it and were very sorely missed.

I knew the food had to be super simple since I’d only have about two hours to prepare it before our gathering. Normally I’d do shopping and prep the day before, but I’d just had another dinner party the previous evening as well! Laissez les bons temps roullez.

Sabrina Modelle + Homemade Jam

I decided to do a build your own crostini bar because it’s fun, and interactive, and allows people to eat to their own tastes and dietary restrictions. For this, I toasted and sliced ciabatta. I made toasted pecans with a little salt, sugar, and pepper. I put out two kinds of cheeses, gorgonzola and honeyed chevre. The true stars of the bar though, were, my homemade blueberry, ginger, vanilla jam and the candied rosemary vanilla bacon! Since all of the ingredients worked together, it was fun to experiment with building flavor combinations and also to taste them with each of the wines. I recommend doing this for any wine tasting parties you have.
I think one of the best pairings of the night was the blueberry jam and honeyed chevre with bacon on top with the eco.love reisling. The ginger in the jam paired well with the spiciness of the wine and that riesling was born to pair with goat cheese.

Girls and Food

I also made mini frittatas with tiny pan roasted tricolored potatoes, wild arugula, rapini greens, mizuni greens, and creamy fontina cheese. Frittatas baked in mini muffin tins are so fabulous because they’re a one or two bite snack. They puff up and get golden just like a regular frittata and they only take 12-15 minutes in your oven! Here’s the recipe.

Mini Potato Frittatas

The last savory dish was the chicken meatball with putanesca sauce. Put girls + wine in a room, and meatballs + putanesca becomes fodder for giggles. The other plus is that these meatballs were made from chicken, so if you have people who don’t eat red meat, they can eat them. I admit, I decided to forgo my usual local seasonal ethos just this once because I was really really dying for putasnesca and summer seems so far off and I didn’t know I could can yet last summer so no tomatoes. So, I bought those little cherry tomatoes from Baja, you know the ones. Hey, it’s still technically California, right? Right? And the tomatoes were organic. Anyway, it was really yummy. Filled with anchovies, kalamata olives, crushed red pepper, basil, and local olive oil from Stonehouse. Ha!

Chicken Meatballs with Putanesca

Girls night would not be complete without dessert. I decided to keep this one light (and easy). The first California strawberries are starting to show up, so I made a lovely syrup from hibiscus and vanilla and soaked the sliced berries for few hours to they would absorb that sweet tart flavor. They chilled in the fridge. Then when they were ready to be served, I topped them with luscious crème fraiche blended with vanilla bean. This is an easy and luxurious dessert and pairs nicely with both wines. The citrus and herbal notes of the sauvignon blanc picked up the hibiscus syrup and the reisling’s length was so good with the punch of the strawberries. I  had a hard time choosing. So, I thought, why not have a glass of both?

Strawberries with Vanilla Creme Fraiche

eco.love’s pinot noir will be out in time for our next girl’s night, and I can’t wait to try it! Keep your eyes peeled, I’ll be doing some pairings when it launches!

{photos on this page credit Sabrina Modelle, Andrea McBride, Hilary Shaw}

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Aidee February 22, 2011 at 3:08 PM

I love your post. It's so inspiring. I want to have my friends over like today! Your pictures make me happy! MUAH!

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sabrinamodel February 22, 2011 at 9:49 PM

Thanks Aidee! I love having friends over. It’s the best! Muah, right back!

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veggietestkitchen February 23, 2011 at 10:26 AM

What a cute get together. That would be a great idea for a board game night! The crostini bar idea is awesome. Very good for when people have allergies as you mentioned. Thanks for sharing. Cheers.

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RavieNomNoms February 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM

So cute! I love having get togethers, always so much fun to be able to entertain and feed a bunch of people!

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Diethood -noun- The state of being on a diet... always! February 23, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Now I want to call all my friends over and copy the feast on your table! Looks like you guys had an amazing time together.

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Ilke February 23, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Wow, what a spread and looks like you girls had fun! :) So nice to have a girls night out!

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Tiffany February 24, 2011 at 7:21 AM

What a spread for two hours of prep! And mmmmm honeyed chevre! :D

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