Saturday, November 27, 2010

Autumn Harvest Party

Yes, I am way behind on posts. It's been a busy Fall.

Back in October (I know, I know) Meredith got her shipment of fabulous wines and cheeses from Williamson Wines. I had finally gotten the furniture in my apartment rearranged and sorted out (more on this later, I swear) and was ready to host a party after a 10-month rearrangement and home improvement hiatus.

In case I haven't mentioned it 1000 times already, I just absolutely love the produce available in the Bay Area. Here's a shot of the bounty that accompanied the cheeses.

I just love these colors.

For this party, I also made the cake referenced in this previous post. Per Molly Wizenberg's perfect instructions, I made the cake several days in advance of the party, freezed it, and then thawed it. It is so rich that I also ate a tiny sliver of it for dinner (alongside either a veggie or some fruit) for the rest of the week after the party. So, so, so good. There is a reason she calls it the "Winning Hearts and Minds Cake." Only read the recipe if you are not afraid of cholesterol. This cake is good for you only in spirit.

I think my preferred way to eat this cake is cold, straight from the fridge. Blake suggested (and I agree) that it is perfectly accompanied by a cold glass of milk. Yum.

Once I get started thinking about making things, it's hard for me to stop. In addition to a bunch of other things, I cooked up a Tomato Jam, which took advantage of some of the last heirloom tomatoes of the season. I put it in a cleaned out Bonne Maman apricot preserves jar - so cute.

The simplicity of this recipe belies how great it is.
It's awesome with cheese.

Of course, because I love love love savory ingredients in sweet applications, I also made the corresponding Rosemary Cookies in the jam's sister recipe. They were really delicious and I am considering reprising them in this year's Christmas cookie spread.

I also made mini pumpkin pies because I love any and all bite-sized foods. I would eat hors d'oeuvres exclusively if it were possible/reasonable. I have always loved small bites and no doubt always will.

These mini pies couldn't be easier. With everything else on my list, I elected to buy Pillsbury Pie Dough from the refrigerated section of the supermarket rather than make it from scratch. I will admit, I died a small death in doing this. There are definitely weirdo ingredients in the dough that make it so perfectly easy to roll out without sticking. I might be imagining it, but I felt like I could taste the chemicals just a smidge. So next time I will plan ahead and make my own dough. But if you can look past feeding your friends and loved ones "Partially Hydrogenated Lard with BHA and BHT Added to Protect Flavor" and "Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Propionate," this is a super easy and fast recipe. The filling is straight off the back of the Libby's can, no changes or substitutions.

I rolled out the dough so it was a bit thinner than normal (maybe 1/16"?) because these pies were going to be so small. I used a scotch glass to cut out the crusts (it was the perfect diameter to fit my mini muffin tins) but you could also use a biscuit cutter if you own one, which I do not.

Once they were filled and baked (18ish minutes later), my finishing touch was to add just a bit of finely chopped crystallized ginger on top, which really just makes these a teeny bit more special.

Happy Autumn and a belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

1 comment:

Julia said...

K, I want you to know I love making tomato jam! Yum - so delish and I got my mom to make some and preserve it so I can enjoy all year - yum!

Oh, and I have a rosemary shortbread recipe that is pretty awesome as well... geeze, you blog is making me hungry!