For me, a really good weekend is a mix of all of the above. And so if I take a look back at last weekend, it was nearly a home run. It was a weekend full of fun places to go, good food and drinks, and even better company. All it was missing was a nap.
On Friday evening Eli’s teacher and her family hosted us for a pizza party. I say Kelly is Eli’s teacher, but she’s so much more. She was Elena’s preschool teacher, too (and lived to tell the tale!), but more importantly she’s a great friend. Our families have more fun than is probably appropriate together, which is the best kind of fun. We’re both big fans of the book series “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day,” so when we learned about the authors’ call to host your own pizza party in honor of their latest book, we were on it.
Kelly made the Whole Wheat Olive Oil Pizza Dough, while I brought over the version made with white flour. We filled the table with a slew of toppings and let everyone go to town. My kids (which includes Mike) stuck with good ol’ cheese and pepperoni, but Jack won the award for Most Awesome Kid for putting anchovies on his pizza. All the pizzas were excellent, but it was the one with caramelized onions, klamath potatoes and thyme drizzled with truffle oil that had us swooning.
If you’re at all nervous about entertaining, this is the way to go. You can make a big batch of the dough days before (in fact, the longer it sits in the fridge the easier it is to work with) and prepare all of the toppings in advance. It’s the most laid back, delicious fun you can have with a group of people!
On Sunday I hosted a group of friends for the launch of Food52′s new cookbook. Everyone brought along something they cooked up from the website. I love the Food52 website for many reasons. It’s community-driven, which means you get all kinds of unique recipes. The notes and feedback on the recipes are so helpful, and if you can’t figure something out there’s a hotline to post your question. It also has one of the best search features I’ve found on a food website. Most importantly, the food is DELICIOUS.
How delicious? So delicious that after I took one picture I started eating and was too distracted to take anymore pictures of the food. I’m sorry, but that table full of fig & blue cheese savories, butternut sage scones, hummus plate, thyme roasted carrots and white bean dip with poblano and the like? Eating becomes a priority. Add to that the wonderful company and plenty of wine and local craft beer and the photography doesn’t stand a chance.
If only we’d all been able to curl up on the couch and nap, I’d upgrade “excellent” to “epic.”