Friday, January 30, 2015

The Book Club - Mona Lisa

Yeah! The book club meeting was at my house this month. My book selection was Mona Lisa, A Life Discovered by Dianne Hales. I was looking forward to reading the book and hosting the meeting.

At first I was thinking just Italian food. But then I decided to refine it by just doing Tuscan food and wine. We started with an antipasto. Mortadella, Salami, Serrano Ham and Prosciutto. I love typing those names as much as I do eating them!

Assorted olives, an artichoke and red pepper salad and marinated mushrooms. Thank you to Whole Foods for slicing the meats perfectly and preparing the antipasto ingredients.  The bread was from Pasta Avest, I too was surprised I didn't bake the 18-hour bread, just ran out of time! But I did make the Black Pepper Breadsticks.
Rice Balls are not Tuscan but any excuse to make them... The Sauce was Marcella Hazan's Tomato, Onion and Butter Sauce. Perfect sauce every time!

Next we had Tuscan Bean Soup. The recipe is gluten free and dairy free. It was so easy to make. I made the soup Thursday night, I read somewhere that soups taste better on the second day. It was very good. I may be spoiled but I think it would have even been better with homemade broth! And I did use Tuscan Kale!

I got help on the wine selection from my nephew. Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2012 and Tempo MOrellion de Scansano. Of course these are my favorite leftovers!

For dessert I picked up some gluten free cookies from Meriano's. I did not realize Pignoli Cookies were gluten free. That fact just made me so happy!

I fixed a citrus salad with mint. Just sliced Navel, Blood, and Cara Cara Oranges then topped the stacks with chopped mint.

And I have been wanting to make an olive oil cake for awhile. I had the blood oranges and I found this recipe - Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake. The original recipe made a loaf size cake. Not wanting too many leftovers, I made a half recipe and baked it in a cake pan. I loved this. Everyone loved this. It was so light. Yes, this will be made again!

We also had Date Almond Rolls. I have never had these before. Wow. Delicious! And there were Chocolate Cookies which I forgot to put on the table. I am eating on now as I type this and I am not sure what is in these cookies but it is hard not to eat another one. I will have to get this recipe!

It was a wonderful evening with good people, good conversation, good food and good wine. Excuse me but I have to get another one of those cookies!

1 comment:

librariane said...

Goodness, what a feast! I believe my husband found that olive oil cake recipe and suggested I try it, so it's great to have another opinion about how it turns out.