Saturday, February 20, 2010

Girls Night!

I had the best time last night with several old friends and a few new ones.  It was a great reminder to me about how much of a blessing all of my friends are to me; they are each unique and diverse, but I'm so thankful God has placed each of them in my lives.

I hosted a spa party for my friend Olga, who is returning to her Beauticontrol business.  Olga is an amazing Christian; she's lots of fun and loves to cook. I've learned a lot about Mexican cooking from her; and her skin is always flawless!  There were 12 of us total and we had such a fun time.  I think I will be apologizing to Olga for a while, though, as we were less than attentive guests.  It's just been so long since we've had a girls night out...well, we may or may not have been a little loud and goofy.  But Olga is so precious and kind...she deserves extra kudos for dealing with us.

I would have taken pictures, what with the soothing eye pads and warm foot soaks, but I'm afraid my dear friends might never come back to my house if I posted evidence of our antics; so you'll just have to use your imagination.  If you've never hosted a party like this, I can genuinely recommend it.  It was relaxing and fun; it was a great way to reconnect with good friends while trying out fabulous goodies (like the hand scrub and  the extra help concealer...WOW!). 

And of course, at my house, there were tasty goodies as well.  Since I didn't take pictures of anything, I'll show you some of the yummy treats we enjoyed.  I decided on a simple, yet girly cheese platter and chocolate fondue.  We paired it with some lovely wines and were in a culinary heaven.

This is a San Juan Cellars Harbor Blush wine.  Whenever we ferry out to the astoundingly beautiful San Juan Islands, we are sure to bring home several bottles from their wine shop.  I especially like this one and the Late Harvest Reisling. 

We also had a Washington Hills Reisling.  I really like the Reislings; I'm not a huge wine drinker...but these have a sweetness to them that I really enjoy.

I chose six cheeses for our cheese platter.  We enjoyed them with some artisan crackers, crostini, baguette slices, and wheat crackers.

This is my new favorite cheese.  It's called Red Dragon and it's a cheddar flavored with mustard seed and ale.  It's a very strong, distinct taste...but it is oh so good!  If you try anything from this post---try this cheese.  You may or may not like the potent flavor; but you should really give it a try!

I found these cute little flavored chevre logs by Montchevre and decided they needed to be part of our platter as well.  I chose the lemon and the mediterranean herb flavors.  They were super tasty; the lemon was very "dessertish".  I think it would be divine on cream or graham crackers.

A local dairy farm, Appel Farms, makes a superb gouda in several assorted flavors.  My favorite right now is their sweet red pepper variety.  They have eight flavors; all are super tempting.

Another cheese I've recently developed a love affair with is this cheddar.  It's an applewood smoked cheddar by Carr Valley cheeses in Wisconsin.  It has a light smoky flavor and is rubbed with paprika outside. 

We rounded out the cheeses with a traditional brie from President cheeses.  It's a classic brie with a mellow, creamy flavor that pairs really well with wine.

It was my hope that the cheese would go over well with the ladies; it was an even bigger hit than I anticipated!  The beauty of it was how little work on my part was required.  A nice platter or two....some crackers and bread---and you have a great little munchie platter.  This may become one of my new go-to appetizer ideas when I'm party planning or bringing treats to someone else's shin dig.  It felt somewhat "fancy schmancy" without all of the pretense and pain!

Next post I'll give you the recipe for the fantastic (and EASY!) chocolate fondue I made.  Who may want to host a girls night soon too, just for the food! :)

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