Tilting toward the sun, ChezHelvetica celebrated the Summer Solstice with Scandinavian-inspired revelry and best possible friends – the Cava4 (as #5 was in Scotland)! Our tea party started with Crab Toast, a luxurious combination of French Baguette toast slathered with brown butter mayonnaise and sweet Dungeness Crab. Sparkling Breathless Blanc de Noirs paired perfectly with this course.Glazed Fresh Orange Scones with hints of Vanilla and Cardamom, doused with luscious Lemon Curd, and Pineapple cubes followed.
A traditional symbol in European celebrations are flower crowns so we played musical chairs, moving to the other end of the table with our overflowing blossoms and greens to create our crowns. Sweet Lemon Iced Tea energized this very focused multi-step creation.
The sweet send-off were Strawberry Tartlets. Ground Almonds, Walnuts and Pecans cradled a Strawberry, Lemon Verbena and Honey filling (topped with rich Whipped Cream) for a distinctive new taste. SUMMER HAPPINESS!!!
OSUs Scarlet & Gray, emblazoned with an “O Stealie”, brought magical vibes to the celebration at ChezHelvetica – from Grateful Dead to Grateful Alive. A luscious Ina GartenRoasted Vegetable Lasagna layered with roasted Eggplant, Zucchini, four different Cheeses, Rao’s Marinara Sauce, O Organics Lasagna Noodles, Garlic, fresh Oregano and Basil absolutely delighted the party. A Spinach and Arugula Salad with Avocado, Red Onion, Walnuts and wonderful Poppyseed Dressing accompanied. Italbrand Parmigiano Reggiano (Thin Torinesi Grissini) Breadsticks from Andronico’s and Trader Joe’s Organic Olives completed this star set. For the finale – sister Barbara brought a wonderfully rich Chocolate Mousse Torte from renowned Schubert’s Bakery. A leftover Chanukah candle ignited, granting heartfelt wishes to the birthday honoree. Happiest of Birthdays Freddy! Really?!
Thankful, Grateful, Artful, Graceful and FULL! Those heartfelt words depict the feelings at ChezHelvetica this Thanksgiving in reconnecting with family, setting the table with treasured heirlooms and preparing traditional dishes with new twists. Our feast began with a small salad of Spinach, Arugula and pureed Pumpkin with a dollop of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing and Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider. Mary’s Free Range Organic Turkey Breast dry brined in Kosher Salt, Sugar, Dried Thyme, Garlic Powder and coarse-ground Black Pepper for 28 hours. The mouthwatering Turkey and Bon Appetit‘s Simple is Best Dressing (prepared with Ciabatta, Onion, Celery, Chicken Broth and Herbs) starred, drenched with Andronico’s savory Turkey Gravy. French’s Onion Rings recipe for Green Bean Casserole was transformed with the addition of Sautéed Mushrooms and Garlic. Another metamorphosis – baked Sweet Potatoes split in half and finished under the broiler with Honey, Cinnamon and Nutmeg. An amazing Cranberry Sauce with Dried Cherries and Cloves will forever change using just plain cranberry sauce. And then, a delicious Chocolate Pecan Pie in a homemade Butter and Sour Cream crust. Such Happiness on Thanksgiving! FULFILLMENT!
Comedy and Variety enlivened ChezHelvetica this Saturday Night! Visiting Cugino Primo (First Cousin) brought laughs to the table with great stories from San Luis Obispo and Ohio to Puglia, Italy. “Fish and Chips” with giant Zucchini from a friend’s Tam Valley garden seemed the perfect meal for this occasion. The New All-Purpose Vinaigrette, deliciously spiced with Shallot, Dijon Mustard, Agave and seasonings dressed Cod Fillets from Andronico’s and the Tam Valley Zucchini. The dishes then roasted above Yukon Gold Potatoes from the VA FarmersMarket, filling the kitchen with tantalizing aromas. Savory Stone Wall Kitchen Truffle Aioli on the Potatoes made them even more mouth-watering. Reed’s Ginger Beer and Armida Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma paired wonderfully with our food. The final credits go to Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s for their carousel of Caramel, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Vanilla and Cherry Garcia Ice Creams and Frozen Yogurt. Entertainment at its best – SNL+