My Casa Bella

COME IN THE EVENING, OR COME IN THE MORNING;

COME WHEN YOU'RE LOOK'D FOR,

OR COME WITHOUT WARNING.

KISSES AND WELCOME YOU'LL FIND BEFORE YOU,

AND THE OFTENER YOU COME HERE

THE MORE I'LL ADORE YOU!

-Thomas Osbourne Davis



Welcome To My Casa Bella

My Casa Bella- means-my beautiful home- but it can mean so many other things. How you make your home a home. The sounds of children or pets playing. The aroma of scones in the oven or a lilac candle burning. The flowers blooming in your garden. The home grown vegetables ready to be picked. Grandma's quilt at the foot of the bed. A fire to curl up to with a good book. Or just a family spending time together with love, laughter and a good time.





















Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dinner Party!!

It's the start of a New Year, still
can't believe its come
and gone that quickly. And such a
cold start here.
In the 20's but it feels like its only
6 degrees today.
Tonight, -7, BRRRRRRRR!!!
But last night, my dinner
party turned out
wonderful!
Everyone seemed to have thoroughly
enjoyed their dinner.
I made Coq Au Vin, for the first time!
Started out with cooking
the bacon first:

Getting the fat off the bacon before
searing the chicken.
Don't worry, I had a lid ready this time
for all the splattering....LOL
After cooking the chicken, I then seared
the onions:

It smelled so good.
The Chicken in the meantime rested
before entering it back
into the pot:

Now time to remove all the yummy
stuff off the bottom of
the pan, with some red wine, MMMM:

Cooking off the alcohol, scraping up the
bottom of the pan,
You need all that flavoring throughout.
Got out a seperate pot
to start cooking everything together:

Poured the red wine broth then into
the pot to begin simmering:

Now its starting to really smell
good around here.
Tasted the broth, added a little
more salt and pepper.
I'm so used to cooking with alot
of spices. Not hot spicy,
just alot of different
herbs, spices.
The French though, cook with
Salt, pepper, an herb or two
fresh garlic, and onion.
That's pretty much it.
They'll add wine to most of their
dishes and broth.
They want you to taste the meat
and vegetables and
not hide that with too many
spices.
So I had to make myself stick to
the recipe. I may have
added a little more salt or pepper,
a garlic clove extra,
but mainly stuck with the recipe.
When I took the chicken out
it took on this pretty
color:

Now the recipe has you leave the meat
on the bone, but my DH
does not enjoy eating meat off the bone,
it isn't pleasant to him..HEHE,
and I was expecting
12-14 people for dinner and for some
reason, I didn't get more
meat. So I panicked, and thought I had
to do something,

I guess I should take the meat off the
bone!
Some of them had more meat than others
so, by doing this, I actually
doubled the meat
amount.
I made all this the night before, as well
as a homemade chocolate
cake, which I forgot
to take pictures of after icing it, sorry.
I heated the red wine sauce
and thickened it
with a butter and flour paste.
Added the meat back into
sauce along with
the seared onions.
We sauteed some mushrooms.
Let the meat cook
in the sauce.
This is different than the recipe.
She has you serve the
meat on the plate
and the sauce seperately.
But instead,
I made a well in the middle of the
mashed potatoes,
added the meat with sauce in
the middle,
topped it with parsley and
added the mushrooms
around it.

I was so proud of this dish...
my friend, Becky and
my cousin,
Jessica were my helpers, last
night.
They did some chopping, set the
table.
I plated and garnished and had
them set it out before
everyone sat down.
This dinner was made for 8 full-
time ministers in our
congregation.
They came over for some encouragement
from a couple of our elders
and to be pampered
with a nice dinner.
Just to show
we appreciate their hard work and
sacrifices.
I had a lot of fun doing this for them.
So when they walked into
the dining room
we had it set up for them

and we had another table

it was alot of fun.
We then had coffee and my chocolate
cake.
Played games, laughed and just enjoyed
each others company.
It turned out
really nice, and there are leftovers,
YEA!
So take the time out to cook a special
meal for someone
to make them feel special for a day.
They'll love it
and you'll love doing it for them, too.

15 comments:

  1. Oh, dinner looks great and your table is lovely!
    So glad you all had a nice evening. :-)
    I can't believe you didn't take a picture of the cake! LOL

    Kimberly

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  2. Where was my invitation?!?! :)
    Everything looks delicious!
    Happy New Year to you and yours!

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  3. It is always nice to spend time with the friends !
    I'm sure they enjoy themselves !!!
    Could you please fed ex me some of that chocolate cake.... lol !

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  4. Hi Arlene! I've missed you! I see you've been cooking away...OMGosh it looks good too! We just watched Julie & Julia this weekend, have you seen that? Cute! I hope you have a wonderful and happy new year!!
    Hugs,
    Sheri

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  5. What a delicious, comforting meal!! I love the French philosophy in cooking, wine...and living, in general! Beautiful blog...and happy new year to you :)

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  6. Hey Arlene ~ What a lovely dinner. Sounds yummy! We cook a lot of Cajun French food here in our house. Your butter /flour paste sounds a lot like a blonde roux.
    Glad you had a nice time and all went well!! TTFN ~ Jessica

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  7. My mouth was watering all throughout this post. Everything looked perfectly delicious! Mmm!

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  8. What a beautiful meal! You put it together so well, very nice. And now I'm hungry too. :)
    ~Michelle

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  9. I love Coq Au Vin. Perfect for a winters night! I'm bookmarking this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I was going to suggest you sell your beautiful things on Etsy...but I see you already do~

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  11. Hi! It's a great pleasure to meet and talk with someone like you! I really get inspired with your cookings! I love to eat and make confort food. To have friends like you, must be great! I really like to see that someone that lives so far away from me (I'm from Portugal) has got the same interests as I do!Have a great Year!! If you come to Europe one day you can visit me and have dinner with my family!

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  12. Hi!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! You can get the neck/back wrap at www.solutions.com it warms in the microwave and holds the heat for a long time. I love it. Hope that you get one!

    Darlene

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  13. Hmmmmm....it looks delicious!

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  14. What a beautiful meal! I'm sure everyone loved it and appreciated it. That's such a neat idea to encourage the full-time ministers. We only have 2 in our congregation right now and boy could they use encouragaement. HMMMMMM!

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