swalloween November 1, 2009

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I'm hitting a grown-up-without-kids stage of my life, I think. It's one where I would rather stay home and entertain than go out and deal with all that goes along with "Amateur Night" holidays. You know what I mean – all the folks that never go out any other night of the year and have forgotten how to behave in public. Halloween is on that list for me…right behind New Years Eve and St. Patrick's Day. So in an effort to enjoy our new loft and get in the swing of cooking for our friends, we hosted a little casual dinner party for some friends instead of the big blow out, costumed affair. I've affectionately named it (just now) Swalloween.

The heart of our new home is the table. It's a dark walnut version that sits smack dab in the middle of the space – it has no qualms about letting you know its there. Two long benches have replaced dining chairs, which allows for communal dining – something we both love. The kitchen is a step away. It all lends itself to great cooking and a feeling of coziness that a lot of large spaces like ours wouldn't have.

The menu was simple but delicious. A warm-you-up Manhattan (spiked with grapefruit bitters instead of the traditional recipe) got our evening started. Jen's pumpkin soup with an apple relish got lots of "Mmmmms…". My contributions were Todd and Diane's swiss chard and pineapple stuffed pork loin, as well as my almost-legendary Brussels sprouts with pomegranate seeds. Mike tied the meal together incredibly with an autumn-flavored napoleon dessert. The red wine was flowing and everyone was fully engrossed in the food and the conversation.

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I did say everyone, right?

I am starting a crazy busy week but I want to share a few recipes and some photos from our dinner with you this week – consider this a virtual invitation to join us at the table. Jen is going to do a little guest blogging for me and give you the details on her soup, which was just incredible. Also, I've gotten the recipe together for our dessert, which was a knockout. I'll save that for last this week so be on the lookout. 

In the meantime, if you'd like to see another post about our dinner to tide you over, check out my friend Broderick's blog, Savory Exposure. I just love when he blogs about anything…but I especially love it when he captures wonderful moments at my house!


Tartelette Nov 1, 2009 08:11 pm

Sounds like a wonderful evening! Can’t wait to hear more about it! Good luck this week then it’s NC with beautiful surroundings to de-stress and recuperate!

tami Nov 2, 2009 04:11 am

It was wonderful. Yes…NC soon…and hanging out with YOU! :) xoxo

Caitlin Nov 2, 2009 05:11 am

You have no idea how much I wish I had been at “Swalloween” instead of going to a haunted house and then to the bars :( Like Helen, I can’t wait for the rest of the details – I’ll live vicariously through you!

Ciaochowlinda Nov 2, 2009 05:11 am

LOVE the little cat looking up and trying to pay attention. so sweet.

Patti Davis Nov 2, 2009 06:11 am

I know everyone had a wonderful time. You and Mike and are the greatest hosts!

alison Nov 2, 2009 02:11 pm

sounds like a really fantastic evening… i’ve got a bowl full of extra pomegranate seeds sitting in the fridge, and now i know their fate — your brussels sprout dish tomorrow night!

tami Nov 2, 2009 04:11 pm

Yeah…we do like to go out and socialize…but thankfully Mike and I are of like mind about holidays like that: much better off staying the hell out of dodge and making our own celebration.
Wish you could have been there, too :)
– tami

tami Nov 2, 2009 04:11 pm

You’re the sweetest. Can’t wait to have you over again soon :)
Your blog is lovely. Thanks for stopping by :)
Please let me know what you think. It’s converted many a non-Brussels sprouts eater…so someone that likes them should be all about it!
– tami

Hailey Nov 3, 2009 08:11 pm

Tami, Swalloween is brilliant! I fear I was one of those ridiculous people you described who never go out and then behave badly when they venture out. I suppose costumes incite riotous behavior :) Next year I am going to trade in the debauchery for Brussels sprouts and pork loin! Thanks for sharing!

katie Nov 11, 2009 06:11 pm

I’m officially obsessed with your photos. You must give me your tips. ps. the wine shot above is fabulous. Love the reflections in the glass.

tamih Nov 12, 2009 08:11 am

Thanks :)
My tips? Umm…shoot a lot and hope for the best. :)
– t*