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Sunday, June 7, 2015

My Personal Chef

What could be more lovely than a romantic dinner for two prepared by your own personal chef?  Not much, I say.  But that's one of the benefits of being married to Bob.  Not only does he take me for delectable bike rides, but he also whips up some delectable dishes.

With our straining wedding budget, we have had to forego eating out at fine dining restaurants.  This has been quite a challenge for my "foodie"  of a husband. We have tried to make up for it by spicing things up in our own cooking.  I'm a decent baker, but I must admit, Bob is the master chef of this household.  He loves food and is not satisfied with a can of Campbell's Chunky Beef soup over noodles ( a staple of our first year of marriage), so he scours the newspapers and magazines for tempting things to make.  This weekend he graced us with a salad that was a meal in itself. The salad boasted golden beets, raspberries and pistachios sprinkled among tender greens.  And it was accompanied by goat cheese toasts...heaven!!!  He found the recipe in the Healthy Eating section of The Star Ledger, but it came from the cookbook of Ellie Krieger.  Ellie has a blog and a weekly newsletter and you can reach her Here .  Take a look at these greens:

Bob may have done most of the cooking for the meal, but I added some ambiance.  I set the small round table in our sun room with a faded pink vintage linen table cloth.  The centerpiece is a simple rustic green Ball canning jar with a "necklace" of jute twine.  I added a few Queen Anne"s Lace blooms from the garden.  The dinner plate is from Pier One (last year's summer purchase) and the salad plate is a find from Home Goods.  Just lovin' the blue transferware-like patterns. Wine goblets are part of an etched glass collection we bought years ago from  Flemington Cut Glass.  Sadly, after decades of being in the cut glass business they closed up shop.  What a loss for the community, another landmark gone, but at least I got a few treasures before that happened.  

To make the experience even more romantic and restaurant-like, I added some music from one of our present favorite artists, Michael Buble.  Love those mellow tones and smooth jazz sounds.  Bob was so inspired, I got a slow dance out of him!  We kept the sliding door open, so we could hear the burble of the patio fountain and feel the warm late afternoon breeze.  Almost like eating alfresco.  We must have created some envy in the neighborhood because we ended up with visitors at our door.

The basset on the left is our neighbor's dog, Violet.  She often stops by for bones and sunny spots for sunbathing on the patio.  The beagle on the right is our grand-dog, Lilly.  She's our youngest daughter's dog and used to live here with us before Alli bought a house of her own and moved out.  Lilly often comes to visit her old play pals Violet and Violet's housemate Sudsy.

If you want to make the salad yourself, you can see the recipe HERE. All in all a lovely evening.