December 16, 2008

Wow, thanks to everyone who showed up for the Chocolate Adventure Contest party I hosted last Tuesday at Rosewood! The Sagatiba was flowin’, the Scharffen Berger Chocolate was gettin’ grated, the mole sliders from El Huarache Loco and sweets from Kika’s Treats got munched, and I have some winners to announce from the evening’s cooking and cocktail contest! Read all about it below in the chatterbox.

Last Friday was definitely the dream getaway—I got to visit the idyllic Meadowood for the sold-out Nancy Silverton and Matt Molina dinner (pinch pinch!). Lotsa Mozza deliciousness. I loved the contrast of their rustic dishes to the elegant atmosphere of the dining room—and there were some good pairings with Kelly Fleming Wines, especially the garganelli with boar ragu and the ’04 cabernet. The Food Network put together a video segment on the dinner, check out the menu and more here. The next day, my friend and I took a nice hour-long hike around the property (with some water bottle stations along the way, how grand), and then when we were checking out, who walks in but one of my favorite chefs in the U.S., Koren Grieveson (Avec)! Cool. (She was. And nice, too.)

There are more Twelve Days of Christmas dinners remaining—could be a nice surprise holiday gift?! And it benefits Share Our Strength, so if you’re stumped on what to give a favorite gourmand in your life, there’s an idea for ya…

In fact, I have a few more holiday gift-giving ideas below in the chatterbox. And thanks to everyone who supported the tablehopper holiday advertisers last week! I hope you found some inspiration for good gifting—and today’s advertisers are no exception!

Brrrrrrr, it’s chilly. I was in charge of making hot chocolate spiked with Baileys drinks at my friends’ annual holiday get together this weekend, and since I’m on the hot holiday dranks tip, take a peek at H from Elixir’s wino piece on making a killer Irish coffee—I’d say it’s as good a time as any to whip one up! As for the party, we had quite the spread, courtesy of DeLessio Market catering. What’s not to love about polenta bites, overflowing platters of Boccalone salumi and cheese, shrimp cakes, salmon canapés, and mini cupcakes?! And lots of bubbles, naturally. Yup, we feasted. My talented buddy Darwin snapped some pics of the festivities.

This week’s issue is chock full of things to eat and drink—have at it.