Sofia's Favourite Recipes

Great recipes for Great food.

Month: February, 2015

RecipeGirl: Stuff I’ve Gotta Share and You’ve Gotta See

RecipeGirl
Recipes for Entertaining and Every Day
Stuff I’ve Gotta Share and You’ve Gotta See Feb 28th 2015, 11:00, by Lori Lange
Here’s another favorite post of the week: Stuff I’ve Gotta Share and You’ve Gotta See. I have so many fun things to share with you this week!

Family Friendly Dinner Recipes

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms 600

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RecipeGirl: Chicken Mushroom Fettuccine

RecipeGirl
Recipes for Entertaining and Every Day
Chicken Mushroom Fettuccine Feb 23rd 2015, 11:00, by Lori Lange
Here’s a delicious and easy pasta recipe: Chicken Mushroom Fettuccine

Chicken and Mushroom Fettuccine

This is a comforting pasta dish full of hot fettuccine noodles that have been tossed in a light cream sauce with oodles of sauteed mushrooms and chicken. My husband and I happily gobbled up every bite of this dinner. My 13-year old is still refusing to eat mushrooms. I’m thankful that he’s beginning to eat tomatoes… and that he’s fairly willing to try most other vegetables, but I just can’t get him to eat those darn mushrooms. Oh well, more for me! I keep telling him that someday he will LOVE mushrooms. He does not believe me- ha!

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RecipeGirl: Winter Dinner Party Menu

RecipeGirl
Recipes for Entertaining and Every Day
Winter Dinner Party Menu Feb 17th 2015, 11:00, by Sandy Coughlin
Breathing life and friendship into the cold winter months, today I’m sharing a Winter Dinner Party Menu, with all the details of a warm, cozy gathering for your next in-home dinner party!

Winter Dinner Party Menu

Since we’re in the middle of winter, and winter parties are all about the guests–you know, making the party cozy, fun, lively, with good conversation–we decided to set a bright, cheery table with red and white polka-dot napkins, and to ask our guests a few questions to keep the party light and fun.

Winter Dinner Party Menu

The sign of a successful dinner party isn’t necessarily a gourmet meal that is raved about, or the best wine, but rather, it’s the unapologetic lingering with a warm, let’s-stay-a-little-longer glow that comes from good conversation around the table.

It’s much cozier to stay in, share some drinks and good moments with friends, and save money from eating out at the same time. So considering this casually elegant four-course menu, a delicious backdrop for your next Winter Dinner Party, let’s get the party started!

Winter Dinner Party Menu

As the guests arrive with warm winter coats, greet them at the door with a glass of wine and a pair of slippers or wool socks. Start a fire, create a cozy atmosphere, and sit back and enjoy a warm night with friends.

Winter Dinner Party Menu

SET THE TABLE:

Using Courtly Check chargers, white Dollar Store plates, Q Squared Peony salad plates, I also added beautiful red heirloom water glasses, and Mikasa Chalkboard wine glasses.

For any season, I love to keep a stash of paper napkins on hand, this time going for the red and white polka dot pattern.

Winter Dinner Party Menu

Baby’s Breath flowers are perfect for a winter dinner party. They’re dried and they last for months, and add an element of soft beauty to the table.

Winter Dinner Party Menu

Cozy candles and fairy lights add the perfect amount of warmth to the wintry-white tablescape.

If you have extra, cover the chairs with soft blankets and fleece cushions, that the guests can use to wrap themselves with if it’s a little chilly.

Winter Dinner Party Menu

THE CONVERSATION:

For great conversation, place in the center of the table these conversation starters! We love Pasta Time: A Dinner Party Game, with question sticks to get the table talking!

Here are some sample questions: A celebrity you’d like to have dinner with? Or, Describe a dream house you would love to own? Or, Tell us about your grandparents? Or, Do you have a nickname? How did you get it?

Winter Dinner Party Menu

THE MENU:

As guests arrived, we greeted them with a glass of wine at the front door! We started the evening off with a simple salami appetizer and crackers to nosh on, that allowed us to linger for an hour and visit before we sat down to dinner.

Winter Dinner Party Menu

Showcasing some bounty of the season that pairs well with a delicious bacon-wrapped meat loaf recipe, I served a beautiful green salad, hot creamy fennel-potato gratin, a side of tarragon carrots, and a luscious chocolate cake for dessert.

Easy Salami Appetizer

APPETIZER:

Easy Salami Appetizer {RecipeGirl}

Winter Dinner Party Menu

SALAD:

Green Dinner Party Salad {RE}

Winter Dinner Party Menu

MAIN DISH:

Bacon-Wrapped Meat Loaf {RE}

Winter Dinner Party Menu

SIDES:

Baby Carrots with Tarragon {RecipeGirl}

Fennel-Potato Gratin {RE}

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cake

DESSERT:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Cake {RecipeGirl}

THE MUSIC:

Download a party playlist that sets the wintery stage the minute the guests arrive, with songs that are upbeat but not overstimulating, and with vocals that don’t distract guests from conversation. Think of music where there’s a little something for everyone: new, old, blues, electronic, rock, folk, French, Spanish, calm, jazz and soul to round out the evening.

Winter Dinner Party Menu

Winter dinner parties don’t have to be elaborate, but just need to be casual, cozy, and warm. That takes a lot of pressure off the hosts, and I’m all for that!

When is the last time you hosted a winter gathering in your home?

RecipeGirl: Roasted Chicken with Bacon and Sweet Paprika

RecipeGirl
Recipes for Entertaining and Every Day
Roasted Chicken with Bacon and Sweet Paprika Feb 15th 2015, 11:00, by Lori Lange
This is just a crazy- good roasted chicken recipe: Roasted Chicken with Bacon and Sweet Paprika

Roasted Chicken with Bacon
I roasted this chicken for my family on the night before Valentine’s Day- our Friday night dinner. It really couldn’t have been any easier to make. The chicken is brushed with olive oil, and then it’s rubbed with a simple mixture of orange zest, paprika, salt and pepper. After it has roasted in the oven for about 45 minutes, you sneak it out of the oven to wrap it in bacon, then it’s back into the oven until the bacon is crispy and the chicken is cooked through (another 20 minutes).

50 Shades of Chicken

This recipe comes from a book by “FL Fowler (not her real name): Fifty Shades of Chicken. This book is a New York Times Bestseller, and it has 336 5-star reviews on Amazon. It’s a parody, of course, of the much-talked-about movie that debuted this weekend. I don’t have an interest in seeing the movie, but I’ve been pretty impressed with this book that landed on my doorstep last week. A few things to mention: it’s a bit steamy. It’s not the sort of cookbook you want your kids picking up and reading. But it’s cleverly written steamy kitchen-style, and there are a lot of opportunities for laughing out loud. With recipes like Extra Virgin Breasts (Roasted Bone-In Breast with Olive Oil, Lemon and Rosemary, Steamy White Meat (White Wine-Steamed Chicken Breasts with Sesame Oil and Scallions), Come Hither Chicken (Roasted Chicken with Truffle Butter), and 47 more recipes I’m embarrassed to write down… this is a book to share with your partner or good friends who “get it.” If you are easily offended by steamy romance novels, you’ll want to skip this one. That being said, the chicken recipes in this book are really great recipes you’ll want to try. I’ll give you the non-steamy names of a few I’m drooling over: Cranberry-Baked Chicken with Apple Cider, Crispy Chicken Tenders with Cashews and Coconut Curry, Crispy Baked Chicken with Honey Mustard and Lime. They’re not your typical, ho-hum chicken recipes. And that’s a good reason to have this one on your cookbook shelf (but maybe in the back… hidden from your children!)

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RecipeGirl: Broccoli with Hot Bacon Dressing

RecipeGirl
Recipes for Entertaining and Every Day
Broccoli with Hot Bacon Dressing Feb 13th 2015, 11:00, by Lori Lange
Easily one of my favorite side dishes EVER: Broccoli with Hot Bacon Dressing

Broccoli with Hot Bacon Dressing

Are you someone who likes to go out for a special dinner on days like Valentine’s Day? Not me. My husband mentioned that we should make reservations for Valentine’s Day. I quickly shot down that idea and told him that I could make a much nicer, less-expensive and more romantic dinner in our own home. Why go out and pay jacked-up prices for dinner just because it’s a special holiday? So we’ll be eating at home. And this recipe is on the menu (with some filet mignon, of course!)

Broccoli with Hot Bacon Dressing 1

While your broccoli is steaming…

Broccoli with Hot Bacon Dressing 3

…cook the bacon and crisp it up nicely. You’re going to save some of that bacon grease for the next step!

Broccoli with Hot Bacon Dressing 2

Garlic and raisins are sauteed in a little of that bacon grease, and a few other ingredients are then added into the pan to finish up making the hot bacon dressing.

Broccoli with Hot Bacon Dressing #recipe - RecipeGirl.com

The hot dressing is tossed with the steamed broccoli, and crispy bacon bits are sprinkled in upon serving. This side dish is WONDERFUL- especially if you are fan of both broccoli and bacon. I’d be happy eating a big bowl of just this for dinner. My husband is happier eating it with filet mignon :)

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RecipeGirl: Hotel Triton (a Kimpton Hotel) – San Francisco

RecipeGirl
Recipes for Entertaining and Every Day
Hotel Triton (a Kimpton Hotel) – San Francisco Feb 6th 2015, 11:00, by Lori Lange
If you travel to San Francisco, you may wish to consider staying at the Hotel Triton, which is in the heart of Union Square.

Hotel Triton

The hotel is nestled among buildings on a busy downtown San Francisco street (Grant Avenue). There is shopping on most of the streets around the hotel, lots of restaurants nearby, and there’s a Starbucks across the street.

Hotel Triton Location

We were in town for a lacrosse tournament on Treasure Island, so we found the Hotel Triton to be in a good location- it was easy to get to the freeway from there. And if you’re in town for sightseeing, it’s not too far from the Ferry Building and Pier 39.

Macys

Union Square is wonderful for shopping. This HUGE Macy’s is just a couple of blocks away from the hotel. During the holidays, they had an ice skating rink set up in the square.

Chinatown Entrance
You can actually see the entrance to Chinatown from the front door of the hotel!

Hotel Triton Lobby

Here’s part of the lobby area. They host a complimentary wine hour every evening for hotel guests- and the wine we had was pretty decent too! As an added bonus they had a tarot card reader in the lobby (sometimes they have live music or poetry readings).

Hotel Triton Lobby 2

The Hotel Triton has a general funky vibe. These quirky chairs sit in the front lobby.

Hotel Triton Bike Rental

Cruising bikes are available for hotel guests. It was raining most of the time during our stay, so we didn’t get to utilize this cool offering!

Hotel Triton Pet Friendly
The Hotel Triton offers some pet-friendly rooms. They will provide a dog bed and bowls for water and food. Pet sitting and walking services are available too. I’m totally bringing my pup next time we visit!

Hotel Triton Fish

In true Kimpton fashion, you can take a goldfish to your room with you if you are feeling lonely.

Hotel Triton 2

We were welcomed with all kinds of fun goodies.

Triton Hotel 1
The hotel’s quirky vibe is also evident in the room decor. We had a deluxe room with two double beds- perfect for two people, but a little crowded for more. If you’re up for it, they have some celebrity suites designed by Jerry Garcia and Kathy Griffin.

Jack Kerouac Hotel Triton

The wallpaper consists of a million typed words by author Jack Kerouac. My son kept us entertained by reading the wall to us!

Hotel Triton Chalkboard
A chalkboard hanging on the wall is hard to resist writing on.

Hotel Triton 3

The vanity area is small, and it’s located in the general area of room entrance. The bathroom and shower are in a separate room.

Bay Bridge San Francisco
Our stay at the Hotel Triton was a good one- great location, fun shopping, fairly quiet, and an excellent hotel staff. The rain left the city as we were leaving the city, and we had a beautiful sunset going over the Bay Bridge.

For more information about the Hotel Triton, visit their website: http://www.hoteltriton.com/
Excellent restaurant recommendation (nearby): Kuletos (Italian) http://www.kuletos.com/
Also recommend: Godzila Sushi (we took Uber to the restaurant, but we decided to walk back to the hotel because it was a beautiful night. It was a long walk, but we saw some neat neighborhoods and enjoyed the adventure).


Disclosure: Thank you to the Hotel Triton for hosting me and my family. I’m happy to share our experience with RecipeGirl readers
.