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Friday, October 19, 2012

'Autumn Delights' First Dinner in RVA!

October 12, 2012 ... kicked off the first 'tablenosh' underground dinner in Richmond, Virginia.  The tablenosh concept is bringing different people together around a table of good food, to enjoy an 'in-home dining' experience.  And from what I could tell that is just what happened :)
For this dinner I really tried to focus on using local, seasonal and organic ingredients.  It was exciting to use sweet potatoes, butternut squash, arugula and fresh herbs from my very own garden!  Other veggies and apples were sourced from local farms, including Critzer Farm (Afton, VA) and Frog Bottom Farm (Appomattox, VA) and the menu was also supplemented by our local organic grocery store.

Overall I was pretty pleased with the menu and hopefully the noshers were too!!  We opened the evening with a splash of local hard cider, from the new cider house in my very own hometown of Nelson County, VA.  The cider is called 'bold rock' and I think it is delicious.  They use local apples and have one of the best cider brewmasters in the world all the way from New Zealand.  It is a smooth and refreshing drink, and it's apple season, so I thought sipping on this was just perfect.
The starter for the evening was my very own creation of a butternut squash fritter serve with a spiced crème fraîche dipping sauce.  They were pretty simple to make, with sauteed onions, grated butternut and seasoned with cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and fresh cilantro.  

Next was the Kale Salad - which consisted of chopped kale, arugula, roasted sweet potatoes, feta and slivered almonds tossed in olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, and red wine vinegar.  

The main dish was one of my personal favorites that I discovered in Australia, homemade Chicken, Leek & Mushroom pies with a puff pastry topping.  Alongside Roasted Parsnip, Garlic & Potato Mash with Pan-fried Asparagus.  This is a pretty rich and creamy pie, but so yummy and warming, especially good for autumn and winter meals.

The dessert trio was a definite hit among the noshers and consisted of good harvest flavors - Apple & Pear Crumble, Home-made Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and a Warm Date Cake drizzled with Salted Caramel Sauce.

We finished with fresh brewed coffee using Richmond's local Lamplighter Coffee Beans and a special dessert wine from The Kluge Estate.  It was a great night and I am so thankful for all who came to kick off the beginning of the tablenosh 'underground dining' adventures here in Richmond, Virginia.

Next Up for Tablenosh...
*Stay tuned, I am working on a Tablenosh Fundraiser 'Cocktail Style' Event with heavy appetizers, sweets, drinks, live music and more!  We are in the process of adopting a baby and are hoping to raise some financial support.  Date TBD (hopefully mid-November).