Thursday, February 2, 2012

Holiday Cocktail Party - December 10th, 2011

As the song goes, it's the most wonderful time of the year...and for the Foodist Colony, the best part of the holidays is gathering friends to eat, drink, and be merry! 

So we did exactly that with our second annual holiday party. Our spread of savory hors d'oeuvres, delicious desserts, and unique cocktails — plus the most important ingredient: our amazing guests! — made for a fun, festive night.
Hors D'oeuvres

Our menu of hot and cold appetizers (all made from scratch) was designed to suit the season and offer a creative spin on holiday fare.

A big hit of the evening: Bloody Mary soup shots
Smoked salmon potato cakes
Smoked salmon potato cakes — zesty nests of potato and onion topped with smoked salmon and capers, served with dilled crème fraîche.

Salad in Parmigiano-Reggiano
baskets — a salad of roasted, shredded Brussels sprouts nestled in small, delicate baskets of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

a Mediterranean-style spread of red pepper, walnut, and pomegranate, served on herbed crackers.

Edamame miso dip
— a creamy blend of edamame and miso, topped with red onion and served on lentil chips.

Wild mushroom pizza
— shiitake and chanterelle mushrooms with goat cheese and hint of truffle oil, all atop a pillowy homemade crust.

Bloody Mary soup shots
— a savory take on the classic drink, including tomato, Worcestershire, and (of course) vodka, garnished with pimento-stuffed olives.

Spicy lamb kebabs
— meatballs done Foodist Colony-style, seasoned with a mix of Middle Eastern and Indian spices and served with tzatziki (minted yogurt sauce — and even the yogurt was homemade!).
Jerome shoots it

Salted caramel cheesecake
Pear and cranberry phyllo cigars
No holiday is complete without plenty of sweet treats (that's what New Year's resolutions are for, right?).

Chocolate-peanut butter mousse parfaits — decadent layers of peanut butter mousse and premium chocolate

Pear and cranberry phyllo cigars
— spiced and roasted pears and cranberries, rolled in phyllo

Salted caramel cheesecake bites
— a sweet-and-salty spin on the classic New York dessert

The parfaits were just as yummy as they look!

The bar was open all night, with Guru at the helm. We offered a mix of "naughty" and "nice" cocktails and mocktails.
Pedro's smokin' with his Grinch
The Grinch — a Midori-based drink garnished with a maraschino cherry and dry ice for a spooky smoky effect

Blushing Lady — a unique martini made with pomegranate liqueur, vodka, and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, topped with curls of lemon peel

The East Ender
— a Manhattan with vermouth, Angostura bitters, a cinnamon stick, and a spin of gin

Lime Rickey — fresh-squeezed lime, simple syrup, club soda, and a hint of Angostura bitters
Jaime and Lisa — lovely ladies
with their Blushing Ladies
Guru gives Laetitia a whiff of bitters
Sweet Finish

Of course, we had to end the evening with a fun little surprise for our guests. We passed out cups of steaming milk and homemade truffles made of premium chocolate. Everyone dropped their truffles into their cups and watched the chocolate melt slowly into the milk. 

Party Pics

It was a fabulous event — the food, drinks, and conversation flowed late into the night. We had a number of first-time guests, and we were thrilled to see so many people reconnect with old friends and make new ones easily

A heartfelt thanks to all of our guests for celebrating the holiday with the Foodist Colony!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fall Harvest Dinner - October 9th, 2011

In October, the Foodist Colony took advantage of the last of the beautiful weather and held a fall dinner in the backyard. We had a wonderful, intimate group with some familiar faces, some new friends, and, of course, lots of good food. Every course featured local, seasonal ingredients. 

Amuse Bouche
We started things off with our take on the classic vanilla ice cream float, kicked up with a bit of rum and garnished with a cinnamon stick. Along with the floats, we served platters of bruschetta with a fresh, locally sourced kale and walnut pesto. 

Our guests get to know one another over floats and bruschetta
Ice cream float
Soup Course
This hearty dish highlighted two classic fall vegetables: acorn squash and beets. Each guest received his or her own individual acorn squash, roasted until tender, then scooped out and filled with a rich, earthy beet soup. The soup was garnished with crème fraîche and chives.

Isn't the squash cute!

Our guests enjoy their soup

Salad Course
Sweet and savory salad and homemade foccacia

Our salad showcased two of our favorite ingredients: concord grapes and fresh quince. Both are only available for a very short time in the fall. The quince, which cannot be eaten raw, was poached in a spicy sweet liquid to highlight its delicate flavor. The grapes and quince were tossed with mesclun greens, red onion, toasted hazelnuts, and a light lemon poppyseed dressing. 

We served the salad with a slice of homemade rosemary and concord grape focaccia. The focaccia recipe comes from one of our favorite food blogs, the Smitten Kitchen, and is much easier than it may seem. We encourage you to try it out!
Lisa and Deanna enjoy the autumn sangria

Along with the salad, we served a refreshing autumn sangria. Dried figs and cranberries were marinated overnight with wine, then topped off with a spicy cinnamon-infused simple syrup and fresh diced apples.
Alka introduces the salad

Entrée Course
The duck breasts get seared
As the sun went down, we continued on to our main course. We served fresh Long Island duck breast and, for the vegetarians, juicy portabello mushrooms. Both were seasoned, pan-seared, and glazed with a delicious savory reduction of fresh blackberries and New York state white wine. On the side, we had garlic-roasted Brussels sprouts and crispy eggplant chips

Guru works hard at the stove
Seema serves 'em up!
And...a close-up of the portobello, sliced and sauced, 
with the Brussels sprouts and eggplant

Roompa in action, explaining the entree course
Dinner by candlelight
Dessert Course
We ended the evening with scrumptious slices of a caramel apple bread pudding, served with homemade pumpkin pie ice cream. To keep warm in the cool night air, Guru treated us all to some hot buttered rum the perfect way to end the evening.

Caramel apple bread pudding and pumpkin pie ice cream...YUM

Hetal and Monica focus on dessert
Our youngest Foodist Colony member!
A calm moment in the kitchen

All the ladies
As always, we had a wonderful time with our fabulous guests. What a great way to celebrate the bounty of the season!