Mushroom Turnovers (I purchased these from Trader Joe's and they were great!)
Multigrain Crackers OR Oatmeal Biscuits (see recipe below--easy if you have time)
Champignon Cheese (think brie with lovely bits of mushroom OR other soft cheese)
Comte Cheese OR other mature French cheese
Strawberries or Grapes
Green Pea Salad OR Radishes with butter and salt
Coconut Cake (a nod to our wedding cake)
Rather like a sweet cracker, these biscuits pair well with creamy savory cheeses and fruit.
1 ½ cup flour
½ cup cornmeal
2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp milk
Preheat the oven to 425-degrees. Combine the flour, cornmeal, oats, salt, and baking powder in a food processor or mixing bowl. Cut the butter in using a pastry blender or the pulse function on the food processor until the mixture is uniformly damp. Combine the maple syrup and milk and fold into the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Divide the dough in half and roll one half out approximately ¼-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut with a cookie cutter or a plain knife and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden and slightly puffed. Remove the cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Marcona almonds originated in Spain and are distinct in their shape, which is rather squat and flat when compared with the elongated and rather round almonds one typically encounters. They are often prepared by blanching and frying them in olive oil before sprinkling them with salt and herbs. This preparation streamlines this traditional presentation.
1 1/2 cups blanched almonds
2 Tbsp good olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed slightly
Preheat the oven to 250-degrees and place the almonds in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for ten minutes and stir the almonds after five minutes. Check the almonds after ten minutes to ensure that they are golden. If they are not then return them to the oven for an additional five minutes but stay close and remove them from the oven if they begin to smell burned.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the hot almonds, salt and rosemary and toss to combine. Remove the almonds to a shallow dish to cool completely. Store any extras almonds in an airtight container.
Green Pea Salad
1 can water chestnuts, chopped medium
3 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp plain yogurt or sour cream
1 Tbsp mustard
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
Thaw the peas under cool running water. Combine the peas and water chestnuts in a large bowl. Combine the cheese and bacon and set aside. Stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar until the sugar dissolves (salt, vinegar?). Toss the pea and mayonnaise mixtures together. Immediately before serving stir in the cheese and bacon mixture.
This was a cake reminescent of our wedding cake. I love wedding cakes. They are my favorite aspect of the wedding experience (besides the typically infectious good will that permeates the party) and I have fewer more well developed peeves than the peeve of the unserved or sawdusty wedding cake.
2 2/3 cups/13 3/8 oz all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
12 Tbsp/6 oz butter, softened so that it is easily impressed with your fingertip but not really soft and oily
2 cups/14 oz sugar
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1 cup buttermilk OR 1/2 cup plain yogurt plus 1/2 cup milk
12 Tbsp very soft butter
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp almond extract
2-3 Tbsp milk
© Katherine C. Otterstrom, August 2012