Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Pantry Meal...

When friends are coming over I always have the best of intensions to cook up a storm for their pleasure.  Well lets face it... the cooking part really is my pleasure as well.  Feeding those around me  is my way of showing care and concern for them as well as some hospitality.  It is also my creative outlet, I love to try new things.  I am that person that will attempt something new and unfamiliar for the first time when guests are coming over, so far I've been pretty lucky with this.  I am also increasingly more flexible and willing to go with the flow as I get older.  So recently we had a group of friends coming for dinner and it was the end of a busy week as well as a particularly grey and rainy day.  I had planned to head to the grocery to shop for a lovely meal to share with our friends, but as the day wore on I lost steam and could not steal myself to head out into the cold.  So I raided the pantry and freezer to come up with a fitting meal.  The following is what I came up with... roasted red pepper and tomato bisque with basil (made the hours of roasting and freezing summer's tomato crop so worth it), open-faced tuna melts (because I had to stretch the bread supply), and a simple salad.  I did whip up a flourless chocolate cake, because now that I wasn't schlepping to the grocery store I had more time to bake.  I loved that I was able to make this all happen with what I had on hand, and more over that it was likely just as pleasing to my friends as my more "formal" planned meal.  Because really, no matter what I cook, the enjoyment of any gathering is really about the company more than what is served.

**over the summer I had cases of tomatoes that I processed in a variety of different ways, the soup came from a batch that I had simply cut in half and roasted with red peppers coated in extra virgin olive oil then pureed and froze.  I simply reheated the puree adding some cashew cream, salt, pepper and fresh basil leaves.

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