Monday, July 6, 2009

Dining with the Divas (Part 2 of 3)

OK, so that was Friday night... Saturday we were invited to join the Poswall's (Peg and John) for a 4th of July Celebration at their house north of Newcastle where they have 50 acres almost all of which has been beautifully landscaped. Anyway, Peg Tomlinson-Poswall is also one of the Dining Divas and cooks and entertains at their lovely home on a weekly basis.

For most of the day, we sat around the pool and laid on the sofas on the second level deck visiting and munching on a few snacks but when it came time to get serious about dinner, Peg disappeared into the kitchen where she began organizing an outstanding spread. About 3 hours before meal time, Peg put the ribs in the oven on about 225 for some slow cooking. The were pre-seasoned with a savory rub and served with droplettes (smaller than a drop) of Peg's special balsamic vinegar. Then came the vegetables... gazpacho was served before the meal and served with the main course were heirloom tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, corn on the cob, and Italian potato salad complements of Dani Luzatti (friend and neighbor) who was also at the get together. We also had beets and pasta salad prepared by Jackie (one of Peg's neighbors) that was as good a pasta salad as I've eaten.

In addition to the great food, Tracy, the resident wine expert was there to make sure the pairings were perfect.... as did John. After dinner, we all went up to the tower and watched the fireworks show presented by John and Zabi. Most lasted well into the night up in the tower under a full moon. Others sneaked off to dream land.... guess which one I chose :-)

One more post tomorrow on this incredible weekend... Come back and check it out. You won't be sorry.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dining with the Divas (Part 1 of 3)

This is the first of a three part post of a most unbelievable weekend of good friends and phenomenal food. Mary and I had the good fortune to get invited to dinner on Friday and then an overnight invite on Saturday and Sunday. These were no ordinary invites I might add. We were invited to dinner by 3 of the Dining Divas from Sacramento.

Friday night we went to the newly remodeled home of Joan Lieneke. The kitchen was fabulous and Joan was gracious enough to give us the grand tour and talk about each cooking station and its features. Very, very impressive. The anchor of the kitchen was the wood burning oven in which almost the entire meal was cooked. We started with pizza appetizers that Joan put together at the baking station. We then moved to the table for a raw salmon kibbe that was to die for... The main course was oven baked quail and broccoli with gnocchi prepared by the 2nd of the 3 Dining Divas, Paulette Bruce.

The quail was baked to perfection, the broccoli had a smoky flavor and the gnocchi was rich and creamy. We were also fortunate enough to have a wonderful bottle of BV Private Reserve that was 23 years old (provided by Jim and Debbie). For dessert, fresh fruit cup that was perfect after such a wonderful meal. Thanks Joan and Jake for having us over and Joan and Paulette for a perfect night out. Check out some of the photos...